The aim of this page is to provide you with the latest information and guidance related to the Tier 3 Lockdown in Lancashire.

As of 16/10/2020 Lancashire is set to be placed under the Tier 3 Local Lockdown measures. This page will remain continuously updated to contain the latest advice on the restrictions placed on sport & physical activity in our County.

The guidance for Tier 3 (very high) is subject to change, depending on local and national government agreements.

Guidance on indoor sport

Sport and physical activity can be played as per the guidance under Tier 2:
  • Organised individual and team sport must be played by a single household or support bubble
  • Under-18s, disabled people and, if for educational purposes, over-18s, can play in any number
  • Exercise classes can also continue as per the rules under Tier 1, while informal sport can only be played indoors by a single household or support bubble
  • In Lancashire, gyms and leisure facilities can stay open

Guidance on outdoor sport

Sport and physical activity can be played as per the guidance under Tier 1:
  • Organised individual and team sports that have been through return to play protocols can continue while adhering to the ‘rule of six’ ', which means playing in a group of no more than six people. There are exemptions to this: under-18s, disabled people and, if for educational purposes, over-18s, can play in any number
  • National governing body-approved organised team sport, exercise classes and outdoor licensed physical activity and sport participation events can happen in any number provided they're in line with Covid-secure guidance
  • The ‘rule of six’ applies to informal sport

Guidance for leisure providers, gyms and clubs
Are indoor facilities allowed to open?
  • Facilities such as gyms, leisure centres and pools can now reopen, as well as other indoor facilities like community halls, which can be used for sport as long as that venue follows the guidance set out for indoor sports facilities. These changes took effect from 25 July.
  • Ice rinks and bowling alleys have been able to reopen since 15 August.
  • In very high coronavirus alert areas (Tier 3), indoor sports facilities, gyms, dance studies and fitness studios may have to close depending on local approaches to business closures.
  • In areas that have business closures around sport and activity, provision for under-18s and disabled people can continue.
Do gyms/pools have to keep changing rooms and showers closed?
  • Facilities may reopen showers and changing rooms if they can do so in a safe way with thorough cleaning measures in place.
Are people required to wear face masks/gloves in gyms?
  • No, this is optional. You don't have to wear a mask if you're doing exercise or an activity and it would negatively impact your ability to do so.
  • However, some gyms, leisure centres and community centres may require participants to wear masks before or after physical activity in specific areas of the building.
Are people required to leave their details at gyms, as with pubs and restaurants?
  • Yes. All visits to these facilities will be recorded for track and trace purposes.
How can gyms prevent the spread of Covid-19 given the amount of sweat and aerosol droplets?
  • The government has published comprehensive guidance that sets out clear safety measures to mitigate risks. It's up to operators to ensure their facility is equipped to open safely in line with the guidance.
What about the high turnover of people using gym equipment?
  • This will be up to gyms to decide. However, the guidance is clear that frequent cleaning of equipment has to happen.
Are leisure centre cafes allowed to reopen?
  • Yes, in line with separate guidance on hospitality venues.
Do sports facilities selling food or drink need to close at 10pm?
  • Bars and restaurants, including any food or drink facilities inside a clubhouse/leisure facility, can open in accordance with the latest government guidance. From 24 September, this means the hospitality areas selling food and drink (such as cafes and bars) must close between 10pm and 5am.
  • The wider sports facility is not subject to the 10pm-5am closure restrictions.
Is there a limit on numbers for indoor pools?
  • There's an advised limit on area per person in a pool. It will be up to pools to assess how many people they can safely accommodate at one time.
Can multiple ‘bubbles’ of six use a facility simultaneously? E.g. multiple training ‘bubbles’ in one sports hall
  • The ‘rule of six’ applies to organised indoor team sport in medium (Tier 1) alert areas and sets out the number of adults who can be involved in a game or match.
  • This rule does not prohibit different matches happening simultaneously within the same facility, provided they're following the relevant guidance and that separate groups of participants don't mix.
Is a coach/instructor for adult indoor team sport able to coach multiple groups in back-to-back sessions?
  • Yes. Workers and volunteers are exempt from rules applying to organised indoor team sport. This includes includes coaches, instructors and officials.
  • However, sports and venue operators should consider how best to minimise exposure (e.g. by limiting the number of sessions run, or the number of groups coached), as part of their risk assessment.
Are coaches required to wear a mask when coaching indoors?
  • No. Match officials, medics and coaches are not required to wear face coverings while present in a work or volunteering capacity.

Guidance for members of the public

Group numbers

How many people are allowed to take part in different types of activities?

Since 14 October, the number of people able to take part in activities has depended on the coronavirus alert level for the area they're in.

In high and very high alert areas (Tiers 2 and 3), adults should only play indoor team sport with people from their own household or support bubble.

For medium alert areas (Tier 1), the cross-government guidance that people should gather in groups of no larger than six people from different households, adhering to social distancing, remains.

There are a number of exemptions that apply to all three tiers:

The guidance on the return of sports and recreation covers personal training or coaching, stating that: "Organised sporting or other fitness-related activities are allowed (including personal training or coaching) to continue in groups of more than six. This can be in any place, indoors or outdoors, other than a ‘private dwelling’ a term which includes most outdoor space, such as a garden."

Adults must adhere to the ‘rule of six’ in Tier 1 areas if they’re playing team sports indoors – this means playing in a group of no more than six people from different households.

Junior team sports can be played indoors by more than six people.

Disabled people are exempt from the restrictions around indoor team sport to help them stay active.

What's the definition of a child/adult?
  • Guidance is that those aged 18 and over must adhere to the ‘rule of six’ when playing team sports indoors. The rule does not apply to children aged under 18.
Can adults mix with youth/junior groups when taking part in indoor team sports to create a group of more than six? E.g. four adults and four children equals eight in total, but only four adults
  • No. The rule of six applies to both adults and children taking part together (in Tier 1 areas).
  • The exemption for children does not apply to adults over the age of 18. If an adult (aged 18 or over) takes part in organised indoor sport alongside children (under 18), the 'rule of six' applies, so this can only take place in groups of up to six people (adults and children combined).
  • In Tier 2 and 3 areas, indoor team sport involving adults can only be played with people from the same household or support bubble.

Team and other recreational sports

Are governing bodies required to have their return to play guidance reviewed to cover indoor sport for six or fewer adults?
  • National governing bodies should update their guidance to reflect the different restrictions across the coronavirus alert levels.
  • The guidance should set out that activities can continue within groups of six that don't mix (not including officials and coaches) in areas of medium alert (Tier 1).
  • In high and very high alert areas (Tiers 2 and 3), people should only play indoor team sport with their own household or support bubble.
  • In all cases, guidance on indoor facilities should be followed, including calculating maximum numbers based on venue size.
  • If governing bodies have uncertainties or queries about whether their plans meet the revised guidance, they can contact Sports England via email.
  • The outdoor team sports to have already had their guidelines approved by the government can be found here.
Can people get closer than 2m for non-professional sport and exercise purposes?
  • The government guidance sets the overarching framework from which team sports will need to work. Each sport will then have their specific guidance cleared through Public Health England/the Health and Safety Executive.
  • People will only be able to get closer than 2m for competitive purposes subject to cleared guidance for the respective sport.
Can organised sports and physical activity events take place?
  • Participation events and competitions are able to take place, as long as the events and venues are Covid-secure and operate within government guidance.
  • This includes organised sports and physical activity events (such as organised group walks).
  • These events are exempt from the new laws on social gatherings that came into force on 14 September and can proceed in groups of more than six, provided that organisers ensure that events are planned and delivered in accordance with the government's 'organising outdoor sport and physical activity events' guidance.
What about informal sport and physical activity?

This depends on the area's coronavirus alert level.

  • Medium (Tier 1): People must limit the size of their group to six when doing sport and activity informally with people they don’t live with. It's illegal to do so in a larger group and participants may be fined.
  • Unless an individual is a qualified instructor, or represents a club, national governing body, company or charity, they'll be unable to book facilities (such as court hire) for a group larger than six people, unless the group is from the same household or support bubble.
  • High/very high (Tier 2/3): People can take part in informal activity as long as they stick to the ‘rule of six’ in an outdoor public setting.
  • In indoor settings, people can only take part in informal activity with their household or support bubble.
Can people travel to take part in sport and physical activity?

This depends on the area's coronavirus alert level.

  • Medium (Tier 1): Yes. However, people shouldn’t travel into very high (Tier 3) alert areas to take part in sport and physical activity.
  • High (Tier 2): Yes, travel for physical activity is allowed within and in/out of the area to fulfil a fixture or attend an organised sporting event. However, it’s recommended that travel is minimised where possible. People shouldn’t travel into very high (Tier 3) alert areas to take part in sport and physical activity.
  • Very high (Tier 3): People are advised not to travel into or out of areas that have a very high alert level, including for sport, unless this is necessary to enable individual exercise or to exercise for people from the same household or support bubble. This doesn't apply to travel where it is necessary to enable disability sport, sport for educational purposes, elite sport or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s to take place.
Can teams travel together in a minibus to away matches?
  • If they cannot drive individually, walk or cycle, then yes, but only if they can do so in a way that's Covid-secure, i.e. they must consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle – this may mean using more than one coach or minibus, for example.
  • Teams should check for local travel restrictions in their area before departing as these will vary depending on the coronavirus alert level.
What are the rules about spectators and ‘off-field’ activities?

This depends on the area's coronavirus alert level.

  • Medium (Tier 1): Venues following Covid-secure guidelines can host more than six people in total, but people should not visit or socialise in a group of greater than six.
  • High/very high (Tier 2/3): Spectators are not allowed indoors except for supervision or safeguarding purposes.
  • Outdoors, spectators are allowed as long as social contact guidelines are followed - distinct groups of no more than six, and no mixing among these groups. People not from the same household should social distance.
  • More guidance for sports organisations that manage ancillary facilities (such as club houses, bars or restaurants) is available on the government's working safely during coronavirus page.
  • The Recreational Team Sport Framework sets out that supporters, parents, and other spectators should remain socially distanced whilst attending events. Spectator groups must be restricted to six people and spread out, in line with wider government guidance.
  • Where it's anticipated that an activity will attract spectators, there should be a named person or persons with responsibility for ensuring adherence with these guidelines and ensuring the facility is Covid-secure. The person should carry out and publish a risk assessment for the activity which limits the number of spectators and focuses on the need to maintain social distancing on arrival, for the duration of the activity, and on departure.
  • Arrangements should also be put in place to support test and trace efforts by collecting information from spectators which is detailed enough to allow NHS Test and Trace to contact them if necessary. See the maintaining records guidance for more information.

Outdoor team sports

Can adults take part in team sports outdoors?  
  • Yes. Adult outdoor team sports can take place where the national governing body (NGB) has produced the relevant ‘return to recreation team sport framework’, or meets current government guidance.
  • This is the case in all alert levels.
Must outdoor sport be limited to six people?
  • While social gatherings of more than six people have been against the law in England since 14 September, the government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue.
  • This still applies to all coronavirus alert levels.
  • People should only be playing team sports once the relevant sport's governing body has published guidance on how to do so safely and in the number defined in this guidance.
  • The activity must also be formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, NGB, company or charity.
  • Team sports that don't have approved guidance shouldn't be played if players can't socially distance from people they don't live with. Instead, people should train together and take part in activities such as conditioning or fitness sessions in groups of no more than six people.
  • For outdoor sports that aren't team sports, people can take part in these activities in the number defined through the specific sport's governing body guidance.
  • Activity must be formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, NGB, company or charity.
  • At all times, people should comply with Covid-secure measures and limit social interaction outside of the sporting activity.
Can exercise classes/personal training sessions take place in outdoor public spaces with groups larger than six? 
  • People can continue to attend and deliver outdoor exercise classes and personal training sessions with groups of more than six, as long as the activity is formally organised and is socially distant.
  • This must be by a qualified instructor, club, NGB, company or charity and follow the sport’s governing body guidance.
  • This is the case in all alert levels.
Can exercise classes/personal training take place within a private garden?

This depends on the area's coronavirus alert level.

  • Medium/high (Tier 1/2): Yes. Exercise classes/personal training can take place in a private garden, however, must stick to the ‘rule of six’.
  • Very high (Tier 3): Yes, as a personal trainer/ coach is exempt for work purposes, formal activities in private gardens must only have one household or support bubble, and the trainer/coach must be socially distant from the participant(s).
Are outdoor events, including ‘organised’ walks, allowed? 

Yes. Outdoor events, including organised walks, can still take place in areas of all alert levels.


Indoor team sports

Can adults take part in team sports indoors?  

This depends on the area's coronavirus alert level.

  • In medium (Tier 1) areas, adult indoor team sports can take place following the ‘rule of six’. More than one group of six can participate within the indoor setting, however, must not mix before, during or after the activity.
  • Indoor sports can be played if it's formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body (NGB), company or charity and follows the sport's governing body guidance.
  • A list of team sports that have had guidance reviewed on the return to recreational team sport framework on the government's website.
  • In high/very high (Tier 2/3) areas, only people from the same household or support bubble can take part in indoor team sports.
Do people from different households taking part in adult indoor team sports have to social distance while adhering to the 'rule of six'?

This depends on the area's coronavirus alert level.

  • Medium (Tier 1): People don't need to socially distance as long as the sport is being played formally and under government-approved NGB guidance.
  • High/very high (Tier 2/3): People should only play indoor team sport with people from their own household or support bubble.
  • Organised indoor team sports for under-18s, disabled people, people aged 18+ for educational purposes, and elite athletes are exempt. They can take place in numbers aligned to the out of school setting guidance (under 18s), indoor facility guidance on use of space and governing body guidance (where applicable).
Are spectators allowed indoors?  

This depends on the area's coronavirus alert level.

  • Medium (Tier 1): Yes, however, they must follow the ‘rule of six’.
  • High/very high (Tier 2/3):​​​​​​​ No indoor spectators are allowed. Adults who are acting in a safeguarding/supervising capacity are exempt.
What are the changing room rules?
  • Where possible, players must arrive changed and shower at home. Use of changing and shower facilities must follow government advice on the use of indoor facilities when available.
Can exercise classes/personal training sessions take place in indoor settings with groups larger than six? 
  • Formally organised exercise classes and personal training sessions can continue in larger numbers based on the capacity of the venue, as per guidance provided that participants are socially distanced (or larger groups if from ​​​​​​​the same household or support bubble) and do not mix.
  • This is the case for all coronavirus alert levels.
Do the rules for ‘indoor settings’ include a private home/home gym or studio? 
  • Yes. Activity taking place in home gyms/studios must follow the same guidance for sport and physical activity in indoor settings.
  • This is the case for all coronavirus alert levels.
Can close-contact and combat sports return?
  • For close-contact sports specifically, the government is advising that these are not resumed if social distancing and government guidance cannot be followed.
  • This is due to the increased risks of transmission of Covid-19, because of the proximity of participants and contact between them.
  • However, activities that follow government guidelines can go ahead if they follow guidance on social distancing and indoor facilities. Exercise classes in these facilities are exempt from the new laws on social gatherings.
  • Any activities which involve contact between participants or contact with equipment that would contravene social distancing guidance (such as pad work) should not go ahead. We're working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and NGBs to allow the safe return of close-contact sports to happen as soon as possible.
  • For more details, please contact the relevant NGB as they'll often be able to provide specific guidance on how their sport can be played or adapted to enable social distancing and adherence to the government's guidelines.
Are team sports played in water/indoor settings other than a sports hall, classed as indoor team sports?
  • Yes. Therefore they must be played in groups of six or fewer if in a Tier 1 area, and among a household or support bubble if in Tier 2 and 3 areas.
  • The government's return to recreational team sport framework has more information about this.
For adult indoor team sports, can you still play competitive matches against other teams?
  • Yes. This change doesn't stop competition, it just means it has to take place in groups of up to six people.
  • The maximum number of participants in a match or game is six (e.g. three vs three players), not including match officials or coaches.
  • In high and very high alert areas (Tiers 2 and 3), you should only play indoor team sport with people from your own household or support bubble.
For adult indoor team sports, does the 'rule of six' include coaches/instructors/officials?
  • No. Where the 'rule of six' applies, match officials, coaches and instructors are exempt, however, they must remain socially distanced from players where possible during play/activity.
  • Should match officials not be able to remain socially distanced due to their role in the sport, their sport should conduct a risk assessment to see if other mitigations may be necessary.
Is a coach/instructor for adult indoor team sport able to coach multiple groups in back-to-back sessions?
  • Yes. Workers and volunteers are exempt from the 'rule of six' as it applies to organised indoor team sport, which includes coaches, instructors and officials.
  • However, sports and venue operators should consider how best to minimise exposure (e.g. by limiting the number of sessions run, or the number of groups coached), as part of their risk assessment.
  • Further guidance can be found in the government’s guidance for providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities.
Are coaches required to wear a mask when coaching indoors?
  • No. Match officials, medics and coaches are not required to wear face coverings while present in a work or volunteering capacity.
  • However, wearing face coverings is encouraged where possible and practical.
  • Match officials, medics and coaches should maintain government-guided social distancing wherever possible, including while arriving at and departing from the gym/leisure facility.
Can indoor sports move to being outdoors and maintain numbers, as long as it’s Covid-secure?
  • Yes. Provided the organisers are conducting activity in line with their NGB-approved guidance, and in line with government guidance, activity can continue in a different setting.
  • Where this would depart from approved NGB guidance, plans would need to be resubmitted.
Can a person play racket sports / other interaction sports indoors where they are socially distanced with someone from another household / support bubble?

This depends on the area's coronavirus alert level.

  • Medium (Tier 1): Yes. A person can play indoor sports with people outside of your household/support bubble but must not exceed the rule of 6.
  • High/very high (Tier 2/3): No. Sports that require social interaction cannot be played indoor with anyone outside of their household / support bubble. For example, an individual can only play badminton with their household / support bubble as this requires social interaction with your opponent and shared equipment. Sports that can be done individually (for archery target shooting) can take place socially distanced. Participants should not interact with one another before, during or after the activity.

Higher education and children's indoor team sport

What is the definition of a child/adult?
  • Guidance is that non-disabled people aged 18 and over must adhere to the ‘rule of six’ when playing team sports indoors. The rule does not apply to children aged under 18.
Are under-18s exempt from the restrictions?
  • Yes. Under-18s are exempt from the restrictions and can take part in supervised sporting activity indoors and outdoors. This includes indoor team sports where the national governing body has produced the relevant ‘return to recreation team sport framework’, or meets current government guidance.
  • This applies to all coronavirus alert levels.
I manage an under-18s team that play indoors, and have 17 and 18-year-olds in the team, can they continue to play together?
  • The exemption from the 'rule of six', for children's sport in medium alert (Tier 1) areas, does not apply to adults over the age of 18. If an adult (aged 18 or over) takes part in organised indoor sport alongside children (under 18), this is no longer exempt, so this can only take place in groups of up to six people (including both adults and children).
  • Only adults from the same household or support bubble can take part in indoor team sports in high and very high alert areas (Tier 2/3).
How does this affect school/college/university sport?
  • Most sport in educational settings will be covered by the exemption for supervised activities for children (i.e. under-18s), and so can take place in groups larger than six.
  • This includes pupils over the age of 18, where the sport is for the purpose of education, such as curriculum sport or playing for school/college/university teams, but does not include all activity on the educational site.
  • This means the limit on numbers for indoor team sport doesn't apply, even if the pupils are over 18, or playing alongside under-18s, provided the sport is for the purpose of education.
  • This applies to all coronavirus alert levels.
So, indoor sports can continue without limits on the number aged over 18 if they just play in a school facility?

No. This exemption only covers sport for educational purposes.

Can college and university teams play against each other in indoor team sport?
  • Where the indoor team sport is for educational purposes, such as a college/university team, this is exempt from the 'rule of six' and can continue in larger numbers.
  • However, the current guidance is that you should consider how best to minimise exposure by avoiding unnecessary travel and mixing with teams from other institutions.
  • This means that you should focus on intra-mural matches (i.e. within the same college or university) where possible, and consider the additional risks created by matches between different institutions or in different regions.
If a number of adults are required to support junior indoor team sport or activity, can the number exceed the 'rule of six' providing government guidance is followed?
  • Supervised children’s activity is exempt and this includes adults supervising in a safeguarding role.
  • Parents or other adults who are not acting in a supervisory role are considered to be spectators, and aren't exempt.

Disabled people

Why are disabled people exempt from the restrictions around indoor team sports for adults?
  • The exemption is to help disabled people to stay active.
  • Not allowing indoor sport would have a disproportionate impact on disabled people, as a significant proportion of team sport for disabled people takes place in indoor settings.
  • We know that disabled people face more barriers to taking part in sport and physical activity, so it's vital we do as much as possible to keep these opportunities accessible.
Does this exemption put disabled people at an increased risk of contracting Covid-19?
  • Indoor team sport can only take place where it follows the government's guidance on recreational team sport and grassroots sport and leisure activity, and this includes team sports for disabled people.
  • National governing bodies (NGBs) which provide sport formats for disabled people will set out how they can deliver this provision in line with existing guidance on social distancing and Covid-secure measures.
  • The exemption only affects the number of people who can be involved in the sport where this is necessary for the sport to take place.
How can participants be reassured that an indoor team sport activity for more than six disabled people will be delivered in a socially distanced Covid-19-secure environment?
  • All sport providers and venue operators are already operating in line with the government's guidance on recreational team sport and grassroots sport and leisure activity.
  • Together with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, we'll work with NGBs which provide indoor team sport to ensure their current guidance reflects the ‘rule of six’ restrictions or is updated, if needed, to set out that more than six disabled people can take part in team sport in a safe way which encourages social distancing.
Can non-disabled people take part in indoor team sports alongside disabled people?
  • The exemption only applies to disabled people.
  • If non-disabled people take part in indoor team sport, this exemption no longer applies.
  • Indoor team sports which include non-disabled people taking part alongside disabled people should only take place in groups of up to six people.
Where disabled people need support from a carer or personal assistant during activity, will this be allowed?
  • Yes. People who provide essential support (e.g. carers) to disabled people are exempt, and do not count towards the six people in a group (where the 'rule of six' applies).
  • Other people present are unlikely to be exempt, and should follow the guidance for spectators.
  • Spectators are only permitted in groups of up to six, and social distancing must be maintained.
Do I need to maintain social distancing if I’m working with a disabled person who needs support?
  • Social distancing should be maintained where possible, but in some circumstances people will need physical assistance to be active.
  • This may require support from someone outside of their household or support person.
  • It’s important that you discuss this with the person to consider their needs and preferences.
  • CIMSPA has published further guidance on indoor training and group exercise in England.
Will deliverers of opportunities for indoor team sports for disabled people be required to provide increased Covid-19 safety measures?
  • No. All sport providers and venue operators are already operating in line with the government's guidance on recreational team sport and grassroots sport and leisure activity.
  • NGBs should update their guidance to set out how indoor team sport for disabled people can be delivered if the rule of six applies or not. Other than that, no specific extra measures are required.
Do vulnerable groups within higher alert areas (Tier 2/3) have to shield?  

No.


Areas of high and very high risk (Tiers 2/3)

Where can I find a list of the local authority areas that fall within each tier? 
For very high (Tier 3) areas, is there a set date/timeline as to when these areas will announce specific restrictions in that area? 
If a local area decides to close sports and leisure facilities, are they still able to provide sessions for elite sport, young people and disabled people? 
  • Yes. If local authorities make the decision to close the sport and leisure facilities in that area, they’re still able to provide sessions for elite sport, young people and disabled people, however, this will be a local decision.
Do gyms in very high (Tier 3) areas have to close? 
  • No, but there may be local arrangements. Some areas will have made decisions to close gyms to control the infection rate in that area.

Test and trace

New regulations that came into force on Thursday September 24 now require facilities to display an NHS QR code that visitors, customers and staff must scan.

This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus.

To support NHS Test and Trace, you must hold records for 21 days. This reflects the incubation period for coronavirus, which can be up to 14 days, and an additional seven days to allow time for testing and tracing.

Does the facility I manage have to display a QR poster?

You should create and display a QR code if you’re:

  • a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public
    an event which is taking place in a physical location
    You can do so using the government’s instructions.
  • If you’ve more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

Further information and resources can be found here.

How do I use the QR code and who should use it?
  • Ask customers, visitors and staff at your venue to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS Covid-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus.
If I’m hiring an area of a facility for a class (e.g. swimming pool/spin studio) within a gym – do I need a QR code for that?
  • The facility needs the QR code, not the specific activity.
Do gyms within a hotel that’s already got an NHS QR code set up, need a separate code for the leisure clubs?
  • If the leisure club is a separate venue then it should have a separate NHS QR code for this area.
Do gyms need to have a QR code or just local authority leisure facilities?
  • The legislation states that leisure facilities, including gyms and swimming pools, are required to have a QR code poster.
If I’m running a class in a community hall, is it the venue's responsibility to display a QR code?
  • Responsibility for displaying an NHS QR code poster lies with the operator of the venue. Local authority-run services, including community centres, are required by the guidance to maintain a record of visitors and have an official NHS QR poster.
If I'm delivering personal training sessions at my home, gym or outdoors, do I need to display a QR code?
  • Yes. This guidance applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises, and whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings.
What should I do if I'm delivering a session at a venue that isn't displaying a QR code?
  • Ensure you provide a separate customer log/collect customer details, so that contact tracers can get in touch with people if required. Notify the venue operator if possible.

Three-tier alert system explained

Every part of England is now in one of three Covid-19 alert levels: Tier 1 (medium), Tier 2 (high) and Tier 3 (very high). Here’s a summary of what this means for sport and physical activity:

Tier 1 (medium)

National restrictions, introduced from 24 September, continue to apply.

Indoors
  • Organised individual and team sports that have been through return to play protocols can continue, while adhering to the 'rule of six', which means playing in a group of no more than six people.
  • There are exemptions to this: under-18s, disabled people and, if for educational purposes, over-18s, can play in any number.
  • Other indoor activity, such as exercise classes, can continue in larger numbers based on the size of the venue, provided that people are in separate groups of up to six people, or larger groups if they’re from the same household or support bubble, which do not mix.
  • Gyms and leisure facilities can stay open, and the ‘rule of six’ applies to informal activity.
Outdoors
  • National governing body-approved organised team sport, exercise classes and outdoor licensed physical activity and sport participation events can happen in any number provided they're in line with Covid-secure guidance.
  • The ‘rule of six’ applies to informal sport.

Tier 2 (high)

Indoors

  • Organised individual and team sport must be played by a single household or support bubble.
  • Exemptions laid out in Tier 1 on specific groups of people who can play in larger numbers continue to apply.
  • Exercise classes can also continue as per the rules under Tier 1, while informal sport can only be played indoors by a single household or support bubble.
  • Gyms and leisure facilities can stay open.

Outdoors

  • There's no change to the guidance for outdoor sport and physical activity – the Tier 1 rules still apply

Tier 3 (very high)

Guidance under this tier is subject to change, depending on local and national government agreements.

Indoors
  • Sport and physical activity can be played as per the guidance under Tier 2.
  • Gyms and leisure facilities may have to close depending on local approaches to business closures.
Outdoors
  • Sport and physical activity can be played as per the guidance under Tier 1.

Other sector-specific information

(remember to consider local additional restrictions when using the guidance below, as it may impact what you can do)

  • SPORTS: national governing bodies (NGBs) have guidelines for a safe return to play. Search for your NGB here and go to the COVID-19 support section of their website
  • GROUP EXERCISE: The national governing body for group exercise provides COVID-19 guidance here.
  • YOUTH WORK: The National Youth Agency (NYA) has developed youth sector-specific advice here.
  • CLUBS: Sport England’s Club Matters offers tips, tools and ideas for clubs and organisations trying to navigate the pandemic here.
  • WORKFORCE & FACILITIES: As the lead organisation for the sport and physical activity workforce CIMPSA are providing guidance here.
  • VENUES & SESSIONS: Help to make and keep venues and sessions COVID-secure can be found here.
  • MORE INFORMATION: See our page with further COVID-19 support for the physical activity and sport sector here.

Do you require further support? Have we covered everything?

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Further support

Lotto Sport
European Union
Active Partnerships
NHS