Back in Lockdown – Stay Safe, Stay Home

January 4, 2021

Following the UK Government’s announcement on Monday 4 January of a new national lockdown, regrettably, our guidance for athletics and running must reflect these enforced Covid-19 restrictions across England.

As a result of everyone being required to stay at home, except for specific purposes as outlined by the UK Government’s guidance, the impact on our sport includes the following with immediate effect and until further notice:

  • The suspension of all face-to-face indoor and outdoor club / group activity.
  • The suspension of all indoor track and field competitions.
  • The suspension of all outdoor competitions including track and field, cross country, road, trail, fell and multi-terrain running.
  • The suspension of all face-to-face coaches’ and officials’ education.
  • The suspension of any other face-to-face club / group training sessions, events, athlete camps, running groups or other social events as well as club committee or other meetings.
  • Indoor gyms and facilities will remain closed.

What can take place?

The UK Government has confirmed that elite sport is able to continue in line with the strict protocols and measures that are in place. Similarly, organised outdoor sport for disabled people can continue and we will provide further details on this once we have the required information from the UK Government.

  • The UK Government has confirmed that individuals can exercise outside of their home in a public outdoor space, limited to once per day and not involving travel outside their local area, as follows:
    • By themselves
    • With people they live with
    • With their support bubble (if legally permitted to form one)
    • In a childcare bubble where providing childcare
    • Or, when on their own, with one person from another household
  • Virtual training sessions can be delivered by qualified coaches.
  • Virtual competitions can still take place. Click here for a list of virtual road races.
  • England Athletics will continue to coordinate the Weekly 30.

Anyone taking part in any virtual activity should at all times observe the above restrictions.

1:1 coaching (updated 8 January)

  • 1:1 coaching for over 18s is permitted.
  • For safeguarding reasons, England Athletics does not allow 1:1 coaching with under-18s and vulnerable adults unless a parent or carer can supervise safety from a distance and in a way that does not contravene UK Government guidelines for leaving the home.  Coaches can provide virtual coaching sessions to under-18s providing that parental consent has been given and there is no 1:1 communication without the parent or carer being present. The Child Protection in Sport Unit have released some current guidance on remote teaching and coaching here which all clubs and coaches are recommended to read and implement.
  • All coaches must have a valid UKA Coaching Licence and must adhere to the terms and conditions of their licence.

Sport England guidance states that:

  • Sessions must take place in public outdoor spaces, as long as social distancing is maintained. Sessions can’t take place in private gardens. (Public outdoor places include: 1) parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests; 2) public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them); 3) the grounds of a heritage site; 4) playgrounds)
  • 1:1 coaching can take place multiple times in one day. Social distancing must be always maintained, clients shouldn’t overlap with one another and equipment should be sanitized between athletes/runners
  • Coaches must carry out a thorough risk assessment before engaging in any session. This should include particular consideration for under-18s and vulnerable adults
  • Any sessions can only include one coach with one individual, and so cannot take place with multiple people from one household
  • People who provide essential support (e.g. carers) to disabled people are exempt, and don’t count towards gathering limits. Therefore, disabled participants can be supported by a carer(s)/personal assistant(s) while taking part in 1:1 coaching.  This can be in addition to others from your household, support bubble or one person from another household – this could be a coach.

From England Athletics