How many people are allowed to participate in different types of activities?
Unless activities fall within one of four categories, then the cross-government guidance that people should gather in groups of no larger than six people from different households, or two households, adhering to social distancing, remains.Read more
- for team sports that have published their return to play guidance – largely limited to competition, but with some permissions for training. We’ve put together a list of recognised activities in England that we'd class as being team sports.
- organised participation events
- within gyms, leisure centres and pools
- groups of children which are permitted up to 15, plus an adult, as per Department for Education guidance.
The guidance on the return of outdoor sports and recreation covers personal training or coaching, stating that: "Personal training or coaching is permitted if outside and if people are able to follow social distancing guidelines and provided no more than six people from different households are gathering."
This is consistent with the cross-government position on groups of no larger than six.
Test and trace
What are the requirements for an organisation if somebody contracts coronavirus who's attended an event/session?
The opening up of the economy following the coronavirus outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace.Read more
You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your participants for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your organisation, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.
An organisation isn't required to do anything until NHS Test and Trace contact you for further details.
Gyms and indoor facilities
When can indoor facilities reopen?
Facilities such as gyms, leisure centres and pools can now reopen, as well as other indoor facilities like community halls, which can be used for sport as long as that venue follows the guidance set out for indoor sports facilities. These changes took effect from 25 July.Read more
Ice rinks and bowling alleys will be able to reopen from 15 August.
Do gyms/pools have to keep changing rooms and showers closed?
As the guidance says, facilities may reopen showers and changing rooms if they can do so in a safe way with thorough cleaning measures in place.
Will people be required to wear face masks/gloves in gyms?
No, this is optional.
Is there a limit on class numbers? How will people socially distance?
No, there's no limit, but it's up to gyms to ensure they can enable social distancing in classes, before and afterwards, as outlined in the guidance.
Will people be required to leave their details at gyms, as with pubs and restaurants?
Yes. All visits to these facilities will be recorded for track and trace purposes.
How will gyms prevent the spread of Covid-19 given the amount of sweat and aerosol droplets?
The government has published comprehensive guidance that sets out clear safety measures to mitigate risks. It's up to operators to ensure their facility is equipped to open safely in line with the guidance.
What about the high turnover of people using gym equipment?
That will be up to gyms to decide. However, the guidance is clear that frequent cleaning of equipment has to happen.Read more
Gyms should also provide spray, cloths and instructions if they're asking users to wipe down machines after use, for example.
Can indoor sports include close-contact sports?
For close-contact sports specifically, the government is advising that these are not resumed if social distancing and government guidance cannot be followed.
This is due to the increased risks of transmission of Covid-19, because of the proximity of participants and contact between them.Read more
However, activities that follow government guidelines can go ahead.
Please contact the relevant national governing body, as they'll often provide specific guidance on how their sport can be played or adapted to enable social distancing and adherence to the government guidelines.
Will leisure centre cafes be allowed to reopen?
Yes, in line with separate guidance on hospitality venues.
Will there be a limit on numbers for indoor pools?
There's an advised limit on area per person in a pool. It will be up to pools to assess how many people they can safely accommodate at one time.
Do I need to maintain social distancing if I’m working with a disabled person who needs support?
Social distancing should be maintained where possible, but in some circumstances people will need physical assistance to be active.Read more
This may require support from someone outside of their household or support person.
It’s important that you discuss this with the person to consider their needs and preferences.
CIMSPA has published further guidance on indoor training and group exercise in England.
Team and other recreational sport
Does my sport/activity need approval from government before we can return?
Some team sports wanting to return to play are required to submit their guidance to government for review, but not all.Read more
- Team sports – for competition
- Team sports wanting to return to competition are required to submit their guidance and plans to government for review, which follows their ‘return to recreational team sport framework’
- The recognised NGB of that sport should provide clear guidance on how their sport meets the requirements of this framework.
- The sports to have done so, and had their guidance approved, can be seen at the bottom of this page.
- Team sports – back to activity while meeting current government guidance
- Team sports wanting to return to activity that will meet current government guidance, including social distancing, do not need approval from government
- The recognised NGB of that sport should provide clear guidance on how their sport can return to activity my meeting current government guidance.
- Individual sports
- Individual sports are not required to submit their plans for government review
- The recognised NGB of that sport should provide clear guidance on how their sport can return by meeting current government guidance.
- Team sports – for competition
Can people get closer than 2m for non-professional sport and exercise purposes?
The government guidance sets the overarching framework from which team sports will need to work. Each sport will then have their specific guidance cleared through Public Health England (PHE)/the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).Read more
People will only be able to get closer than 2m for competitive purposes subject to cleared guidance for the respective sport.
What's the earliest date grassroots sport could come back/how long will it take for the government to approve sports' action plans?
Cricket was approved to resume from 11 July. Other team sports can resume when their guidance has been finalised and approved by PHE and the HSE and the sports then declare themselves ready to go.
Can supporters turn up to a grassroots match?
Yes, and it will be up to venues to determine how many spectators are permitted while still ensuring everyone can remain socially distanced.Read more
Spectators must not be in groups of more than six from different households within the wider space, as per public health guidance.
Can teams travel together in a minibus to away matches?
If they cannot drive individually, walk or cycle, then yes, but only if they can do so in a way that's Covid-secure, i.e. they must consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle – this may mean using more than one coach or minibus, for example.
What about parkruns/triathlons?
Participation events/competitions such as parkruns and triathlons will be able to take place as long as the events/venues are Covid-secure and operate within government guidance.
What are the changing room rules?
Where possible, players must arrive changed and shower at home. Use of changing and shower facilities must follow government advice on the use of indoor facilities when available.