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Covid advice archive

Full information on the current rules and what they mean for sport and activity are on Sport Engand’s Return to Play page.


December 2021 –  Plan B

We’re now under measures that are part of government’s ‘Plan B‘ for coronavirus restrictions.

This means that:

  • There are no set restrictions on how many people can take part in sport and physical activity, indoors and outdoors
  • All forms of activities can take place without set restrictions. We advise you to refer to your national governing bodies’ (NGB’s) guidance where relevant
  • All sports facilities can open, including ancillary facilities. There are no indoor capacity limits, however, venues may put in place some restrictions and guidance for enclosed areas
  • Organised sport participation events such as (but not limited to) races, rides and organised walks can take place outdoors with no capacity caps for participants or spectators
  • Government guidance for sport and physical activity provides advice on how to reduce transmission when you’re exercising
  • There are some exemptions for face coverings relating to sport and physical activity
  • We’re working with government to understand the changes relating to Plan B for the introduction of mandatory certification for certain businesses and events, and will update these FAQs in due course.

Plus:

  • Face masks compulsory in most public indoor venues, other than hospitality
  • NHS Covid Pass to be mandatory in specific settings, using a negative test or full vaccination via the NHS Covid Pass
  • Vaccines and testing remain our best lines of defence
  • People asked to work from home if they can

COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021
The stages for lifting restrictions were done in five-week steps.

Step 4 – June 21. 

  • Legal limits remove
  • There are no restrictions on how many people can take part in sport and physical activity, indoors and outdoors.
  • All forms of physical activity and sport can take place without set restrictions. We strongly advise you to refer to your national governing body’s (NGB’s) guidance where relevant
  • All sports facilities can open, including support/additional facilities. There are no indoor capacity limits, however, venues may wish to put in place some restrictions and guidance for enclosed areas.
  • Organised sport participation events such as (but not limited to) races, rides and organised walks can take place outdoors with no capacity caps for participants or spectators.
  • Government guidance for sport and physical activity will provide advice on how to reduce transmission when you’re exercising.

Step 3 – May 17. 

  • Meet up to 30 people indoors
  • Indoor group sport and exercise classes
  • Events, with limits

Organised indoor sports

  • Organised indoor adult and children sport and physical activity can return (including exercises classes) subject to sport-specific guidance.
  • For organised indoor sport and physical activity, there’s no limit on group numbers so long as people adhere to capacity restrictions on indoor facilities.
  • Other indoor gatherings remain restricted to six people (the ‘rule of six’) or two households.

Organised outdoor sports

  • Organised outdoor sport and physical activity can take place in any numbers, subject to sport-specific guidance.
  • Organised sport and physical activity includes: group activities (e.g. exercises classes, walking groups etc), team sports (following approved guidance), other organised sports (e.g. tennis, golf etc), organised sport participation events (e.g. running and cycling events) and organised contact sports (following approved guidance).
  • Up to 30 people can meet outdoors.

Facilities

  • All sports facilities can open. This includes facilities which can be used for sport but are primarily used for leisure (such as trampoline parks, bowling alleys and ice rinks) or which provide physical activity which is not a recognised sport (such as airsoft venues).
  • Changing rooms can open, but participants should be encouraged to avoid or minimise use where possible.

Step 2 – April 12. 

  • Indoor leisure for individuals and households.
  • Indoor activities for children
  • Community, retail and personal care reopens

Organised outdoor sports

  • Outdoor facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, and swimming pools, can be used by people in line with the wider social contact limits (rule of 6 or two households).
  • Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can also restart and will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.
  • Organised outdoor sport and activity includes organisation outdoor group activities (e.g. outdoor exercise classes, group cycle rides, walking groups etc.), outdoor team sports (including adapted versions for ‘higher risk’ team sports), other organised outdoor sports (such as, but not limited to, tennis, golf, horse riding, water sports), organised sport participation events (road races, running and cycling events, triathlons etc.).

Spectators

  • Spectators are not allowed at any grassroot sport and physical activity sessions or events. This does not apply to carers for disabled people, or adults needed to supervise under-18s in a safeguarding role. Where it‘s necessary for them to be present, supervising adults should not mix with others from outside their household or support bubble.

Informal sport and physical activity

  • Informal sport and physical activity is not covered by any exemptions, and will have to follow the legal gathering limits for outdoors: the ‘rule of six’ or two households.

Activity for disabled people

  • Disabled people can take part in organised outdoor and indoor sport without being subject to social contact limits.

Indoor Facilities

  • Indoor leisure and sports facilities (including gyms and swimming pools) will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble.
  • Indoor facilities includes, but is not limited to, gym and leisure centres, indoor sports courts and pitches, swimming pools, fitness studios and multi-sport facilities (such as climbing walls, driving ranges, archery venues, indoor riding centres, and indoor skate parks).
  • Children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity, including sport, regardless of circumstance. Organised indoor children’s sport and physical activity must be formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body, company or charity and follow sport-specific guidance where appropriate.
  • Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five) can restart indoors.

Step 1b – March 29. 

  • The ‘stay at home’ rule ends.
  • ‘Rule of 6’ returns. Outdoor gatherings of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football, will also return
  • Outdoor swimming pools and lidos plus open water venues will be allowed to open for both children and adults and for all activity.
  • People should continue to work from home where they can
  • Indoor facilities should remain closed unless providing organised sport for: educational purposes, as part of wraparound childcare, disabled people or elite sport
  • Indoor facilities including changing rooms cannot open, although toilet facilities can be accessed. Indoor facilities can be used for through access (following Covid guidelines). Wherever possible, people should come ready to play sports and exercise.

Step 1a – March 8. 

  • Children and students return safely to face-to-face education
  • Childcare and children’s supervised activities can resume
  • People can leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household, support bubble or one other person

Indoor Leisure and Organised Indoor Physical Activity and Sport

  • Indoor gyms and sports facilities will be required to close.

Outdoor Physical Activity and Sport

  • Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close.
  • Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is permitted to continue under the latest guidance.
  • People may continue to exercise alone, with one other person, or with their household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and should not involve travel outside of your local area. People should maintain social distancing.

U18s and Disabled People

  • Organised outdoor sport for disabled people will be permitted, but the exemption for U18s no longer applies.

Elite Sport

  • Elite sport may continue and facilities may remain open for elite sports person to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities).

Jan 6, 2021 – Lockdown

South Yorkshire (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield) and West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield)
National Lockdown from Jan 6, 2021

  • You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You are allowed to exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You are allowed to exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.

Dec 2, 2021 – Alert Levels

Covid Alert Levels
South Yorkshire (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield): Tier 3 – Very high

West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield): Tier 3 – Very high


Nov 5, 2020 – Lockdown

South Yorkshire (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield):
Lockdown, expected to last until Dec 2

West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield):
Lockdown, expected to last until Dec 2


Oct 21, 2020 – Alert Levels

Covid Alert Levels
South Yorkshire (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield): Tier 3 – Very high

West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield): Tier 2 – High


24 Sep 2020 – 
The following will apply to organised indoor sports:

  • Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the “rule of six”
  • Organised indoor sports for under 18s and for disabled people are both exempt from this change
  • The operation of indoor facilities will continue to be based on principals of safe operation

Outdoor Sports and Physical Activity Events

  • Sports that have confirmed return-to-play protocols may continue in line with agreed safety and security measures
  • Formally organised outdoor sports and physical activity events that are adherent to agreed covid-19 secure plans can also continue

Gyms and Fitness Classes

  • Gyms and indoor fitness classes are permitted to continue for groups of over 6 people, but there should be no interaction between individual groups of six
  • People should not attend these venues socially in groups of more than six, in line with wider government guidance

General Guidance for Facilities and Venues

  • Hospitality facilities within community sport facilities and venues will be subject to enhanced guidance around the selling of food and drink.
  • This includes restrictions on opening hours, display of NHS QR code posters to support contact tracing, wearing of face coverings for staff and customers, and enforcement of table service
  • From 28 September, all businesses and organisations managing premises will be subject to stricter rules and enforcement to ensure their facilities are covid secure. This includes making a wider range of businesses subject to Covid-19 Secure requirements in law which can carry fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches
  • Clubhouse bars and restaurants have been permitted to open since July, in acccordance with detailed guidance available here
  • Full information on changes in guidance for businesses and organisations can be found here

25 July 2020

  • Indoor facilities, including gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be able to reopen, so long as operators follow government guidance
  • Any indoor facility planning to reopen will need to ensure preparations are complete to allow for safe operation. Sport England and ukactive have both produced guidance and resources to support safe return to play
  • Government have also issued detailed guidance for providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities, available from www.gov.uk
  • Team sports will be able to recommence following the publication of government-approved sport-specific action plans from the relevant National Governing Body
  • General advice around the resumption of recreational team sport is available from www.gov.uk, but any return to play will first require the approval of NGB action plans

11 July 2020

  • Outdoor swimming pools can re-open. This replaces previous guidance that required outdoor swimming pools to remain closed
  • Cricket will be permitted to resume, following the adoption of the ECB’s plans and guidance for the game’s safe return

4 July 2020

Travelling for Physical Activity

  • Where possible, people should use the nearest appropriate local venues to reduce pressure on transport infrastructure
  • Travel to outdoor open spaces is permitted irrespective of distance
  • Travel should be restricted to people within your own household, unless involving social distancing – for example, by cycling
  • All other options should be considered before using public transport

Equipment

  • Facility managers should make decisions on whether or not to hire out equipment – any hiring of equipment or use of shared equipment should involve sensible precautions and clearning in between users
  • It is recommended that the sharing of equipment is limited, and that use of any shared equipment should be followed by practising of strict hand hygiene

27 July, 2020

People can go outside more providing they observe social distancing,Many facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities can reopen, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely.


26 June, 2020

Sport England produced new Return to Play resources to support the sector’s readiness and preparations for wider resumption. The guidance includes:

  • Inclusion and Accessibility guidelines
  • Information on legal risks and Duty of Care responsibilities associated with resumption of physical activity
  • Continuing research into public attitudes to sport and exercise related to covid-19

The full guidance is available at www.sportengland.org/return-play


1 June, 2020

  • People can now go outside more than once a day for exercise in groups of up to six people
  • People from different households should continue to observe social distancing by keeping two metres apart
  • Anyone planning to take part in sport or exercise as part of a small group should familiarise themselves with all government guidance around social distancing and hygiene
  • All previous guidelines around the reopening of facilities and the resumption of outdoor sport and physical activity remain the same

13 May, 2020 – 

  • Outdoor sport and physical activity facilities can reopen so long as those repsonsible for them feel able to do so, can do so safely, and operate in line with public health guidance
  • Outdoor gyms, playgrounds and outdoor swimming pools must remain closed

20 March 2020 – Lockdown

 

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