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Re-starting your business
guidance for leisure businesses

With ongoing Covid restrictions across the UK your business may have needed to change the way it operates or even been closed for extended periods of time. 
Further to the 10 things to consider when restarting your business, there is specific guidance for leisure businesses.

Specific Covid-19 considerations will very much depend on the range of facilities and activities provided, but may include those listed on this page. Our other trade sector guidance may also be relevant to your business, particularly public houses, cafés and restaurants and hotels and guest houses.
  • Changes to business activities could introduce new hazards or exposures, so review and adapt risk management measures accordingly. This includes working procedures (including food safety management), training, disinfection and sanitisation, and fire and security protection systems
  • Undertake a thorough inspection of your site, including all buildings (interior and exterior communal areas). Our kitchen fire safety and legionella bacteria pages and equipment checklist may assist you. The HSE have released specific guidance on legionella risks
  • Review the arrangements in place for pest control and management
  • Complete and reinstate any inspection, testing and maintenance procedures (including those of a statutory nature) that may have lapsed since the shutdown.  Our equipment checklist may assist you, in addition to external guidance such as that provided by the HSE
  • Review emergency response procedures to verify they are up-to-date and there is adequate coverage for assigned positions on all shifts, such as security personnel, first aiders etc.

Further support can be found on our health & safety risk assessment, mental health in the workplace, safe systems of work, fire risk assessment and cyber security pages.

  • Provide cleaning stations at entrance and exit points and other strategic locations (including in areas such as reception, gyms and fitness studios for example), with signage to remind customers of the importance of washing hands and hygiene
  • Identify and regularly clean regular touchpoints including doors, door handles, stair handrails, key pads on doors, electrical switches, lift buttons, turnstiles at access points, lifeguard chairs and pool hoists 
  • Establish cleaning procedures for all items and equipment used and accessed by customers and staff, such as gym equipment, weights, swimming pool floats, flumes (where opened), lane ropes and accessibility equipment.


  • Reassess the layout of external and internal areas to ensure that social distancing guidance can be met
  • Ensure ongoing review in line with government and sector-specific advice and consider the following on initial opening:

    - limiting swimming pool use to pre-booked lane swimming only

    - opening gym and fitness studios for designated sessions, with these areas closed for a period post session to allow for cleaning and disinfection

    - removing gym equipment to allow for social distancing (including climbing walls)

    - limiting or closing changing rooms

    - removing or closing any children’s play equipment, soft play areas and crèche areas. This includes swimming pool inflatables

    - requiring those wishing to participate in racket sports to use their own equipment

    - not opening cafes or retail areas until the impact of queueing and social distancing is understood

  • Review activity specific training, for example lifeguard training
  • Consider conflict resolution / management training to address potential colleague and customer challenges in implementing Covid-19 secure measures.
  • Ensure careful and clear communication with suppliers specific to goods-in delivery arrangements, to best comply with social distancing measures
  • Consider the possibility of non-contact goods-in deliveries. Wherever possible schedule goods-in deliveries to avoid overcrowding in delivery areas and interaction with customers
  • Limit those involved in loading and unloading, and where more than one person is needed, using the same pairs of people. Encourage drivers to stay in their vehicles where this doesn’t compromise their safety.

  • Limit the need for rotation of equipment where practical
  • Review arrangements for first aid provision and the guidance provided to first aiders, (e.g. CPR and resuscitation)
  • Remove/ restrict touchpoints in staff areas where practical (e.g. vending machines and other canteen equipment for general employee use)
  • Manage breaks and welfare provision, including encouraging employees to bring in their own food & drink, cutlery, and not to leave the site to visit other premises during breaks
  • Provide adequate and suitable welfare facilities for employees and visiting drivers, including areas for safely changing, storing and laundering clothing and personal protective equipment
  • Offer continued support (practical and well-being) for any employees who continue to work from home. 
It is important to recognise the range of sector specific information being produced by organisations including UK Active, Swim England, Royal Life Saving Society UK and The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, with a number of sports governing bodies also producing guidance.  

The risk management information and guidance provided herein is not intended to be advice for any specific requirements.

Readers should seek further advice when dealing with their individual and particular situations. Allianz Insurance plc shall have no liability for any action taken as a result of and in reliance on the information contained in this document. The information contained in this document is correct at date of going to print and may be subject to change at any time.  All rights reserved