Return to Play - Guidance for the Sector

NGB Return to Play Guidance & Covid-19 Updates

Sport England, working alongside Government have provided FAQs on the lifting of national restrictions around sport. They have also published their own Return to Play Guidance, available on their website

The table below is a summary of the sport-specific guidance published by NGBs regarding COVID-19, specifically in relation to the re-introduction and return to sport and physical activity in England.

Additional Guidance

NB. For the latest guidance from Public Health England click here. The latest updates for the sector from Sport England are available here with additional Club Matters guidance here.

The Activity Alliance has published inclusive guidance for the return of sport and physical activity here and CIMPSA's workforce guidance is here with their guidance on indoor training and group exercise here.

Sport/ Activity


NGB updates

Latest Guidance

Latest Guidance Published


Fisheries, harbours and waters…

8 March


Track & field venues…

28 February


Courts and Sports Halls

3 March


Ballfields, diamonds & fields

4 January


Courts, practice spaces, MUGAs…

2 March


Clubs & greens

23 February

Canoeing/Kayaking/Paddle sports

Paddle sport & hire centres…

9 March


Clubs, gyms & facilities

7 January


Natural spaces & climbing walls…

23 February


Clubs, pitches & nets…

24 February


Veloparks, tracks & BMX facilities…

9 March

Dragon Boat Racing

Rivers, waterways & clubs

7 March


Indoor & outdoor facilities…

23 February

Exercise, Movement and Dance

Spaces for EMD excl. outdoor gyms…

23 February


Public & private outdoor spaces

24 February


Club, pitches & training spaces…

24 March


Courses, putting greens & ranges

1 March


Clubs, centres & halls

2 March


Playing & training spaces…

6 March


Playing & training spaces

23 November


Playing & training spaces…

22 February


Country parks & woodland

8 March


Urban areas

24 February


Fields, playing and training spaces

21 December


Clubs and centres…

11 March

Rugby League

Clubs, playing and training spaces…

10 March

Rugby Union

Clubs, playing and training spaces

5 January


Sailing centres & docks

23 February

Scuba Diving

Shore-based, boat diving & pools…

23 February



23 February


Indoor and outdoor slopes

26 February

Squash Indoor

squash courts

9 March


Indoor/outdoor land-based & water

23 February

Table Tennis

Parks & community centres

8 March


Courts & centres…

10 March


Pools, open water & roads

12 March


Beaches & Indoors…

10 March


All outdoor space

12 March

If your sport or physical activity is not included in the above directory, please contact us.

Guidance from Sport England

To assist with the re-opening of facilities and clubs, Sport England have also published a range of resources to help achieve this.  

These resources will help plan for a safe and inclusive return and support the sector to keep staff, volunteers, members and participants informed of their responsibilities around social distancing. They will work alongside existing and forthcoming government guidance.

Club Matters have produced a number of useful resources which we have linked for you below:

  • Reopening toolkit – this includes information on how your club/organisation can plan its return to sport, with advice on what you need to think about across different areas such as reopening your facility and protecting your people.
  • Risk register template – this template, with a dedicated user guide, is designed to help your club/organisation introduce or update your practices regarding how you manage risks.
  • Creating a risk assessment – this draws from the current Health and Safety Executive advice and provides step-by-step guidance to help organisations address risk, including coronavirus-specific considerations.
  • Social distancing guidance – this resource covers the different practices and considerations your club/organisation may need to introduce so that social distancing can be implemented in line with current government advice.

Visit the Club Matters website for resources from Activity Alliance, EMD UK and CIMSPA too.

The resources on the Sport England website include:

  • Inclusion and accessibility guidance – helping you to understand the government guidance for different groups, how you can engage and reassure specific audiences who may be nervous of returning and how to ensure your facilities are, and remain, accessible to all when allowed to reopen.
  • Support for the professional workforce – including advice on staffing considerations for when the safe reopening of facilities is allowed, as well as news on support available from the government and links to resources such as training and development opportunities.
  • Volunteering guidance – setting out some of the main considerations to help your volunteers return safely, well-informed and prepared.
  • Managing liability and risk guidance – to give providers, be they clubs, governing bodies, community groups or regional associations, advice on what issues need considering and how they might tackle them in order to safely return to play.

CIMSPA Facility Reopening guidance

CIMSPA in conjunction with a number of sector partners have published some useful guidance to support the re-opening of the Sport & Physical Activity sector. Please check the link below regularly for ongoing updates based on new announcements.

All the information can be found HERE

If you have any questions please contact for more information.

MIND Charity mental health champion toolkit

MIND Charity have developed a toolkit for organisations, clubs and groups in the sport and physical activity sector that want to support the mental health of their members, participants, staff and volunteers. It introduces the idea of mental health champions, and provides guidance on establishing a mental health champions scheme.

Click HERE to read the mental health champions toolkit for the sport and physical activity sector

Secure Check- In Scheme

Secure Check- In is a new innovative scheme set up to help organisations, particularly those working in the sports sector to adhere to the new NHS track and trace guidelines.

Active Suffolk have partnered with Secure Check-In to offer sports clubs across the county a 50% discount on use of the scheme.

Simply use the discount code: ACTIVESUFFOLK when signing up. Find out more by clicking HERE