Covid-19: Update from London Sport

This page will be updated with new statements or information from London Sport on the covid-19 outbreak and any impacts on our work.

Latest Guidance: Effective 14 September 2020

The latest government guidance was issued on Wednesday 9 September and takes effect Monday 14 September 2020.

New Government Guidance on Group Sizes

Following the issuing of new guidance taking effect on Monday 14 September, Government have clarified a number of exemptions from the six-person group size restrictions. Specifically:

  • Sports that have confirmed return-to-play protocols may continue in line with agreed safety and security measures
  • Leisure facilities, including gyms and pools, can continue to operate within their current guidance, and classes within these venues can also continue. People should not attend these venues socially in groups of more than six, however, in line with Government guidance
  • Organised outdoor sports and physical activity events that are adherent to agreed covid-19 secure plans can also continue. This includes parkrun, which is due to return in October 2020

Previous Guidance: Effective 11 and 25 July 2020

From 11 July 2020

  • Outdoor swimming pools can re-open. This replaces previous guidance that required outdoor swimming pools to remain closed
  • Cricket will be permitted to resume, following the adoption of the ECB’s plans and guidance for the game’s safe return

From 25 July 2020

  • Indoor facilities, including gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be able to reopen, so long as operators follow government guidance
  • Any indoor facility planning to reopen will need to ensure preparations are complete to allow for safe operation. Sport England and ukactive have both produced guidance and resources to support safe return to play
  • Government have also issued detailed guidance for providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities, available from

Team Sports

  • Team sports will be able to recommence following the publication of government-approved sport-specific action plans from the relevant National Governing Body
  • General advice around the resumption of recreational team sport is available from, but any return to play will first require the approval of NGB action plans

Previous Guidance: Effective 04 July 2020

Previous government guidance was issued on 1 July 2020 and takes effect on 4 July 2020. This guidance has been supplemented by the update issued on 9 July 2020, which includes a roadmap to the reopening of gyms, swimming pools and other indoor facilities.

Current guidance concerns outdoor playgrounds, outdoor gyms and revisions to distancing guidelines. From 4 July 2020:

Distancing and Groups Exercising Together

  • Up to two households will be permitted to gather in groups of more than six people indoors or outdoors, provided members of different hosueholds can follow social distancing guidelines. Otherwise gatherings of more than six people indoors or outdoors continue not to be permitted, unless for essential work purposes
  • All references to households also include single adult households that have formed a support bubble with one other household
  • Social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households wherever possible. From 4 July this will mean distances of 2m between people from different households, or where 2m is not possible, 1m plus mitigations (such as face coverings, or avoiding face-to-face contact)

Facilities Able to Open

  • All outdoor facilities that were previously permitted to open may do so if those responsible for them are ready to do so, and they can be operated safely
  • From 4 July, outdoor gyms and playgrounds will be able to reopen
  • Clubhouse bars and restaurants can also reopen in acccordance with detailed guidance available here
  • Indoor facilities and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools should remain closed

Travelling for Physical Activity

  • Where possible, people should use the nearest appropriate local venues to reduce pressure on transport infrastructure
  • Travel to outdoor open spaces is permitted irrespective of distance
  • Travel should be restricted to people within your own household, unless involving social distancing – for example, by cycling
  • All other options should be considered before using public transport


  • Facility managers should make decisions on whether or not to hire out equipment – any hiring of equipment or use of shared equipment should involve sensible precautions and clearning in between users
  • It is recommended that the sharing of equipment is limited, and that use of any shared equipment should be followed by practising of strict hand hygiene

Further Detailed Guidance

  • Full guidance including further detail on areas including personal training and coaches, use of changing rooms and toilets, and access for children is available at

Sport England Return to Play resources

On 26 June 2020, Sport England produced new Return to Play resources to support the sector’s readiness and preparations for wider resumption. The guidance includes:

  • Inclusion and Accessibility guidelines
  • Information on legal risks and Duty of Care responsibilities associated with resumption of physical activity
  • Continuing research into public attitudes to sport and exercise related to covid-19

The full guidance is available at

Previous changes to government guidance on physical activity and sport were announced on 29 May 2020, and took effect from 01 June 2020 across England:

  • People can now go outside more than once a day for exercise in groups of up to six people
  • People from different households should continue to observe social distancing by keeping two metres apart
  • Anyone planning to take part in sport or exercise as part of a small group should familiarise themselves with all government guidance around social distancing and hygiene
  • All previous guidelines around the reopening of facilities and the resumption of outdoor sport and physical activity remain the same

Earlier changes to government guidance on physical activity and sport were announced on 10 May 2020, and took effect from 13 May 2020 across England:

  • Outdoor sport and physical activity facilities can reopen so long as those repsonsible for them feel able to do so, can do so safely, and operate in line with public health guidance
  • Outdoor gyms, playgrounds and outdoor swimming pools must remain closed

In London and need support? Contact us today.

The latest publish health guidance from Public Health England

This is the commitment we have made to our stakeholders and to the wider physical activity sector in London

An update for the national sport sector from Sport England

A summary of the sport-specific guidance published by NGBs.

The covid-19 outbreak is having an unprecedented impact on people, organisations and businesses across London and throughout the whole of the nation.

We know that many of our partners and stakeholders are actively responding to developments on a daily basis. We want to reassure everyone working in physical activity and sport in London that we remain dedicated to the work that is being done every day to support Londoners in all parts of the capital.

Firstly, as an employer, London Sport is carefully monitoring and following government and Public Health England guidance and advice around the covid-19 outbreak. As a result, most London Sport staff members are working remotely, and we anticipate that this will continue for the foreseeable future. We remain on-hand to support you, and all of our staff are available to be contacted as normal.

The House of Sport remains open to staff of member organisations, but staffing levels have been reduced to a minimum to comply as fully as possible with guidance from government and Public Health England. External meetings at House of Sport have been cancelled until further notice. Should that situation change, we commit to updating all our partners immediately. We have also taken the difficult decision to postpone all London Sport events for the time being while we consider the most appropriate ways to bring people in the sector together.

This is a fast-moving situation, and we recognise that there will be some medium-term impacts on our work and the work of others throughout physical activity and sport. We promise to keep all of our partners updated with our plans throughout the coming weeks. Meanwhile, we have committed to a range of Funding Principles set out by London Funders, pledging to continue our support to the clubs and projects that we fund.

Most importantly, we remain as committed as ever to our strategy and to the importance of physical activity and sport in the lives of Londoners. We will do everything in our power to continue to champion and make the case for physical activity and sport, both for its ability to support life in our great city now, and for the important role it will play in the months that follow.

We are available to discuss our plans, and the steps we are taking throughout this period. Please contact us on, or if you are one of our funded clubs or projects,

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