Guidance for Centres and Hire providers 

Wednesday 8th July 2020

Considerations for centres and hire providers

The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) has created guidance to support centres and hire providers and encourages that members continue to check both the Government and CANI websites on a regular basis for the latest information.

If you are shielding or have symptoms

Do not leave home to take part in sport or physical activity if NI Executive advice means you should stay at home because you, or someone you live with, has or has had symptoms of COVID-19, or you are in the most vulnerable category and have been advised to shield from the coronavirus. People who are shielding should not undertake activities. People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days; household members for 14 days as per info on NHS guidance. All exercise taken must be consistent with current Northern Irish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene.

CANI suggest that centres and hire providers follow the recommendations below before re-opening

  • Activity can resume for up to a maximum of 30 paddlers on the water at any one time including coaches/leaders. Multiple groups should not be on the water at the same time and in the same location. 
  • Centres and hire  providers should only start operating when they have completed the necessary planning and mitigating actions and feel able to operate safely and within the guidelines. 
  • Centres and hire providers should; have a safety framework in place, conduct and record Covid-19 risk assessments, put in place mitigating procedures, Covid consent forms, keep attendance records, and provide information for co-workers and participants. 
  • To operate within the scope of the British Canoeing/CANI insurance, you must be following the NI Executive Guidance. If utilising independent insurance, check with your insurer.
  • During active participation of sport, you do not have to continuously maintain social distancing. Within paddlesports social distancing takes place naturally, except in occasional circumstances such as; some rescues and some games (social distancing should be maintained before and after active participation). CANI is obliged to make the most reasonable interpretation of government guidance in the service of its members. 
  • For paddlesport, active participation can be considered to be any action that is specific to taking part including essential preparatory and concluding activities, for example; safety briefings, warm-ups, moving and launching paddlesports craft, etc. 
  • A register of participants must be retained for every session, this should include a minimum of full name and contact number. This is for the purpose of Covid tracing should this be necessary.
  • Consideration should be given to the sharing of equipment. If sharing equipment, a rigorous cleaning process should be in place as per Health and Safety Recommendations and following equipment manufacturers instructions. 
  • Ensure a first aid kit is available and understand the changes in guidance during this COVID-19 period
  • Working to ensure the outdoor activity can meet public health guidelines. All activity should be consistent with the government guidance regarding health, social distancing and good hygiene.
  • Centres and providers will need to communicate clearly and regularly with customers setting out what they are doing to manage risk, and what advice they are giving to individuals to do likewise.
  • Centres and providers should be ready to strengthen or relax measures at short notice and are encouraged to think creatively about how best to make activity possible within these guidelines.
  • Booking in advance, online or over the phone is preferable. Where this is not possible, and a venue has staff available to take bookings consider mandating contactless or at least card payment, to avoid handling cash.
  • Cleaning protocols should be put in place to limit coronavirus transmission in public places. It is advised that touch points should be particular areas of focus for increased cleaning.
  • Maintaining hygiene, through handwashing, sanitisation facilities and toilets.
  • If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • If there is the capacity and resource to be in a position to serve takeaway food and drinks, then hot and cold food may be served for consumption off the premises (i.e. outside of the building).
  • Indoor facilities, apart from toilets and through-ways, should be kept closed. You may reopen car parks if you need to. Indoor facilities used must have public health measures in place.
  • Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted to re-open.
  • Each venue should make their own decisions about when their facilities are ready.
  • Facilities can decide whether or not they hire out equipment, including canoes and other paddle craft. Operators should follow the NI Executive guidance.
  • Many individuals and organisations may wish to take further measures beyond the current guidelines at their discretion, to reduce the spread of covid-19 e.g. running low risk sessions and maintaining social distance during active participation.

Follow links for further information and guidance

Club Covid 19 Risk Assessment Template (PDF)  

Club Covid 19 Risk Assessment Template (Word)

COVID 19 Consent Form

British Canoeing Environmental Definitions for Deployment Guidance for Instructors Coaches and Leaders

British Canoeing Paddlesafe guidance

NI Executive Coroavirus public health information

Sport NI Return to Sport

Advice for Businesses