Latest Government Guidance

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On Sunday 10 May, the Prime Minister announced that lockdown restrictions would be eased in England in relation to physical activity and that some outdoor activity areas would be allowed to re-open from Wednesday 13 May.

We continue to work with our members, government and sector stakeholders to understand how these changes will take effect.

DCMS has issued the following update:

Key messages

  • We are increasing people’s access to local, outdoor physical activity for the purpose of wellbeing. 
  • This includes outdoors sports courts and facilities. 
  • People will only be able to use these facilities with people from their own households though or by themselves or, as long as they stay 2 metres apart, with one other person from outside their household. 
  • You can only exercise in groups of no more than two, unless you are exclusively with members of your household. 
  • This means that you cannot have five people from one household plus one person from outside the household playing sport together. But you can have two people, from two different households, as long as they are staying two metres apart.
  • It is for individual facilities and organisations to develop their own guidance on reopening, to best fit their own situation, in line with the Government's advice.

 

Guidance for the public

You can only exercise alone, with members of your household, or with 1 other person from outside your household while keeping 2 metres apart at all times.

For example, this means that you cannot have 5 people from 1 household plus 1 person from outside the household playing sport together. But you can have 2 people, from 2 different households, as long as they are staying a minimum of 2 metres apart.

The full DCMS guidance can be found here and offers advice on:

  • What government are doing
  • What has changed
  • Travelling for Physical Activity
  • Clincally vulnerable people
  • If you have children with you
  • Using sports facilities
  • Individual sports

 

Guidance for personal trainers and coaches

If you are a personal trainer/coach you can now work with clients outdoors, providing you are alone and only meeting with 1 person from outside of your household, outdoors, and you are staying a minimum of 2 metres apart.

You can meet with different clients in a single day as long as it is only via one-to-one sessions and you are maintaining social distancing.

You should also enforce strong hygiene measures. This might be cleaning any equipment rigorously in line with wider guidance on hygiene, for example by using antibacterial spray and washing hands thoroughly before and after use.

 

Guidance for providers of outdoors facilities

Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted to reopen from Wednesday 13 May 2020, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely.

This includes basketball and tennis courts, playing spaces like golf courses (public and private) and playing fields and water sports. However outdoor gyms, playgrounds and outdoor swimming pools will remain closed.

Each venue, including council-owned sports facilities, should make their own decisions about when their facilities are ready.

The full DCMS guidance can be found here and offers advice on:

  • Principles to help organisations prepare for a phased return to play
  • Reopening your outdoor sports facility
  • Keeping facilities and equipment clean
  • Keeping staff and customers safe
  • Restaurants, changing rooms and car parks

 

Elite sport return to training guidance

On Wednesday 13 May, government also announced guidance to help elite level sportsmen and women to return to training. 

Elite athletes and professional sportsmen and women can resume performance training under new guidance, in a significant step towards a safe resumption of live sport behind closed doors.

The guidance, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has been developed in close consultation with the Deputy Chief Medical Officers of England, Public Health England and medical representatives across Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports governing bodies.

It will help to ensure athletes can initially carry out individual performance training at an official elite training venue, under carefully controlled medical conditions, providing they keep two metres apart at all times from their teammates and other people outside their household.

All athletes and staff must also adhere to the existing social distancing guidelines travelling to and from, and during, training at this stage, and adhere to all other restrictions applying to the general population outside training.

The guidance follows the Government’s publication of its COVID-19 recovery strategy, as it takes forward the next phase of its response to the virus.

The full guidance can be found here.

 

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have also issued additional support on inland waterways and navigation.

Q&A on inland waterways and navigation

What water-based activities can I take part in?

  • All forms of water sports practiced on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed.
  • You may participate in water-based activities as an individual, household group, or as a pair of two people from different households who are socially distancing (i.e. you should keep 2 metres apart). For example, it would not be possible to form a ‘double’ canoe or kayak or rowing boat with someone from outside your household because it would be impossible when doing so to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • As longer trips outdoors generally are allowed from Wednesday 13 May, owners of both private and commercial boats can now make day visits to their moored boats in marinas and elsewhere to ensure they are properly maintained.
  • Non-essential travel on waterways by privately-owned boats (both powered and non-powered) may be resumed, subject to guidance permitting it by the relevant navigation authority and compliance with all licensing requirements.

Navigation authorities may apply a time-lag before leisure travel on their waterways can resume, to allow their teams to carry out essential safety inspections and maintenance to canal and river channels and structures. For example, for the Environment Agency, private boating may not recommence until June.

  • Commercial boating operations will remain closed though may resume when the hospitality sector is anticipating starting to re-open in July.

 

If angling is being permitted then am I also allowed to go canoeing/paddling?

  • Where individuals have either a licence with the navigation authority or a voluntary agreement with riparian landowners in place, then private canoeing/paddling for individuals within a household only is permitted, subject to being careful and staying away from other users and houseboats.

 

If travel generally no longer has to be essential, can I go to visit my private boat to sit on it and enjoy the sunshine?

  • People are permitted to travel to make day visits to their private boats in marinas and elsewhere to sit in them with their household only, subject to being careful and staying away from other users and houseboats in line with social distancing guidelines.

 

Can I now go and stay on my boat overnight or for a few days?

  • The guidance on staying at your primary residence still applies, so no overnight visits to private boats or for extended stays are permitted.

 

Can I go on my private boat with someone from a different household if we stay two metres apart?

  • On small private boats it would not be possible to be in the same boat with someone from outside of your household because it would be impossible when doing so to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • On larger private boats, where possible we recommend that you avoid sharing a boat with a person from a different household. If you do share a boat with someone outside of your household, then where possible, you should stay at least two metres apart – and it should only be with one other person. Cleaning protocols should be put in place to limit coronavirus transmission on boats. It is advised that touch points (e.g. handrails) should be particular areas of focus for increased cleaning. Frequent cleaning of boats, using your usual cleaning products, is advised. As is removing waste and belongings from boats when finishing a day-trip.

 

If we are allowing people to visit their private boats, am I also allowed to travel on a private boat along waterways for leisure?

  • Private boating on waterways may be resumed at this stage only for day visits, subject to guidance and/or any restrictions put in place by the relevant navigation authority.  Overnight stays are not permitted.
  • Navigation authorities may apply a time-lag before private leisure travel on their waterways can resume, to allow their teams to carry out essential safety inspections and maintenance to canal and river channels and structures.  For example, for the Environment Agency, private boating may not recommence until June.

 

Will marinas re-open to allow people to visit their boats and carry out essential maintenance?

  • Marinas may re-open to allow people to visit their boats to carry out maintenance, ensuring appropriate measures are in place to follow social distancing guidelines.

 

Am I allowed to walk around marinas, as well as access my boat to sit on?

  • This is primarily a matter for the marina operators to decide, but if it can be done safely following social distancing guidelines then it should be possible.

 

Am I allowed to remove my boat from the marina for private boating?

  • This is primarily a matter for the marina operators to decide, but if it can be done safely following social distancing guidelines then it should be possible.
  • Navigation authorities may apply a time-lag before leisure travel on their waterways can resume, to allow their teams to carry out essential safety inspections and maintenance to canal and river channels and structures.  For example, for the Environment Agency, private boating may not recommence until June.

 

What steps should be taken to safely open a marina?

  • Refer to government guidance on outdoor sports facilities and maintaining social distancing.

 

Can members of the same household travel from their house to use a hire boat operation?

  • Commercial boating operations will remain closed though may resume when the hospitality sector is anticipating starting to re-open in July.

 

Are waterways businesses such as tour boats allowed to open now under this guidance, or in July onwards under hospitality?

  • Commercial boating operations will remain closed though may resume when the hospitality sector is anticipating starting to re-open in July.

 

Please be sure to follow DCMS, Sport England and the Sport and Recreation Alliance on twitter for the latest information. This section of our COVID-19 support will be regularly updated with the appropriate guidance.