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Uni of Bath pool

Photo: University of Bath pool.

Returning to Pool Guidance


The Government publishes guidance which sets out information for the public and sport providers on whether it is permitted to participate in grassroots sport and physical activity during COVID-19 restrictions, and if so how.

Swim England regularly updates its FAQs with its interpretation of what the restrictions mean for facilities, how it affects our sports and learn to swim lessons, travel and the impact on clubs.

The Government has published how the rules will change on 17 May following its ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ which set out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England to explain how the restrictions included in the guidance would be lifted over time. These were the changes which happened on 12 Apr. Please familarise yourself with what you can and cannot do from 17 May as further restrictions are eased and follow the guidance in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

The Covid-19 Toolkit links to resources, including webinar recordings and guidance on group numbers, which will help ensure all our disciplines, clubs, members and workforce can return to action when permitted to do so, subject to evidence.

Swim England Returning to Pool guidance documents include robust recommendations for operators, casual swimmers, lane swimming, family-fun sessions, club activity, teachers and those attending swimming lessons. Members aged over 18 have been given the green light to return to club training sessions as planned on Monday 17 May rather only be able to attend public swim sessions.

  • Club Guidance
  • Community Swimming and Instructor Led Guidance
  • Operator Guidance
  • Swimming Lessons Guidance
  • User Guidance
  • Returning to Training Guidance for Coaches.
  • Returning to the Pool Guidance for School Swimming
  • Advice for Clubs and members travelling abroad
  • Specific guidance for water polo clubs
  • Land Training Guidance

Returning to Competition

Swim England is to begin issuing licenses for level four single club competitions in time for Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown. Swim England published guidance which was followed up with a webinar for event organisers (download pdf) on 21 April to answer questions on how to plan and stage a meet / gala. A set of Frequently Asked Questions has now been developed which will continue to be updated on an ongoing basis where necessary. Download a Covid Lead role description, which also incorporates the expectations of the role around club competition.View update on Level 4 licensed single club meets.

Click on the menu items under Your Sports for more information on specific disciplines.

Somerset ASA usually hold Championships annually for

  • Swimming - view details (19/25/26 Jan & 1/2/8/9 Feb 2020) at Millfield, Street. Swim England has announced that the normal window for 2021 will be suspended and an alternative window now run from late May until 18 July 2021, with a further racing opportunity opening up for counties later in the year so older swimmers sitting exams will be given the chance to participate at an appropriate time. 
  • Open Water (June / July) - Cancelled in 2020. Counties and Regions will be consulted to ensure that participation in the Regional Open Water Championships is not affected by the above decision on the new window dates for 2021.
  • Masters (May) - Cancelled in 2020
  • Artistic Swimming (formerly known as Synchro) if competitors reach a standard set by the County Artistic Swimming Secretary (Sep / Oct ) - Cancelled in 2020; and
  • Water Polo (by November) at Senior level - Cancelled in 2020.

Somerset usually stages a two day Swimming Development Meet but had to cancel the competition originally scheduled for 3/4 October 2020. See news item.


Parents and carers of participants under the age of 18 who wish to take images at events are requested to focus on their own children as much as reasonably possible and to avoid including other children in images, particularly if those images are being shared with family and friends or through social media platforms.

Whilst it is acknowledged that parents / carers wish to celebrate the achievements of their own children when taking part in aquatic events, it should be recognised and respected that other parents / carers may not wish for their child’s image to be taken and shared in this way.

View Swim England’s Filming and Photography Policy.

There is useful information about child welfare in Swim England’s Wavepower document.