WORKING TOGETHER TO BE COVID SECURE
Fierce Grace Muswell Hill will continue to be a haven, where we can find calm, joy and sanctuary. In order for this to happen we all have to play our part to make the studio Covid-secure. The Fierce Grace Muswell Hill team has specific responsibilities but we also need your help.
- limit the numbers in the studio to less than half our previous capacity to maintain social distancing
- clean and scrub all surfaces and touch-points regularly with anti-viral products
- raise the ventilation rate around the building to bring in more fresh air more often
- wear face coverings or visors, or stand behind a perspex screen at all times
- no longer provide mats, blocks and straps to share at the studio
- rearranged our class schedule so that we will have more shorter length classes
- extended the gaps between classes to keep the numbers in the building down
- installed clear signage and markings to let you know where you should stand, sit, walk and lay your mat in the studio.
There are things that we need from you too. We ask that you:
- pre-book all of your classes
- bring a yoga mat and towel with you, as well as blocks and a strap if you need
- enter the building no more than 20 minutes prior to the class starting and be out of the building within 15 minutes of the class ending
- arrive in plenty of time so as not to be rushing around the studio prior to class
- have your temperature taken on arrival with a non-contact thermometer to make sure you do not have a fever
- sanitize your hands on entry with one of our many hand sanitizer stations
- do not come to the studio if you have any Covid symptoms or indeed any cold and flu symptoms
- no longer pay with cash
- pay attention to all signage and safety markings
- limit your use of our changing rooms unless essential
We ask that you wear a face-covering for all of your time in the building apart from when you are on your yoga mat.
In addition, we are asking that everyone agree to our new online Covid-free declaration implicit in every class booking to say that you are Covid-free and that you have not recently been ‘in close contact’ with anyone with Covid symptoms.
There is the hope that we will be able to relax some of these measures over the coming weeks and months but for the time being we feel it is paramount for us all to be doing everything we possibly can to lower the risk of Covid transmission.
How will the numbers be limited within the studio to maintain social distancing?
We are reducing our maximum class size to less than half of the previous capacity. Floor-tape marks out the places where you should lay the front edge of your mat when you enter the studio. We ask that everyone lay their mats in the exact spaces indicated to maintain social distancing during the class.
How do hot yoga’s high levels of heat and humidity affect coronavirus transmission?
There is a common misconception that all germs thrive in hot and humid conditions. How does this pertain to the current pandemic coronavirus?
There is much we are yet to discover about the current coronavirus. The available scientific studies on a closely related previous pandemic coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1) show that it is significantly less able to survive and cause infections at higher temperatures and in high relative humidity (1, 2).
So, although we cannot be definitive about the effect of heat and humidity on the novel coronavirus, we can say that if this current pandemic coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) responds to heat and humidity like its sister coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1) then yoga in our levels of heat and humidity should be at least as safe (and probably safer!) than similar activities at normal temperature and humidity levels.
How will the hot yoga studio’s ventilation system reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission?
The effectiveness of any ventilation system is measured in the number of complete air changes that occur within an hour. When the studio’s ventilation unit is switched to its usual setting, the air in our studio is completely replaced four times an hour, so every 15 minutes.
Fierce Grace Muswell Hill’s ventilation system is one of the most modern of any hot yoga studio in London. Our system has been designed to bring in fresh oxygenated air throughout the class whilst not reducing the temperature in the room. Our Mechanical Ventilation & Heat Recovery unit hangs from the ceiling in the reception and does three jobs at once – it brings in a steady flow of fresh air from outside, it heats up this fresh air before it enters the studio and it expels stale, used air from the studio whilst keeping the heat in the room.
In addition, we regularly clean and replace the filters on our ventilation system to make sure that the risk of transmission is further reduced.
Is sweat a risk for coronavirus transmission?
Lots of people sweat a lot during a hot yoga class. We have therefore been very keen to learn whether there was any risk of viral transmission via sweat.
What extra cleaning protocols have Fierce Grace Muswell Hill brought in to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission?
We are now making it mandatory that everyone sanitizes their hands with hand sanitizer gel on first entering the building.
The room will be thoroughly cleaned throughout the day with virus killing cleaning products.
All touch points and surfaces around the building (door handles, banisters, the reception desk, etc) will be cleaned throughout the day with anti-viral spray.
What cleaning products are Fierce Grace Muswell Hill using to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission?
We use a selection of cleaning products to help keep the studio virus and bacteria free. We have chosen specialist products that are ideal for cleaning stainless steel, worktops, glass windows, aluminium surfaces and tiled areas.
What changes have Fierce Grace Muswell Hill made to the schedule to help lower the risk of coronavirus transmission?
We have made two specific changes to the schedule to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
We now have more shorter classes and fewer longer classes throughout the week. It makes sense that shorter classes represent a lower risk though we will have a few longer classes on the schedule for those who wish to attend them.
We are extending the minimum gap in between classes to make sure that there is no crossover of clients on site in between classes and to give our team more time to clean. We are limiting the amount of time that customers can be on site before and after class so that people will have ample time to leave the building before we allow anyone attending the next class to enter the building.
We ask that everyone leave the building within 15 minutes of the scheduled finish time of their class. No entry to the building will be allowed more than 20 minutes prior to a class starting. All classes must now be pre-booked which will expedite the check-in process so we envisage any queues should be short.
What changes have Fierce Grace Muswell Hill made inside the yoga studio that will help lower the risk of coronavirus transmission?
Most importantly, the capacity of the room is being significantly reduced to less than half of our previous capacity. We are marking out with floor-tape the places where you should lay your mat when you enter the studio.
We will no longer be providing mats, blocks and straps for shared use by students throughout this time. Whilst our excellent team has been cleaning each mat after every use, we feel that an extra and welcome measure to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission would be to ask everyone to bring their own yoga mat as well as blocks and straps if needed.
We are giving everyone the option to leave the studio from the rear door immediately after class so that we have a one-way system in the studio. This will help to maintain safe social distancing. You will now be able to bring your valuables and shoes into the yoga studio with you during a class to do this. If you wish to do this, we ask that you bring a small (perhaps reusable plastic) bag to place your shoes and belongings into when it is placed next to your mat during class.
How will new teacher practices help lower the risk of coronavirus transmission?
Our teachers will no longer walk around the room as they teach and will stay at the front of the class throughout the whole session to ensure they maintain s safe distance from practitioners.
In addition, the teacher will no longer be making adjustments to individual clients during a class.
We will also be taking out the Kapalabhati breathing exercises from our classes as these may project more breath than normal breathing.
Proper breathing during a hot yoga class should be calm, steady and through the nose. If you need any specific help or advice in learning how to breathe properly during a class, please ask a teacher for this help.
Our teachers will also be wearing visors during classes for extra safety.
What changes are being made to the reception area to help lower the risk of coronavirus transmission?
We are making it mandatory for everyone to have their temperature taken and wash their hands with hand sanitizer gel on first entry to the building. This goes for everyone – customers, teachers and staff. The gel is over 70% alcohol and so helps to kill viruses.
If you have a high temperature we will not be able to allow you access to the studio.
You will notice that there are markings on the floor and on seating where people should stand and sit so that people are standing at a distance to one another. We ask that you keep to these spaces.
There may well be queues outside the studio as we regulate the number of people in the reception area at any one time. We ask for your patience while we limit the number of people in the reception at any one time.
What changes are being made to the sign-in process to help lower the risk of coronavirus transmission?
From now on, all classes must be pre-booked and we can no longer accept walk-in visits. This is to minimise the amount of time needed for everyone to sign into the studio and to congregate at the reception desk.
The studio will be cash-free and all transactions will have to be done online or with in-studio bank cards. The easiest way to make purchases at the studio is for customers to top up their Fierce Grace Muswell Hill online account, via the payment page of our website. This will make purchases of consumables quicker and easier for customers and our staff and will reduce the amount of time customers are in the reception area while payment is taken.
What is Fierce Grace Muswell Hill’s policy towards masks and face coverings?
We are strongly recommending that all students wear a face covering when at the studio, apart from when they are on their yoga mat. Safe distancing is easier to maintain whilst on the mat, but extra precaution is recommended whilst moving around the building.
All Fierce Grace Muswell Hill staff will be wearing face coverings or visors when around the studio, unless they are behind a perspex screen. Teachers will wear visors while teaching a class.
Will the studio's Lost Property policy be changed in light of the new Health and Safety regulations?
Unfortunately, we have decided to change our Lost Property policy. While we used to store and launder items for people that were left at the studio, we will now be disposing of all Lost Property items immediately. In order to protect staff we feel this is the best way of doing things.
If items of high value, such as jewellery, are found then we will keep these for a limited time in the hope they are claimed soon.
We apologise if any inconvenience is caused by this and urge everyone to check they have everything they came with before leaving the building.
Will the changing rooms and showers be open to everyone when the studio opens?
We do ask that people come ready changed for their class if at all possible. Our toilets are of course available for use. Our changing rooms and showers are open and available for use though we do ask that you only use them if you have to.
We offer the option for people to leave the yoga studio immediately after class through the back door of the studio, so you would not return to the reception after a class.
What is the Fierce Grace Muswell Hill policy on people attending with coronavirus as well as coughs and colds during this time?
We must insist that anyone with coronavirus symptoms does not come to the studio at this time.
We have added to our class booking process (and in our Terms and Conditions) a declaration which will allow all members to confirm their wellness before taking each class at Fierce Grace Muswell Hill.
You agree that by booking into a class at Fierce Grace Muswell Hill and entering our premises that you:
- are not suffering from any coronavirus symptoms and have not had any symptoms within the previous 7 days
- have not (as far as you are aware) been in close contact* with anyone with coronavirus symptoms within the previous 14 days
- undertake to declare immediately any onset of symptoms or close contact* with anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus
* The UK Government define ‘close contact’ as having been face to face and within 1 metre of an infected person for at least one minute OR having been within 2 metres of an infected person for at least 15 minutes anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic and up to 7 days from the onset of symptoms.
In addition we ask that people with any cold or flu symptoms that they think are not Covid do not come to the studio as we feel it is important that everyone should feel safe while at the studio.
If somebody should contact the studio to say that they have decided at very short notice that they cannot get to a pre-booked class because of their fears of having Covid symptoms, then we will make sure that they will not be charged for this absence.
If a member has to self-isolate, we will suspend or extend your membership free of charge while you are doing this.
What is Fierce Grace Muswell Hill’s policy on dealing with contact tracing and discovering a customer or staff member was on site with coronavirus?
By attending any class at Fierce Grace Muswell Hill, members are declaring that they understand and agree that members must not attend Fierce Grace Muswell Hill if they are unwell, have symptoms of Covid-19, have come into close contact* with a person diagnosed with Covid-19 or have been advised by the NHS to self-isolate.
* The UK Government defines ‘close contact’ as having been face to face and within 1 metre of an infected person for at least one minute OR having been within 2 metres of an infected person for at least 15 minutes anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic and up to 7 days from the onset of symptoms.
Staff have been informed that they must not attend work if they have symptoms of Covid-19 (cough, fever, loss of sense of smell/taste, shortness of breath and fatigue), suspect they may have been infected with Covid-19 or have been in close contact* with another person diagnosed with Covid-19.
Any member who is observed to be reasonably displaying symptoms (for example, persistent dry coughing) will be politely asked to leave the building.
If we are informed that a someone later diagnosed with Covid was at the studio, then all staff, teachers and members present at the relevant time will be notified in compliance with NHS test-and-trace guidelines.