Sports: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that schools and venues with shared sports facilities are able to reopen safely as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

As announced on the 9 July, indoor gyms, tennis courts and fitness and dance studios will be able to reopen from 25 July. This includes facilities shared with schools.

Out-of-school settings which run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children can operate over the summer holiday, with safety measures in place. Providers of these settings have been able to open from 4 July, provided that they follow the protective measures set out by Government.

Out-of-school settings should check the latest government guidelines (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance) on which businesses and venues can open and for which purposes as some premises may only be able to open for certain limited purposes. Out-of-school provision cannot use indoor gyms, tennis courts and fitness and dance studios until they reopen on 25 July.

Protective measures guidance for out-of-school settings, to enable them to operate as safely as possible, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Providers who offer indoor sports activities for children should also refer to the guidance on Keeping workers / volunteers and customers safe during COVID-19 for providers of grassroots sports and gym / leisure facilities.

Guidance to support schools to deliver safe physical education lessons, sport and physical activity is included within the guidance for full opening (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools). Schools have the flexibility to decide how physical education, sport and physical activity will be provided whilst following the measures in their system of controls. The Association for Physical Education has published guidance (https://www.afpe.org.uk/physical-education/wp-content/uploads/COVID-19-Interpreting-the-Government-Guidance-in-a-PESSPA-Context-FINAL.pdf) for the education-based workforce and Youth Sport Trust has published resources (https://www.youthsporttrust.org/coronavirus-support-schools) on the principles of teaching PE in response to COVID-19.

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