Latest Government Guidance

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As of 2 December, England returned to a revised tiered system of Covid-19 restrictions from the period of national lockdown during November.

This page outlines the key aspects of the system with regards to sport and physical activity and provides information on what activity can take place within each tier.

Most sports and leisure facilities, gyms, dance studios, courts and pitches can open across all tiers. However, indoor skating rinks must close in tier 3 areas. The types of activity which can take place within these venues and facilities is dependent on the tier an area is in and whether activity is taking place indoors or outdoors. Find out which tier you are in here.

Community centres, places of worship and other public buildings can also reopen. Any sport or physical activity taking place in these venues should follow the guidance below.

'Organised sport' refers to sport which is formally organised by a national governing body, club, registered instructor/coach, business or charity. The organiser must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with Covid-19 secure guidance and activity should only take place where the relevant governing body has published appropriate guidance explaining how people can participate safely (which for team sports and contact combat sports must be approved by DCMS).

Outdoors

Organised outdoor sport, including team sport, exercise classes and other outdoor physical activity, is exempt from legal gathering limits across all tiers and can take place with any number of participants. This is provided activity takes place in line with COVID-secure guidance.

In tier 3 areas, sports which involve high-risk elements (such as prolonged face proximity) may have to be modified to be played safely.

Indoors

Tier 1

Organised indoor team sport can take place in groups of up to 6 people, which don’t have to be from the same household or support bubble.

Other organised activities, such as exercise classes, can take place with larger numbers present provided separate groups of up to 6 people do not mix with other groups.

Tier 2

Organised indoor sport and physical activity can only take place where there is no mixing between households. Individuals from separate households can participate in a single indoor activity if they can stay separate and distinct from other households.

Tier 3

Individuals should not take part in indoor sport or physical activity with people from outside their household or support bubble. Members of a single household or support bubble can participate in group activity together. 1-on-1 activity between a coach/teacher and an individual or single household can take place. However, this should not take place within private houses.

Exemptions

There are exemptions to the limitations on organised indoor sport for people with disabilities, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can continue with any number of participants. These exemptions apply across all tiers.

Travel

In all tiers you can travel within your area to venues and facilities which are open or to access other areas for sport and recreations such as parks or the countryside.

The government advises against travel into or out of tier 3 areas, unless this is necessary to enable individual exercise. You should not travel into or out of a tier 3 area for participation in adult team sports.

Travel is permitted between all tiers where it is necessary to enable sport for disabled people, sport for educational purposes, or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s to take place.

Organised participation events

Organised outdoor sport and recreation participation events, such as races, can take place where they adhere to COVID-secure guidance.

For further information, please see the updated DCMS guidance for grassroots sport and physical activity.

The information above relates to England only. For information about the other Home Countries please see the relevant devolved administrations guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

View all the latest guidance from DCMS for the public, providers of outdoor sport facilities, elite athletes, personal trainers and coaches on the phased return of sport and recreation.

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.