WSA Phased Return to Sport Update
Stay local travel restrictions (widely known as the “the 5 mile rule”) have been lifted in Wales. Anyone in Wales is now able to travel wherever they choose, and are able to cross the border into England. Travel can be undertaken for any purpose that is within the current regulations, so people are able to travel for the purposes of participation in sport and recreation. This change will open up return to a number of sports that can take place outdoors, with social distancing in place.
The next formal review of lockdown measures will take place this week, with changes from Monday 13th July to be confirmed at a press conference on Friday lunchtime. We believe that outdoor team sports may be unlocked at this review, in line with changes taking place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. It’s also anticipated that a wider group of elite athletes will be able to return to training.
At the press conference, we know there will be some relaxation of the regulation preventing overnight stays in self-contained accommodation, as well as the ability for the hospitality industry to serve customers outdoors. Alongside the reopening of outdoor leisure and sports facilities this will allow many outdoor clubs to operate in some shape or form this summer.
Attention will now need to turn to the pressing need to get a timetable for the return of indoor facilities, who are keen to return to action this summer and build consumer confidence before the end of the job retention scheme in October and the beginning of the winter months. The First Minister has said that indoor facilities such as gyms and swimming pools may not return for a “while”, but we now desperately need clarity on when this may be. Without certainty on a return date, the need for Welsh Government to protect the finances of indoor facilities will become stark, as many are now facing severe financial short falls.
The WSA continues to work with the sector to feed evidence and suggestions into the Welsh Government that can be taken into consideration for the easing of regulations. Details on the WSA’s phased return to sport planning groups can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to be involved in these sector consultations, please contact the WSA team.