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.

Principles to help organisations prepare for a phased return to play

Working to ensure the activity can meet public health guidelines

  • All activity should be consistent with the government guidance regarding health, social distancing and hygiene.

  • That means that participants and others can maintain a safe two metre distance, that good hygiene practices are in place, that equipment is disinfected regularly, and that it is clear that anyone who is symptomatic or suspects they have been exposed to the virus does not take part and remains at home.

Communicating clearly and consistently

  • Organisations will need to communicate clearly and regularly with members and participants setting out what they are doing to manage risk, and what advice they are giving to individuals to do likewise.

  • Ideally organisations should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely and the steps they are taking to avoid confusion.

  • Organisations should also communicate clearly opening times and how people can safely access a facility, if relevant, for example through a booking or queuing system.

  • It is more important than ever to consider inclusive guidance for people who need support to be active and organisations should consider this as part of their work to encourage people to return.



Flexibility and innovation

  • Any measures organisations can put in place to enable an activity to return needs to be capable of being adapted to follow government guidelines on social distancing e.g. strengthening or relaxing measures at short notice. Organisations are encouraged to think creatively about how best to make their sport or activity possible within the guidelines.

  • The limit on gatherings - no more than two, unless members of the same household - means that it is unlikely to be possible to organise amateur events or competitions at this time.