Coronavirus sport and physical activity advice

The government has confirmed changes to what's allowed in relation to sport and physical activity as part of the next phase of its response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sport and Exercise Outdoors new Coronavirus advice

The government has confirmed that groups of six can meet outside from Monday 1 June, provided people from different households observe social distancing by keeping two metres apart.

Done responsibly and safely, this is good news for grassroots sport and physical activity.

It enables people to get together in small groups to do things like walking and cycling, take part in fitness or conditioning sessions with friends or team mates, and allows people who need someone with them when they have a 1-2-1 session to access activity, for example someone who might need a carer. 

All of this must be done safely and responsibly, and if someone is planning to exercise or take part in some activity in a small group, they should familiarise themself with all the government guidance around social distancing and hygiene, in particular.

This is in addition to the prior loosening of restrictions that allowed many facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities to reopen, as detailed above.

For sport-specific guidance around when people might be able to return to training, they should check in with the relevant organisations and governing bodies for advice they may be providing.


  • Individuals playing golf on their own
  • Two-balls comprising of individuals from different household
  • Three-balls comprising of individuals from same or different households
  • Four-balls comprising of individuals from same or different households
  • Social distancing rules must be strictly adhered to, at all times
  • Pre book all tee times
  • Do not touch anything on the course, including the flag
  • Only use you own equipment and golf balls

Find out more from England Golf


You can now go fishing but only alone, with members of your household, or with up to, but no more than 5 other people a minimum of 2 metres apart. You should always follow social distancing guidelines when encountering others.

Find out more from the Angling Trust

Open water swimming

  • Open water swimming is considered a form of outdoor activity within the new guidelines. 
  • Only competent and experienced open water swimmers should use this form of exercise, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.
  • Also swimmers should consider the risks to themselves and others whilst participating in this activity as the majority of locations will not have lifeguards and there is a real risk of cold water shock at this time of year.
  • Swim England are working with British Triathlon and RLSS UK, as well as the relevant public health bodies, to ensure that any return to open water swimming can be done in a safe manner.  

Find out more from Swim England


  • Both singles play and doubles play is now permitted with people from outside of your household, as long as you remain 2 metres apart as far as possible – meaning that four people from different households can now play doubles
  • Other than where players are from the same household: Stay at least two metres away from other players (including during play, when taking breaks and before and after play)
  • Do not make physical contact with other players (such as shaking hands or high five)
  • Players should still avoid using their hands to pick up tennis balls from other courts where possible - use your racquet/foot to return them
  • Players do not now need to use their own clearly marked tennis balls – however, if you choose to use shared balls then extra care must be taken to ensure you do not touch your face during play, and you should clean your hands before play and immediately after finishing (use alcohol gel if required)

Find out more from the Lawn Tennis Association


The following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:

  • playing football individually. For example, practice of individual skills or fitness activities
  • playing football with your family or other people living in your household
  • football training or fitness activities in groups of no more than six, keeping two metres apart at all times
  • Sharing of equipment should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after
  • Physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted, therefore playing of any games (small-sided or full) is also not permitted at this time

Find out more at the Football Association


After the latest government announcement allowing groups of 6 to meet together outdoors from Monday 1 June while following strict social distancing guidelines, we are now updating the guidance for hockey, which will be issued as soon as possible.

Find out more from England Hockey

Team Sports

People who play team sports can now meet to train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions but they must be in wholly separate groups of no more than 6 and must remain 2 metres apart at all times. While groups could practice ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. Physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted, therefore playing of any games (small sided or full) is also not permitted at this time. Avoid meeting in groups of 6 in busy or overcrowded areas, if it is so busy that it is not possible to maintain social distancing at all times.

Find out more from Government update guidance

Last updated: 02 June 2020 14:45:48