Government update 23/03/2020

  • The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced that people should only leave their houses where it is ‘absolutely necessary’.
  • He announced that people should only leave their homes to exercise once a day and only with members of your household or on your own
  • Outdoor gyms are now closed.

Following the Government’s announcement and advice given by EMD UK, all group exercise activities, both indoor and outdoor classes, including 1-2-1 sessions, should now cease.

EMD UK has provided guidance on how instructors can take their classes online and what they are covered to teach. You can find more information here.

Government update 20/03/2020

The UK Government announced that businesses, including gyms, leisure centres, theatres, cafes and clubs, are to close as of tomorrow. Although this news sends shivers across the nation, there are some positives for our self-employed fitness instructor friends. These include:
    • Self employed can access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to the current statutory sick pay if unwell as the minimum income floor has been removed.
    • Self assessment payments deferred til Jan 2021
    • 3 month mortgage suspension
    • No VAT payment due April but can pay it by end of tax year
    • No business rates if you have a venue
  • Government will cover 80% of salaries up to £2500 a month for anyone who has employees
Sue Wilkie, Head of Instructor Development at EMD UK, says “The announcement of statutory sick pay for self-employed workers comes as welcome news after a challenging week for the fitness industry, and group exercise instructors in particular across the UK. With an influence on keeping active during this outbreak, instructors have been leading the way, providing classes online to keep the health and mental wellbeing of their clients. This will enable them to keep providing this step service whilst supporting their livelihoods.”

So what is EMD UK doing?

  • We have confirmed with our insurers that you can live stream your classes without needing two-way video
  • We are speaking to Sport England about how we can use their resources  to support instructors
  • We are working with the Sport and Recreation Alliance who are in touch with government
  • We are sharing advice and strategies with other governing bodies
  • We have created an FAQ document which you can access here. Please review this carefully before calling or emailing EMD UK.
  • We will be providing regular updates and guidance.

EMD UK Courses

All face to face qualification and development courses run by EMD UK in April have been postponed.  Everyone who has booked onto a course will receive a phone call followed by an email asap informing them of the postponement and will be able to defer their booking. All online learning can continue as normal and for those who have assessments due, please use the additional time to polish your classes.

Where we can, we will attempt to continue with education via online methods (e.g. webinar, Skype etc). However, this may not be practically possible for all activities. Where not, the aim will be to re-schedule courses to a later date wherever feasible.

Our latest updates can be accessed any time via our information page here.

Social distancing and advice

Social distancing measures (as defined by Public Health England as spending more than 15 minutes and within a 2-metre distance talking to someone) are now advised not only if we test positive or have symptoms, but in day to day life.  As well as current travel advice, the current UK government is advising anyone with a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature and those they live with need to self-isolate for 14 days.

At Risk groups

The latest advice from the government’s chief medical adviser is that those over 70 currently do not need to be self-isolating. However, in the coming days, every Briton over the age of 70 and those in at-risk groups under the age of 70 will be advised to be “largely shielded from social contact” for 12 weeks to help protect themselves. Those with underlying medical issues such as high blood pressure, lung complaints and weakened or compromised immune systems are more likely to develop serious illness as a result of the disease.

Anyone with a higher risk from viruses such as cold or flu should take sensible steps to reduce the risk of picking up infections. Click here for NHS advice on infection control – it is summarised below:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Click here for a list of government guidelines on hygiene.

EMD UK Head Office

EMDUK are open for business as normal but in response to the coronavirus outbreak we can now confirm that we have taken the decision that all staff will work from home  as a safeguarding measure.

We will continue to review this approach on a weekly basis.

Please rest assured that we have put plans and procedures in place to ensure continuity of service. We will also be rescheduling any pre-booked on-site meetings and will be conducting these either online or via telephone where possible.  We have also advised staff, in line with current advice, to minimise all travel to only essential journeys.

Thank you for your continued support during this uncertain time and if you have any questions do please feel free to contact me directly on

Many thanks

Marcus Kingwell