On the 22nd February golfers and tennis players alike likely cheered at their screens after Boris Johnson outlined the government’s roadmap for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in England, which included the opening of outdoor sports facilities.
From the 29th March outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, golf courses and outdoor swimming pools will be allowed to reopen. Formally organised outdoor sports will also be allowed, including football, according to the gov.uk site.
Children’s sport is being prioritised as part of the wider plan for school reopenings that occurred on March 8th. This means Under 18s sports will be able to take place at school as part of their education or as part of wraparound care. The 8th March also marked the start of outdoor recreation being allowed, meaning sport can be done recreationally outdoors with your household, support bubble, or with one other person from another household.
Similarly, the rule of six for outdoor gatherings will return on March 29th, which will include informal sports. However, formally organised outdoor sports will able to restart and will not be subject to the gatherings limits.
However, the national lockdown has not seen the complete demise of sport. Elite sport was granted permission to continue during the third national lockdown in addition to, bizarrely, angling or fishing. It was highlighted that tennis and even golf is a naturally socially distanced sport but was banned during the third lockdown, so this move should hopefully serve to create more sense with the lockdown rules regarding sports.
We will have to wait until 17th May at the earliest for adult indoor group sports and exercise classes. So in the meantime, dust off your tennis rackets, golf clubs, or basketball and make the most of the many outdoor spaces that Newcastle has to offer.