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BAFA Covid-19 return to play – update and stage 4

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Message from Chief Executive Pete Ackerley

Following today’s UK Government and home nations announcements on further restrictions to try and stem the rising tide of Covid-19 cases, I wanted to take a moment to clarify what this means for our sport.

Today I joined a briefing call hosted by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for leaders of national governing bodies of sport. Following this, and a review of the further guidance issued by the Scottish and Welsh governments, I’m pleased to advise the current impact on our return to play roadmap is minimal.

The primary change is that indoor sport in England must now adhere to the ‘rule of six’ – and with that in mind, we have updated our stage 3 guidance document for England to reflect this and state that all activity must now take place outdoors. This updated guidance is also available on our Covid-19 information hub.

Move to stage 4 of roadmap

I am also able to confirm that there are currently no barriers to prevent us moving from stage 3 to stage 4 of our return to play roadmap. Our current hope is to do so with effect from Saturday 3 October, pending home nation sports council approval of stage 4 guidance. This will reflect the increase in maximum numbers for group activity from 20 to 30 and the ability to host locally organised inter-club friendly non-contact games.

Finally, I again urge you all to exercise caution when undertaking any American football activity and continue to closely adhere to our return to play guidance, and the guidance on social distancing and gathering for your home nation as well as any additional local lockdown restrictions. By doing so, not only do you help ensure the welfare of your teammates, family, friends and local communities, but you help protect our great sport.

Stay safe.