Government Announcement - Social Group Size

10 September 2020

Patrick Donovan, CEO

We have had a number of queries recently in relation to the new government guidance on the reduced size of social groups  . . .


We have had a number of queries recently in relation to the new government guidance on the reduced size of social groups in England and whether this would impact on the operation of outdoor sport following on from previous guidance / sample operating procedures published by BWSW.

Sport England has now clarified the new restriction with the following circular:

This is a quick update regarding the recent government announcement on group sizes, following changes announced last night.

I understand this news may have caused confusion and anxiety with you and your participants and it has certainly generated queries in our ‘return to play’ inbox.

We’ve been in dialogue with government colleagues all day about it, to ensure that the return of sport and physical activity is as safe as possible, and that nobody is in doubt about the restrictions.

We have sought clarity on what this means for sport and physical activity, and while social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England from 14 September, the government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue, as can organised outdoor sports and physical activity events such as parkrun, which is due to return next month.

People can also continue to use leisure facilities, including gyms and pools - classes within these venues can continue as they are now. People should not go to these venues socially in groups of more than six.

That's because these sports and activities have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19, and because these venues are classed as Covid-secure given the measures they’ve introduced.

With advice likely to evolve as restrictions change, we'll monitor and update our guidance to ensure it's in line with the what the government is advising and we'll continue to listen to you when you inform us on what resources will help most.

Sport England

I hope the above clarification is of assistance and addresses any concerns you may have re any impact on the safe operation of our sport – we will keep you fully updated with any further announcements and changes.