Can I play football, tennis or golf during lockdown? Rules for playing grassroots sports outdoors in England explained

Non-essential businesses, including sport centres, have been asked to close over the second lockdown

Monday, 9th November 2020, 3:00 pm
Tennis clubs have been forced to shut over lockdown (Getty Images)

England’s second lockdown period is underway, with non-essential shops, and bars and restaurants all closed until at least December 2.

The government is actively encouraging citizens to keep fit during the lockdown period, though restrictions have been put in place for a number of sports.

Here’s what you can and can’t do in England during the second lockdown period.

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What are the rules on exercise during lockdown?

Individuals are allowed to exercise outside alone, with one other person or within their household and bubble.

You should stay as local as possible, but can travel out of your local area if necessary. If you need to travel, you should walk or cycle where possible, and follow guidance on safe travel.

Children under school-age, as well as disabled people dependent on round-the-clock care, who are with their parents or carer will not count towards the limit of two people meeting outside.

There is no restriction on the type of activity you can do when exercising, provided that you are within the permitted gathering limits outlined above.

You should maintain social distance when exercising with anybody who you do not live with, unless they are in your support bubble, and you are advised to avoid any activity which requires close contact.

Sport and leisure facilities, such as leisure centres, swimming pools, gyms and sport clubs, will have to close during the national restrictions. This applies to both indoor and outdoor facilities.

This includes, but is not limited to, sport facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, climbing walls and climbing centres, and archery and shooting ranges.

What does this mean for football, golf and tennis?

All leisure facilities including golf courses and tennis clubs have been closed since November 5, meaning an end to any participation in either sport.

The Football Association (FA) already confirmed that non-elite football in England would be halted during the second national lockdown period.

This ban includes indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.

A statement from the FA read: “health and well-being remain the priority, so it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers adhere to the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions during this period.”