Coronavirus FAQ’s for Instructors

As a group exercise instructor, you’ll likely have a lot of questions about your classes and how to continue running your business during this period.

The following aims to cover many of the main questions group exercise instructors will have and provide advice on how best to approach classes.

Can I teach online?

Yes, you can.

Your duty of care will still apply and as you cannot get every participant to fill out a PAR-Q form prior to doing your class, please add a disclaimer that highlights this fact, they the participant still needs to take care.

What do I need to do?

Add the disclaimer to your delivery platform and ensure the participants agree to your statement of care. Let your class participants know that your classes are available now online should they wish to access them.

Is my insurance still valid if I continue to do classes?

On 23/03/2020, the UK Government announced that people will now only leave their houses for essential trips. They will be permitted to leave their house once a day to do exercise, such as walking, running or riding a bike. This does not include indoor or outdoor group exercise classes. No instructor should be leading classes and they can now be fined for doing so.

This can be done via two-way video, one-way video, or pre-recorded material.

Am I covered if a participant has an accident during my online class?

Ask your insurance provider. You should do a thorough health and safety talk at the beginning of the class to ensure everyone is exercising in a safe environment. If your class delivery is not live, then you should have every participant agree to your disclaimer.

I rent a small studio space and my landlord is still pressing me for my rent. What can I do?

The government has announced that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. No business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. However, commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent after this period. More details here.

Is financial support available for my small business?

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is a scheme which provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) who are losing money through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scheme has now been widened so more businesses can access it and will open on Monday 6th April.

The CBILS is operated by British Business Bank through a variety of accredited lenders, including high-street banks. Lenders will be able to approve up to £5 million per business as loans, overdrafts, and/or invoice finance.

Please note: the borrower will remain fully liable for the debt.

To be eligible for the scheme, your business must:

  • Be based in the UK
  • Have an annual turnover which does not exceed £45 million
  • Have a viable borrowing proposal that would be considered by the lender outside of the current COVID-19 pandemic
  • Self-certify that COVID-19 has adversely affected your business

You can find an eligibility checklist here.

For full information and to check eligibility, visit the CBILS page on the British Business Bank website here.

CBILS is not available for self-employed/freelance workers. For those workers, financial support information, via the self-employed income support scheme, can be found on the Gov.uk website here.

If my classes are cancelled, I have no income so how do I pay my bills?

On 26th March, the Chancellor announced the setup of the self-employed income support scheme. The outlines that workers net monthly earnings do not fall below “80 per cent of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years, or £2500 per month, whichever is lower.” You can find full information on what you’re entitled to on Gov.uk here.

Source of guidance:

All our statements follow the latest advice from the Government, the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Science Officer. Their current advice is to stop all “non-essential” contact to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

There is a duty of care to both your class participants and you to try and not catch or spread the current virus. Your health is just as important as everyone else.

Whilst other statements may be issued from a variety of sources, we strongly advise to follow the official Government suggestions. For up to the minute information please check the Gov.uk coronavirus webpage here.

To be clear, no instructor should currently be teaching any classes other than online.

ONGOING GENERAL ADVICE:

Symptoms and self-isolation
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Advice from the NHS states:

Anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.

After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start.

Even if it means they’re at home for longer than 14 days.

Symptoms are:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

What is self-isolation?

  • Self-isolation is a period where you remain at your house to stop the spread of coronavirus. Advice from the NHS states:
  • try to keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions
  • ask friends and family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines – but avoid contact with them
  • sleep alone if possible
  • regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • try to stay away from older people and those with long-term health conditions
  • drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol, to help with your symptoms

Do not:

  • have visitors
  • do not leave the house, for example to go for a walk, to school or public places.

Where can I get current information?

It is your responsibility to keep yourself up to date with advice on best practice. You can get current guidance from:

How should people pay for the class?

You will need to research which option is best for you. Some options include:

  • Getting money transferred straight into your bank account
  • PayPal
  • Online events platforms, such as Eventbrite

Business expenses

Can I claim Zoom and booking platforms on expenses?

Yes. Any legitimate business expense can be claimed back. This includes your booking platform, Zoom account and other expenses incurred due to coronavirus.

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