We welcome the Government’s guidance updated on 10 July 2020 on the phased return of sport and recreation. The guidance is for the public, providers of outdoor sport facilities, elite athletes, personal trainers and coaches on the phased return of sport and recreation.
People can go outside more than once a day for exercise in groups of up to six people, as long as people from different households observe social distancing by keeping two metres apart, wherever possible.
Where it’s not possible, they should stay at least one metre apart and use appropriate mitigations, such as wearing face masks, facing in the same direction and not shouting.
It’s also possible for two households to meet and exercise together, outside or in a private home, whatever their size, while observing social distancing guidelines for different households.
Done responsibly and safely, this is good news for grassroots sport and physical activity.
It enables people to get together in small groups to do things like walking and cycling, take part in fitness or conditioning sessions with friends or team mates, including with a personal trainer or coach, and allows people who need someone with them when they have a 1-2-1 session to access activity, for example someone who might need a carer.
All of this must be done safely and responsibly, and if someone is planning to exercise or take part in some activity in a small group, they should familiarise themselves with all the government guidance around social distancing and hygiene.
When exercising in the countryside remember to follow the countryside code and act responsibly.
Facilities and Team Sports
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.
Facilities that can open include basketball and tennis courts, playing spaces like golf courses (public and private), playing fields, water sports, outdoor gyms and playgrounds.
From Saturday 11 July, outdoor pools reopened, while from Saturday 25 July, indoor facilities such as gyms, leisure centres and pools will also be allowed to reopen, provided operators follow government guidelines.
Each venue, including council-owned sports facilities, should make their own decisions about when their facilities are ready. Check in advance if the facilities you want to use have reopened.
If possible, hand sanitise at intervals if your sport or recreation means you have to touch communal surfaces. Once you are home remember to wash your hands. Try to avoid using shared equipment such as racquets and bats.
If catering facilities are open at the venue (for takeaway items) respect social distancing whilst queuing for food and drink. Do not share food items, cups, plates or eating utensils with anyone else.
Team sports can also restart when each sport’s national governing body has published a government-approved action plan and related guidance on playing safely.
Please note, participants and activity providers should be aware of local restrictions as these may differ from national guidance.
For more information about the latest government guidance and what that means for your facility, click on the link below: