EMD UK are following advice from the government and the NHS for the safety of our staff and the fitness workforce. We are monitoring the situation and will be updating this page frequently in line with new measures and precautions.

Please note, we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and emails. We will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as possible.

Updates will be posted here and on our EMD UK Facebook page. 

You can also get COVID-19 instructor updates to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter here.

Updated 26/10/2021


There are currently no set restrictions on how many people can take part in group exercise classes both indoors and outdoors.

However, there are some steps you should take to reduce the risk of transmission when you are participating.

  1. Complete an updated Risk assessment that includes risks from COVID-19.

This should consider the points below in the rest of this guidance. It should also consider any reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities

  1. Turn people away with COVID-19 symptoms.
  1. Provide adequate ventilation: You should still make sure there is a supply of fresh air to enclosed spaces where there are people present, even despite the change in temperature with season changes. This can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. You should identify any poorly ventilated spaces in your premises and consider steps you can take to improve fresh air flow in these areas. In some places, a CO2 monitor can help identify if the space is poorly ventilated.
  1. Continue to clean more often. Especially those with high contact points such as doors and ensure you continue to sanitise hands frequently.
  1. Enable people to check in at your venue. Although you are no longer required to collect contact details, doing so will help support the NHS Test and Trace and reduce the spread of the virus. Although you do not have to ask participants to check in it may provide some with consumer confidence to return.
  1. Communicate with Participants. You should consider how you can inform participants of important information and any changes to processes in advance of the activity, for example on your website, when booking by phone or email, and in your digital marketing. You should consider how to do this in a way that works best for your sport or physical activity provision and is accessible to all, including those with disabilities.

Your communication to participants should include the following points.

  • Self-assessment:Before attending any classes, all participants and instructors should self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste). If they have one or more of these symptoms (even if they are mild), you should advise them not to attend any class, and to follow NHS guidance on testing and self-isolation.
  • Informed decisions:You should advise participants to consider their own health and circumstances (for example, if they are not yet double-vaccinated or they live with somebody at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19), so they can make an informed choice about whether they wish to participate. You should set out the safety measures you have put in place, and how you will mitigate any specific risks associated with your group exercise class. For example, you could advise participants that you are following your NGB’s guidance, and any safety measures you are putting in place.
  • Self-isolation:Clearly communicate to participants that they should not take part in your activity if they need to self-isolate (for example, because they have tested positive or are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace). If they are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste), you should advise them not to attend, even if these symptoms are mild. You may also wish to share guidance on what they should do if they live with, or have close contact with, a positive case.

Pre-Participations safety measures

  • Consider whether you should ask participants to take a COVID-19 test before participating, where this is practical and possible. This can help to ensure your sport provision is as safe as possible and reduce the risk of transmission.
  • You can also consider using the NHS COVID Pass to reduce the risk of transmission. The NHS COVID Pass allows people to demonstrate that they are at a lower risk of carrying COVID-19 and transmitting it to others, through vaccination, testing or natural immunity. It can help organisations to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  • The NHS COVID Pass will be available through the NHS App, the NHS website, or as a letter that can be requested by ringing NHS 119. Participants will also be able to show text or email confirmation of test results.
  • If you use the NHS COVID Pass, you should ensure that you comply with all relevant legal obligations and guidance, including on equalities. You can find more information in the NHS COVID Pass guidance
  • Even when using the NHS COVID Pass, it is still important that you follow the rest of the guidance and put measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading at your venue or event.

Take part safely

  • You should continue to follow good hygiene practices, to reduce the risk of transmission in your classes.
  • You should avoid sharing water bottles or other refreshment containers. Where possible, you should take your own drink, in a labelled or highly distinguishable container.
  • Face coverings are no longer required by law, but people should wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they meet people they do not normally meet. Where worn correctly, this can reduce the risk of transmission.
  • For example, you may wish to put on a face covering after your sporting activity if you are in a crowded indoor facility, but you don’t have to wear one during a class. People should not generally wear a face covering while taking part in any strenuous activity or sport, unless advised to do so by a doctor.
  • You should avoid sharing equipment where possible and practical, particularly equipment which is used around the head and face.

If equipment needs to be shared, it should be cleaned between users, where possible

Contact Combat Sports

Contact combat sport activities can resume full contact training and competitions for adults and children both indoors and outdoors. However, you may wish to set out different ways people can participate on different types of activity. For example, if people do not wish to take part in full contact or face to face work.

  • Advising those in supporting roles (e.g. holding pads) to wear face coverings, where this is possible and practical.
  • Advising participants to consider the number of different people they engage in full contact activity with.
  • Advising instructors to limit the number of groups or facilities they work with.


On Saturday 7th August, Wales moved to alert level 0. Although this has changed the way some businesses operate, group exercise instructors must note:

  • A COVID-19 risk assessment must be completed for each venue they teach in
  • Social distancing within classes is still required – there is a legal requirement for businesses to minimise the risk of exposure
  • Masks should be worn indoors when not exercising/leading a class
  • No legal limit on numbers for classes
  • Limit numbers of people at pinch points, so congregating before and after classes and when using changing facilities/toilets.
  • Instructors should still ensure improving ventilation of venue.

You can find more information here: https://gov.wales/alert-level-0-frequently-asked-questions#section-77044


On 9th August 2021 Scotland moved to “Beyond Level 0”.  Whilst most of the legal restrictions for Group Ex have been lifted, all businesses are advised to still follow the Scottish government Guidance and review their Risk Assessments for each venue they teach in.

EMD UK would advise the following precautionary measure to remain in place.

  • Face coverings must still be worn in indoor facilities, except whilst exercising.
  • Risk Assessments: update any current risk assessment to continue to ensure you protect both yourself and participants from Covid 19 and other risks within the class setting
  • Ventilation : Getting fresh air into indoor spaces can help stop the spread of coronavirus, where possible please ensure sufficient ventilation is available in the workout area.
  • Occupancy and Social Distancing: Whilst there are no longer any legal requirements for social distancing, EMD UK recommends allowing enough room for participants to keep their distance in a class, especially for those who have not been fully vaccinated.
  • Capacity for indoors: The capacity limits for indoor are no longer in place but we would advise that based upon a risk assessment to allow enough space for those who wish to maintain some degree of social distancing.
  • Cleaning: EMD UK would recommend maintaining cleaning regimes of touch points through out the venue, equipment being used and to continue to encourage participants to use hand sanitiser frequently throughout a class.

Find more information in the sportscotland document here. 

Northern Ireland

An indicative date of 26th July  has been set to allow some changes to their current guidelines, these will be announced on 22nd July. Please watch this page for updates.

From Monday, 24th May

Outdoor exercise

  • All outdoor sport permitted.
  • Maximum number of participants, including coaches and support staff is 500 people
  • Maximum number of spectators is 500 people.
  • Risk assessment if more than 30 in attendance

Indoor exercise

  • All indoor sport and leisure venues open
  • Group exercise/training is permitted.
  • A risk assessment must be completed if more than 15 people participating.
  • Shared facilities open for use.