Latest Advice From England Athletics

Coronavirus Statement (updated 18 March)

 

Coronavirus Statement: last updated 18 March at 3pm

The UK government has advised that everyone in the UK should now avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to fight coronavirus.  Whilst it has not issued any ban on public gatherings of any size either indoors or outdoors at this stage, the advice is to avoid non-essential contact with others, including going to sporting events, pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues.

As a result, England Athletics advises that all face-to-face activity such as club training sessions, events, competitions, club committee and face-to-face meetings, athlete camps, running groups and social events should be suspended until at least the end of April.

The decision has been taken in the interests of athletes, runners, officials, coaches, volunteers, supporters and the wider athletics and running communities. This decision is also in alignment with actions taken by the home country athletics federations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is similar to action taken by other sports.

Where possible, athletes and runners at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments.

England Athletics will continue to review and monitor government advice and will provide detailed updates on the impact to our sport in the coming weeks. We appreciate that the current situation will undoubtedly place our member clubs in a difficult situation and we are working with UKA and the other Home Country Athletics Federations on the best way to help alleviate the situation and will update you as plans evolve.

Social distancing and advice

Social distancing measures (as defined by Public Health England as spending more than 15 minutes and within a 2-metre distance talking to someone) are now advised not only if we test positive or have symptoms, but in day to day life.  As well as current travel advice, the current UK government is advising anyone with a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature and those they live with need to self-isolate for 14 days.

At Risk groups

The latest advice from the government’s chief medical adviser is that those over 70 currently do not need to be self-isolating. However, in the coming days, every Briton over the age of 70 and those in at-risk groups over the age of 70 will be advised to be “largely shielded from social contact” for 12 weeks to help protect themselves. Those with underlying medical issues such as high blood pressure, lung complaints and weakened or compromised immune systems are more likely to develop serious illness as a result of the disease.

Anyone with a higher risk from viruses such as cold or flu should take sensible steps to reduce the risk of picking up infections. Click here for NHS advice on infection control – it is summarized below:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Click here for the government’s advice if you have symptoms

Courses

All qualification and development courses have been postponed.  Everyone who has booked onto a course will be sent an email asap informing them of the postponement and will be able to defer their booking.

Where we can, we will attempt to continue with education via online methods (e.g. webinar, Skype etc). However, this may not be practically possible for all activities. Where not, the aim will be to re-schedule courses to a later date wherever feasible.

Qualifying races

We are currently undergoing a contingency planning process for qualifying races and will keep everyone updated as soon as possible.

Road Races

If you need to suspend an event and reschedule it for later in the year, and assuming that you have got Local Authority approval for the new date and that nothing else has changed with the race arrangements, then the existing licence with an amended date will be valid. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with confirmation of Local Authority approval and the new race date. Our advice is not to schedule any new events at this time. There will inevitably be some fixture clashes given the level of rescheduling involved.  However our view is that it is in the best interests of the sport and those involved in organising races to stage as many existing races as is practicable.

If you are cancelling your event this year then please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the race will be cancelled on the runbritain system and removed from the Race Listing page. There is no licence fee due for cancelled races and the deposit payment for the licence application can be deferred to next year. If your race is cancelled, you will need to arrange refunds of entry fees or deferrals to next year’s race.

Please note that given the current unique circumstances runbritain is experiencing an unprecedented level of enquires and requests for administration services that will inevitably delay their response time.

Competitions

No emergency services will attend large gatherings so it is unavoidable that competitions will now be suspended until at least the end of April.  We are in contact with event organisers to find suitable alternative dates within the competition calendar and our cancellations page link is kept up to date: www.englandathletics.org/cancellations


This page can be accessed any time using www.englandathletics.org/coronavirus