When can I play rugby, football and cricket? New Covid rules for outdoor sport after lockdown

Boris Johnson’s plan to lift lockdown restrictions was announced in February. The broader reopening of schools began on March 8, with other sections of society being divided into a series of four “steps” between March and July, during which every adult should have been offered at least one vaccination.

Elite sport has been granted a waiver to continue during this current lockdown, but there has been vocal calls for priority to be given to recreational sport so that people can once again reap the tremendous physical and mental health benefits.

Many sports and clubs are facing great financial uncertainty and are desperately trying to get back on track. Between July and December last year there was a relatively broad resumption of sport and with spring approaching and the vaccination program in place, the grassroots sport sector is finally reopening…

Which sport can I practice from March 29?

All outdoor organized sports and physical activities for adults and children returned from Monday March 29th. This meant the reopening of numerous playing fields, courts and tracks, as well as outdoor facilities such as swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, archery and equestrian centers and outdoor gyms.

Organized group activities such as outdoor exercise classes, hiking groups and cycling and running competitions can also take place again.

Activities must be organized according to Covid-safe protocols drawn up by individual governing bodies and organisers.

School physical education and extracurricular sport have been allowed since March 8 and there has been an exemption for disabled sport throughout the lockdown.

What are the special rules for team sports like football, cricket and rugby?

Football can be played under its normal rules but the FA have stressed there should be no handshakes, team huddles, goal celebrations and shared water bottles. Players are also asked not to spit and yell when facing another person. Only the participants should fetch a ball with their hands.

The community rugby season has been canceled but youth teams can hold friendlies and rugby clubs are now allowed to hold contact training sessions, excluding scrums and mauls. Training sessions should not exceed 20 minutes of contact.

Cricket training and friendlies can take place, with most league programs expected to start on time in mid-April. Competitors are encouraged not to get sweat or saliva on the ball, clean their hands and the ball every six overs, and use only their own equipment.

Competitors should show up ready to play for all sports whenever possible, and while toilets are accessible, all dressing rooms must remain closed. Competitors must adhere to social distancing during breaks in play.

What about socially distanced sports like tennis, golf and fishing?

Fishing has continued during the lockdown under strict protocols. Recreational tennis is subject to the rule of six, which returns on March 29, or two households – but both singles and doubles are allowed. The rule of six meant four balls were immediately allowed in golf, a scenario not yet allowed in Wales and limited to two balls. Golf courses maintain rules about no bunker raking and cleaning the pin. Clubhouses will remain closed for the next few weeks until drinks are allowed outside. When can I play rugby, football and cricket? New Covid rules for outdoor sport after lockdown

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