New guidance announced for athletics and running following latest national lockdown restrictions

(Note: 26 Nov 2020 - We are currently seeking guidance from Government, Sport England and other stakeholders on how the new coronavirus tier restrictions across England will impact on the sport of athletics and running after the current national lockdown ends on 2 December. We hope to be in a position to provide a full update as soon as possible).

4 Nov: Following the UK Government’s new national COVID-19 restrictions and the publication of bespoke instructions from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), we have revised the current guidance for athletics and running. Despite us lobbying DCMS for certain exemptions, this new guidance will apply from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020.

From Thursday 5 November 2020, the UK Government is requiring everyone in England to stay at home, except for specific purposes, and not gather with other people who do not live in the same household, again except for specific purposes. As a result, the impact on athletics and running will include suspension of the following (we may update this guidance as and when more information from DCMS becomes available, for example, in relation to U18s  / disability provision):

  • All indoor club group coaching activity
  • All outdoor club group coaching activity
  • All indoor track and field competitions
  • All outdoor competition (track and field, cross country, road, trail, fell and multiterrain)
  • All face-to-face coach and officials’ education

UPDATE:  British Athletics has released a statement outlining its published guidance in relation to elite athlete training - athletes who can receive an exemption to continue accessing training facilities during this second lockdown period in England – click here to read the statement. For those athletes not covered by any exemption, activity is still allowed outdoors on a 1:1 to basis.

What can take place?

The UK Government have confirmed that you can exercise with people from your own household OR with one other person.

For athletics and running this means;

  • You can train with your household or one other person in a public outdoor space
  • 1:1 coaching can take place in a public outdoor space following social distancing measures (Please note: We are seeking clarity on 1:1 coaching with U18s and disability athletes/runners). (Outdoor public places, such as parks, the countryside, beaches and public gardens can stay open, this means that tracks must close during this period).
  • Virtual training sessions can be delivered by qualified coaches
  • Virtual competitions will still take place, and a list of virtual road races can be found here England Athletics will continue to coordinate the Weekly 30
  • For exemptions relating to elite athletes (accessing training facilities) please click here for the relevant guidance from British Athletics.

Online coach and officials' education;

Support from England Athletics

To ensure athletics and running can still play an important role in the lives of many people during these unprecedented times, we continue to provide clubs, affiliated athletes, runners including RunTogether groups, coaches and leaders, officials and families with access to support, resources and activities through our Athletics and Running @home campaign.

We will remain in dialogue with the UK Government and will push for clarity in advance of these new measures ending on Wednesday 2 December 2020 so that we are able to provide detailed updates on how this guidance changes beyond this period, at the earliest opportunity.

We, again, thank everyone involved in our sport, from clubs, runners, athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, volunteers, facility providers, parents and carers for their continued passion, commitment, and dedication to the sport.

The physical and mental health and wellbeing of all our members and their loved ones remains the priority throughout this difficult and challenging period so it is vital everyone adheres to the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions.


Club Support -
Road Running Competitions - Gavin Lightwood
Track & Field and Cross Country Competition - Nichola Skedgel