Sport England and UKactive have responded positively to the Prime Ministers proposed roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England, released on 22nd February.
Chief executive of Sport England, Tim Hollingsworth said: “The Prime Minister’s roadmap for the return of sport and physical activity is very welcome and a clear recognition of how important it is to the nation’s physical and mental health,”
“The prioritisation of the reopening of schools will give children and young people important opportunities to take part in and feel the benefit of PE and school sport and as the weather improves, the return of outdoor sports for all ages at the end of March is a really positive step.”
Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said “Crucially, we welcome the news that gyms, pools and leisure centres feature in the earliest stage possible for reopening indoor venues, providing vital clarity for thousands of our members and a long-awaited boost for millions of their customers.
“The decision to reopen fitness and leisure facilities in stage two underlines the role they play in our nation’s social fabric and in supporting the NHS, providing an essential service for the mental and physical health of millions.”
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Below is the roadmap as it relates to sport & physical activity:
Step 1 will start with schools on 8 March:
- Pupils and students in all schools and Further Education settings will return to face to-face education from 8 March. Wraparound childcare (including childminders) andother children’s activities can restart from 8 March.
- Stay at Home restriction will continue but it will be amended so that people can leave home for recreation as well as exercise outdoors – with their own household, support or childcare bubble, or with one person from another household. Social distancing and other safe behaviours should be followed.
- From 29 March people will be able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. This will apply in all outdoor settings, including private gardens.
- The Government will also allow outdoor sports facilities to reopen, broadening the options for outdoor exercise and recreation. These facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, and swimming pools, can be used by people in line with the wider social contact limits.
- Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can also restart and will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.
Step 2 will take place no earlier than 12 April:
- Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas will reopen ( not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3).
Step 3 will take place no earlier than 17 May, and at least five weeks after Step 2
- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes will reopen
- Some large events, including sports events. Controlled indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted, as will outdoor events with a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower.
- The Government will also make a special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.
Step 4 will take place no earlier than 21 June:
- Remove all legal limits on social contact