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This document will be reviewed on a regular basis and more specifically: 

  • When there is a change to government guidance. 

  • After activities or courses have been run for the first time. 

  • This document is meant as an addition to the existing Whitewater Ways operating procedure. 


Sessions can only take place if staff and participants:

  • They have not come into contact with the COVID 19 as described in government guidelines. All participants will confirm this verbally prior to the start of the course. 

  • They are confident that they can complete the activity whilst following the rules of social distancing. This will be checked through pre-course booking information, pre-course information and where necessary, discussions. 

Please see our Term and Conditions of Booking - Covid 19 policy.

Ratios and group sizes

Due to England being in a national lockdown only 1:1 coaching is currently allowed. 

Social distancing 

Wherever possible social distancing protocols will be maintained. This will be part of the daily briefing 

  • Masks will be available throughout the day for staff. Participants are asked to bring
    their own mask.

  • Staff will use hand sanitising gels throughout the day. We ask that participants bring
    their own gel. 

  • Staff will continue to manage risk to as low a level as normal. Both staff and participants should consider any activities that involve swimmer rescue carefully.

Agreement to risk and compliance with Covid 19 operating procedures

All participants must agree with the following statements prior to the commencement of activity 

I have read the additional operating procedures relating to Covid 19. I understand them and agree to follow them 

I confirm that within the last 14 days: 

  • I have not been infected or shown symptoms of Covid-19. 
  • No one in my household has been infected or shown symptoms of Covid-19. 

  • Neither myself or anyone in my household is in the vulnerable or extremely vulnerable
    categories as defined in the current UK Government advice. 

  • If I discover I have contracted the virus within 3 weeks of the end of the activity, I will
    inform Whitewater Ways immediately.

Equipment management 

  • Activities will be planned to minimise the exchange of equipment throughout the day 
  • All Whitewater Ways equipment will be either quarantined for 72 hours and / or disinfected before its next use. 

Moving equipment to and from the Vehicle / Storage.

The following options are available for the delivery of equipment from the Vehicle / store 

  • Staff move equipment to a clear space. Staff then sanitise the equipment with spray. 
  • Staff and participants may move long, heavy equipment maintaining appropriate distance and spraying any areas touched staff. If repeated, then staff and students should carry from the same place. 
  • To return equipment participants will place equipment near to the vehicle. Staff will disinfect it before returning it to the vehicle / store. 


  • Use static venues and return trips to avoid shuttles if possible. 
  • Shorten trips so walking or cycling back is an option. 

  • If all drivers cycle back to the start of the trip social distancing can be maintained. 

  • A seat in the back of the vehicle, facing backwards, might be a good option. 

  • If sharing a vehicle masks should be worn. Hands must be washed prior to entering the vehicle. Vehicles should be sprayed and wiped as necessary. 

  • Staff might use another household member or staff to collect the van and assist with shuttles. 

Water rescues and swimming 

  • All participants should be able to manage themselves and swim to the bank if they fall in. 

  • Appropriate locations / rivers will be sought for the standard of the participants ability. 

  • Craft and equipment retrieval and return would be seen as a fairly low risk activity. Paddles could be put in the water for participants to collect. 

Standup Paddleboards (SUPS) 

  • Clients should be able to get back onto their board unassisted. Leashes and buoyancy aids must be employed to make self-rescue as easy as possible. 

  • Contact tows and maintain 2m distance when using longer boards. 

  • Tows on short boards can be done using waist mounted tows or 5m tapes when needed. 

White water kayaking

  • Boat to swimmer rescues can be managed with the use of hand washing / sanitising protocols. 


  • Participants must be able to re-enter their own canoe with the staff only supporting the canoe. 

  • Tows can be carried out using painters. 

  • Activity challenge level will be managed to ensure that the number of capsizes will be kept to a minimum. 

  • Participants should be able to empty their canoe at the bank. 

  • Should staff need to empty water from a canoe they should work at the end. 

  • With appropriate hand sanitation available curling a student’s canoe can be appropriate. 

First aid

It is industry best practice to allow the injured person to administer their own first aid.
Participants will need to bring their own small first aid kit. Ideally this should be in a dry bag inside a zip lock bag. This should include: 

  • Antiseptic wipes 

  • Gloves 

  • Simple plasters 

  • A good sized wound dressing or sterile absorbent material and tape 

  • A bag to store dirty stuff 

Should CPR become necessary then it should be delivered using the resuscitation council guidelines.

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