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Return to play

There's a lot for sport and physical activity providers to consider as restrictions ease. We've got guidance on a range of topics to help you plan for the return to play.

Current rules and guidance

The government's roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions is made up of four steps, with Step 4 – which began on 19 July – now in force.

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 body’s (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 will provide advice on how to reduce transmission when you're exercising.

Full information on the current rules and what they mean for sport and activity, are on our frequently asked questions (FAQs) page below.

You can also find out about the exemptions for elite sport, as well as information about facilities, travel and test and trace.

Your questions answered

Read the government's guidance

We've also created a hub to collate guidance published by national governing bodies, sport providers and the government, making it easier for you to find the latest information for a variety of sports and activities.

See the sport-specific guidance

Funding and advice

We've opened two 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.

In addition to this, with all facilities and activities now allowed to return, we’ve compiled five key things people have told us will help them return to play.

A man working out on a treadmill.

Inclusion and accessibility

It's critical that the people who've been impacted the most by the nationwide restrictions are supported to get active as restrictions are removed.

We've compiled guidance on who can get active, how you can engage specific audiences, how to ensure your facilities remain accessible now they're allowed to reopen, and more.

See our guidance

Latest research

We've collated new research on people's current attitudes to sport and physical activity.

It looks at the likelihood of people returning to their activity of choice now restrictions have been removed, what might hold people back, and how activity providers can help encourage a return.

See our research

A women enjoys a casual game of tennis in the park

Legal support

Legal issues arising from coronavirus need to be taken into account by sport and physical activity providers in order to safely return to play.

This guidance note has been produced with Sheridans Sports Group to give providers, be they clubs, governing bodies, community groups or regional associations, advice on what issues need considering and how to tackle them.

We've also produced a second document, specifically on the issues arising from vaccinations and whether providers can stipulate participants must have been vaccinated.

Clubs toolkit

Club Matters has guidance to help sports clubs reopen, how to develop a risk register, tips to enforce social distancing should they wish to, and more.

Guidance for clubs on reopening

Support for the professional workforce

We've compiled support and guidance for people either employed or self-employed who work full-time or part-time in sport and physical activity - known as the professional workforce.

It includes advice on planning for the safe reopening of facilities and support from the government.

We'll add more useful resources as they become available, including training opportunities to help you to reopen or return to activity.

A group of volunteers talking to each other on a playing field.

Volunteering

Volunteers have a vital role to play as sport and physical activity providers return.

So what should you be thinking about when it comes to your volunteers returning safely and well-prepared? We've answered some of the main questions.

Read our volunteering guidance

Case studies

All sport and physical activity providers have had to prepare for the return to play, so we spoke to a variety of types and sizes of organisation.

We asked them how they and their users have fared during the pandemic, what they learned and how they prepared for reopening.

Read the case studies

Hygiene guidance

Advice and guidance to help sport and physical activity facilities keep their environment safe for everyone, plus downloadable posters and stickers.

Hygiene advice and guidance

Other support and guidance

To help people, projects and organisations through this crisis, we've pulled together advice and resources from us and our partners.

These resources share best practice and have clear actions we hope will help you to work through this crisis, help to keep the nation active and try to plan for the future.

Tools and advice to help you now

1. Business advice

Whether you're a community club, a local authority or the chair of a large organisation, we've got guidance to help you deal with the coronavirus crisis.

2. Connecting with and supporting your community

With guidance and best practice tips from Twitter and YouTube, as well as our own campaign assets, you'll be able to keep in touch with your community and help to keep the nation active.

3. Maintaining facilities

With confusion over what qualifies as essential maintenance for facilities, we're working with trusted partners to help you understand how to maintain facilities appropriately during this time.

4. How to move your activity sessions online

With restrictions on what can open, many are turning to the internet to help them get active - we've got free advice on how to live stream exercise classes.

Tools to help you now

Prepare and adapt for the future

1. Understand the effect on activity levels

What impact is the coronavirus crisis having on people's activity habits and motivations? We've commissioned weekly surveys to help you understand just that.

2. Develop your skills

The future is still uncertain, but we've collated advice from experts on how to develop your skill-set to help cope with whatever the future might bring.

3. Getting ready for re-start

As restrictions begin to lift and organisations begin to start thinking about starting up activity again, we're providing guidance on how to go about doing it.

4. Local authorities and service providers

We’ve heard from local authorities and leisure providers the need for additional support and we wish to proactively offer specialist consultancy to help. 

Prepare and adapt

In addition to the advice and guidance we've collated above, our trusted partners are also providing news and assistance to their members.

Below you'll find links to the latest information and updates curated by our partners.

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