Coronavirus (Covid-19) forced the temporary closure of all sporting facilities and placed strict limits on the ways people could keep or get active.
Most outdoor and indoor sport and physical activity facilities can now reopen if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely.
Indoor facilities such as gyms and pools can also reopen, provided operators follow government guidelines.
Team sports can restart when each sport's national governing body has published a government-approved action plan and related guidance on playing safely. This happened first with cricket, for example, which resumed from 11 July in line with the England and Wales Cricket Board's plans and guidance for the game's safe return.
Indoor facilities will need to prepare for reopening, so as the sport and physical activity sector gets ready for the continuing ‘return to play’, we’ve collated advice, guidance and resources below to help you.
While social gatherings of more than six people in England are banned, the government’s confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue, with one exception.
From 24 September, people aged 18 and over playing indoor team sports must adhere to the 'rule of six', which means playing in a group of no more than six people.
Sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue to use this guidance, while adhering to the 'rule of six' for indoor adult team sport.
This change does not apply to children aged under 18, and people can also continue to use leisure facilities, including gyms and pools - classes within these venues can continue as they are now. People should not go to these venues socially in groups of more than six.
Outdoor sports played formally and under government-approved guidance, plus
outdoor sport and physical activity events following event-organiser guidance, can continue.
That's because these sports and activities have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19, and because these venues are classed as Covid-secure given the measures they’ve introduced. The importance of sport and physical activity to people’s physical health and mental wellbeing has also been recognised by the government.
With advice likely to evolve as restrictions change, we'll monitor and update our guidance to ensure it's in line with the what the government is advising and we'll continue to listen to providers when they tell us what resources will help most.
Current government guidance
The government's compiled detailed guidance on reopening outdoor and indoor sports facilities; a framework for the return of team sports; keeping facilities and equipment clean; keeping staff and customers safe; what to do about restaurants, changing rooms and car parks, and more.
Frequently asked questions
With indoor sport and physical activity facilities now able to reopen, and news on the return of team sports, we've compiled answers to some of the most common questions.
Inclusion and accessibility
It's critical that the people who've been impacted the most by the lockdown 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 are and 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 once 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 now lockdown restrictions are being eased further.
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.
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 and how often people can go out, 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.
Can't find what you need?
If you've seen any great examples of help and advice for the sector, or can't find what you're looking for here, please let us know and we might include it.
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
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