The current rules
The government's roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions is made up of four steps, with Step 2 – which began on 12 April – now in force.
This means that all outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, sports pitches, outdoor skateparks and outdoor swimming pools can reopen.
Outdoor gatherings of six people, under the 'rule of six', or two households, can take place. Organised outdoor sport and physical activity for adults and children can return and are exempt from legal gathering limits.
Informal sport and physical activity isn’t covered by any exemptions, and will have to follow the legal gathering limits for outdoors.
In addition to this, indoor facilities such as leisure centres, gyms and indoor swimming pools can now open for adult individual/household only activities – no group sessions are allowed.
Full information on the current rules, a definition of organised outdoor sport and physical activity, and what the next steps in the government's roadmap mean for sport and activity, are on our frequently asked questions page below.
You can also find out about the exemptions for disabled people, education, coach education and elite sport.
Helping people back into activity
With outdoor sport now allowed to reopen, we’ve compiled advice and ideas based on research we've been doing on people's attitudes, intentions and feelings on getting back out there.
These are the five key things people have told us will help them return to play.
Return to Play funds
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.
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 eased.
We've compiled guidance on who can get active, how you can engage specific audiences, how to ensure your facilities remain accessible when they reopen, and more.
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 when restrictions are eased, what might hold people back, and how activity providers can help encourage a return.
Club Matters has guidance to help sports clubs prepare for reopening, how to develop a risk register, tips to enforce social distancing, and more.
Click below to access the toolkit, and scroll down here for more guidance, including how to help your volunteers prepare, and hygiene tips.
Volunteers have a vital role to play as sport and physical activity providers plan for a 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.
All sport and physical activity providers have had to prepare for the return to play, so we’ve spoken to a variety of types and sizes of organisation.
We asked them how they and their users have fared during the pandemic, what they’ve learned and how they’ve prepared for reopening. We’ll continue to add to this new return to play section of our case studies page as we speak to more providers.
Advice and guidance to help sport and physical activity facilities keep their environment safe for everyone, plus downloadable posters and stickers.
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.
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.
The legal bit
The guidance, tools and resources provided in this support hub ("Guidance") is provided solely for general information. Sport England is not your adviser and any reliance you may place on this general information is entirely at your own risk.Read more
Care has been taken over the accuracy of the content of the Guidance, but Sport England cannot guarantee that such information is up to date or reflects any or all relevant legal requirements.
Sport England makes no claim or representation regarding, and accepts no responsibility for, the quality, content, nature, reliability or safety of third party websites or services accessible by hyperlink (“Links”) from any webpage on the Sport England website https://www.sportengland.org/ or Club Matters website https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/, including, for the avoidance of doubt, any Guidance, (“Websites”) or third party websites linking to the Website.
Such linked websites are not under Sport England’s control. Sport England is not responsible for the content of any such linked websites and/or any link contained in a linked website, or any review, changes or updates to such websites. Sport England provides these Links to you only as a convenience and/or for educational purposes, and the inclusion of any Link does not imply any affiliation, endorsement, or adoption by Sport England of the website or any information contained in it. When leaving the Websites, you should be aware that Sport England’s Terms and Conditions no longer apply, and, therefore, you should review the applicable terms and policies, including privacy and data gathering practices, of any third party website.
The information contained in this support hub is general and not specific and therefore may not be suitable for you in any way. You should ensure that you obtain professional specialist technical and legal advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of information contained in any of the Guidance.