Thank you for contacting me about sports during the coronavirus epidemic.
This period is incredibly challenging for us all, and I thank everyone for their efforts in complying with the restrictions that have been brought into force across the country. I know how hard it has been.
This guidance is applicable only in England. If people are in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland they should adhere to the guidance published by the devolved administrations.
From 5 November people will be required to stay at home except for specific purposes, one of which is to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place. This can be done with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household. Children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside. Subject to these restrictions, there is no limit to how much exercise people can take.
As part of the effort to reduce day-to-day contact with other people and thereby reduce the spread of the infection, the Government has, however, ordered certain businesses and venues to close. In addition to non-essential retail venues, these do include indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.
There is no exemption for organised team sports, however elite sport, which takes place in rigorously controlled environments, will be allowed to continue behind closed doors as currently.
I fully appreciate the impact that these closures will have on sports facilities and clubs. That is why I welcome the measures the Government has set out to support employers to retain workers even if they cannot afford to pay them, so that they can continue to work where they can and be paid at least 80 per cent of their salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP