Skip to content


This is no ordinary time, and we're all facing huge challenges. We're committed to being as supportive as we can to the sport and physical activity sector, and doing all we can to help people stay active in this new normal.

We've opened three funds focusing on a safe return to play and narrowing the inequalities gap in sport and physical activity. Find out more and see if the funds can help you.

Return to Play Fund

We know this is a hugely challenging time for the sport and physical activity sector as the country deals with the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Our two immediate priorities over this period are:

  • Supporting the sector: action to ensure it comes through this period in as strong a position as possible
  • Keeping the nation moving: doing everything we can to encourage people to stay active, wherever possible, which we think is now more important than ever.

Click on the links further down this page to find out more about this, including our funding support and Join the Movement campaign.

Latest government guidance

On Monday 23 November, the Prime Minister announced that all areas of England would return to a tiered system of coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions on Wednesday 2 December.

We’ll update this page to reflect what this means for sport and physical activity as soon as possible but the information below remains an accurate reflection what is and isn’t currently allowed.

The current situation

Until 2 December, every part of England remains under the same coronavirus restrictions.

The restrictions have many implications for sport and physical activity, but the main things to know are:


People can go outdoors to be active as many times as they like, either on their own, with their household or support bubble, or on their own with one person from another household while keeping two metres apart.

Children who are under school age if they're with a parent/carer, or people dependent on round-the-clock care, do not count towards the limit of two people from different households meeting outside.

Outdoor public places, such as parks, the countryside, beaches and public gardens can stay open, as can playgrounds.

All organised community outdoor sport is not permitted, meaning facilities including outdoor basketball and tennis courts, outdoor gyms and pools, golf courses, archery, driving and shooting ranges must also close.


Indoor sport and leisure facilities, such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery and shooting ranges, must close.

People cannot meet indoors with family or friends unless they’re part of their household or support bubble.


All children’s grassroots sport outside of school - both indoor and outdoor - must stop, but schools and nurseries will stay open and activity will be permitted within these settings during school hours, with playgrounds staying open.

Schools can work with external coaches, clubs and organisations for curricular activities where they're satisfied it's safe to do so during school hours.

Frequently asked questions

Return to play

We've compiled advice and guidance on how the sport and physical activity sector can prepare for, and successfully and safely return to play.

Our support includes the current government guidance, as well as advice for clubs, the professional workforce, volunteers and much more.

See the guidance

A man holding a football, with a graphic overlay on top
A mum and daughter getting active together.

Join the Movement

Our Join the Movement campaign is all about inspiring people to keep active during this time, pulling together trusted resources to help people do just that.

It's encouraging people to share their own ideas on social media.

Join the Movement

Activity levels research

We know how and if people are getting active during this time will of course change.

We're working with Savanta ComRes to understand the true picture throughout this period, and how people view getting and keeping active.

Read the latest findings

An overhead shot of a person running on a beach.
A man running in a park, with a graphical overlay of a pound sign on top

Funding, flexibility and innovation

A £220.5 million package of government and National Lottery funding has been developed to help the sector through this crisis, including a now open Return to Play Fund.

We've also introduced flexibility in managing our existing support to individuals and organisations, and put a call out to innovators for solutions to inequalities in activity levels worsened by coronavirus.

Find out more

What happens next?

We've worked with the government to help explain its guidance as national restrictions are reintroduced, and what it means for the sector both now and looking ahead.

You can also watch the latest webinar from our chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth, about the crisis and what it means for our upcoming new strategy.

Learn more about what's next

A squash racket on the floor of a squash court, with a graphical overlay of a question mark, on top.

Sign up to our newsletter

You can find out exactly how we'll look after your personal data, but rest assured we’ll only use it to make sure you receive our newsletter, to understand how you interact with our newsletter, and to provide administrative information about our newsletter.