Today, 22 February 2021, has seen the Prime Minister announce a Roadmap out of the Winter / Spring 2021 Coronavirus lockdown.
Below is our interpretation of what this will mean in practice for Yoga Teachers and classes.
A few caveats:
1 – The announcement from HM Government is “raw” and we need to see more detail. There are some assumptions below, based on how things worked before, eg Gyms and Sport being synonymous with Yoga / Yoga studios as context requires.
2 – The so called “step” dates may change, which in practice means being deferred. The dates below are the earliest. One may surmise that, politically, the Government will be very reluctant to let the dates slip however.
3 – Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. There may well be merit in proceeding more slowly with indoor classes, depending on teacher, venue and student base wishes.
4 – Dates relate to England – check details for Scotland, Wales and NI.
With 2020 having ended in “tiers”, we seem to greet 2021 with “steps”.
Four steps have been announced, although the 1st step has two separate sub steps!
29 March 2021 – second stub of Step 1 – this seems to be the first relevant date, when businesses are allowed to run organised outdoor sport for children and adults, and social contact is allowed between two households or under rule of 6 (presumably, whichever is the larger). So from this date outdoor classes should be allowed/. It is confirmed by Government there is no restriction on numbers of participants in organised outdoor sports – the rule of 6 / two households is for social contact, not business organised activities (these are two distinct and separate headings) – but National Governing Body guidance applies as to how sessions are run. The later maybe problematic in Yoga as the appointment of British Wheel of Yoga as National Governing body, and their performance during the pandemic, is not without controversy – in reality 2m social distancing and Covid secure arrangements will doubtless suffice.
12 April 2021 – Step 2. Gyms, which will include Yoga Studios, can reopen indoors. However this is only for “individual / household use” and group classes are not allowed. So this means Yoga Studios can host 1 on 1s, or one on many classes for the same household.
Library’s and Community centres open from this date as well, but indoor classes are not allowed.
Personal care reopens from this date, and we would expect this would accommodate 1 on 1 sessions in a clients home or other venue.
17th May 2021 – Step 3 – from this date organised indoor sport is allowed, which should cover Yoga classes indoors in studios, gyms and community facilities.
In Person Teacher Training and CPDs – it’s not immediately clear where these would fit in. Theoretically they could happen as of now, as there is no specific exclusion from work place gatherings (distinguished from formal education) although it’s hard to argue they would be within the spirit of the current lockdown. TTC and CPD providers will need to take advice, and consider the merit of in person delivery versus risk and reputation. On the later, reputation, post Step 3 would seem more acceptable.
Further information is published in the Government’s publication
COVID-19 RESPONSE − SPRING 2021
from which this summary has been prepared.