Now we are ‘living with Covid’ it is all the more important that any new washroom facilities being planned take into account the importance of hygiene, especially those with a large footfall like leisure centres and gyms, where providing washrooms is vitally important for those using the facilities.
Washrooms play a key role, as they provide somewhere for people to wash their hands. While it’s also a good idea to provide additional hand sanitiser or handwashing stations, people should also be able to wash their hands in the washrooms. Managers should ensure that both staff and customers are encouraged to wash their hands regularly and follow social distancing recommendations as much as possible.
Read on to find out some of the ways in which you can design a COVID-safe washroom experience in gyms, leisure centres, and other sporting facilities.
Limiting Contact with Washroom Facilities
Regular cleaning is necessary in washrooms, but hygiene can also be improved by limiting the amount of physical contact that is required with the fixtures in the washroom or changing room. For example, sensor toilet flushes, taps, and soap dispensers allow people to limit the amount of contact between their hands and washroom fixtures. With a wave of their hand or press of their foot, they can avoid touching anything unnecessarily.
If you are considering making permanent changes to your washroom facilities or installing a new washroom, considering these additions can help to improve efficiency and hygiene not just during the coronavirus outbreak but into the future too. However, with regular cleaning and clear guidelines, automatic technology isn’t always necessary.
Reducing Occupancy/Traffic in Washrooms
One of the temporary changes to make in order to create a safer washroom experience during this time may be to reduce occupancy and traffic in washrooms. This may involve reducing your overall number of customers entering your gym or leisure centre at any time. Introducing a booking system is one way to control the flow of traffic and ensure a level of capacity is maintained that allows social distancing.
Ventilation in Washrooms
Ventilation is important in all areas of your facility, including in the washrooms. It’s essential to run ventilation systems at all times and to open windows where necessary. Ventilation systems should have access to completely clean air at all times to provide the most benefit.
Prevent Direct Use of Drinking Fountains
Another thing to consider is drinking fountains if they are located in washrooms and changing rooms. It’s necessary to prevent direct mouth-to-tap contact with drinking fountains to prevent the spread of germs. Be sure to advise customers only to use drinking fountains to fill up water bottles and other receptacles instead.
Providing Guidance to Staff and Customers
Clear guidance for both staff and customers on hygiene and social distancing is a must. There are many ways you can ensure everyone has all of the guidance that they need, both for using your washrooms and for improving the experience throughout your establishment. Providing information to people before they arrive should be the first step. You can email your customers to let them know how things are operating in the washrooms and the rest of your gym or leisure centre. Clear signs outside and in your washrooms can remind people to wash their hands and keep their distance from others. Signage on the floor can also help with maintaining social distancing.
Protect Cleaners and Other Staff
Regular cleaning should be carried out for gym washrooms and leisure centre washrooms. Snap frames on walls or doors can be used to insert schedules so that you can easily keep track of who has cleaned each washroom and when it last took place. With more regular cleaning taking place, it’s even more important to protect your cleaning staff. Providing them with PPE will help them to protect themselves while they are cleaning and if they are performing other tasks too.
Design a safe washroom experience for your gym or leisure centre by increasing hygiene measures. Promote social distancing and limit the use of washrooms where possible so that customers use the spaces no more than necessary.