Updated: 15.06.2020

The previous advice offered by BF can be found below. Much of the advice around kit cleaning, minimising sharing, following venue protocols and so on will be important to bear in mind as and when clubs and events resume.

For up to date information please visit the current COVID 19 Advice and Guidance page here.

Previous Announcements for reference only

Due to the number of announcements we have now created a news page here where all the COVID-19 announcements can be found.

29/05/2020 Guidance Changes from 1st June (England) – increased opportunities for outdoor exercise

28/05/2020 Update from Scottish Fencing

22/05/2020 FIE announce updated Tokyo Qualification System

18/05/2020 Clarification on sparring and lessons (not currently permitted) and 1:1 socially distanced coaching sessions (outdoor public places only, no U18s) here.

13/05/2020 Further guidelines issued by government here including further guidance for coaches. (Please see the coaches page for important note re 1:1 socially distanced sessions with U18 athletes.)

11/05/2020 Government issues new guidance on next phase here.

11/05/2020 Sport England Community Fund closes this Thursday 14th May.

20/04/2020 Government Job Retention Scheme now open for claims

14/04/2020 FIE announce update to Tokyo Games Qualification

02/04/2020 EFC postpone U23 European Championships (previously 27-31.5.2020). Decision on new dates will take place after FIE announce new calendar.

01/04/2020 Welsh Government and Sport Wales have announced that they are making £400,000 immediately available to provide support to not-for-profit sports clubs. The funding will be targeted at clubs who are already facing significant challenges after a difficult few weeks and who are likely to need immediate financial support over the next 12 weeks if they are to remain an important part of their communities in the future. See our clubs page for more information as it is made available.

31/03/2020 Sport England announce £195 million package to help sport and physical activity through coronavirus – includes money to help clubs and community organisations cope with the short and long-term impact of the pandemic. See our clubs page for more information as it is made available.

30/03/2020 IOC Announce news dates for Tokyo2020 – 23rd July 2021

24/03/2020 IOC Announce postponement of Tokyo2020

19/03/2020 Message to Clubs and Coaches

19/03/2020 Senior Rankings Suspension – BF will not award senior ranking points for any event taking place from today until at least 1st August 2020.

18/03/2020 British Fencing has made the following decisions with regards to events:

  • 2020 Senior National Championships – Postponed until later in the year
  • 2020 British Youth Championships and GB Cup – Postponed until later in the year
  • BRCs – Cancelled until mid-August 2020

The full announcement can be read here.

17/03/2020 A message from Georgina Usher and Mark Lyttle to the members of British Fencing. Please read the message here.

16/03/2020 now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.” PM statement on coronavirus: 16 March 2020.

16/03/2020 now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.” PM statement on coronavirus: 16 March 2020. We recognise there are significant implications for our fencing community in the UK after today’s announcement by the PM. We will be updating our website over the next few hours/days and emailing all our members. During this time the health and wellbeing of our community are of the utmost importance – please continue to follow the official guidance and look after yourself and each other. This page is currently being updated based on government advice issued today.

British Fencing is in the process of reviewing the impact on upcoming major events in light of the PM’s statement. A BF statement will be issued on Wednesday. Our current recommendation is that clubs and competition organisers follow the government guidelines and look at postponing or cancelling non-essential sessions and stop all unnecessary travel.

BF recommends that all clubs review their programmes of club sessions and events following this statement.

The government advice in the event of symptoms:
If you or anyone in your household has one of those two symptoms
– a high temperature
– a new continuous cough
then you should stay at home for fourteen days.

12/03/2020 14.17 FIE confirm postponement of:

  • The Men’s and Women’s Foil Grand Prix in Anaheim (USA)
  • The Women’s Sabre World Cup in St-Niklaas (BEL)
  • The Men’s Epee World Cup in Buenos Aires (ARG)
  • The Men’s Sabre World Cup and Women’s Epée World Cup in Budapest (HUN)
  • The Junior and Cadet World Championships in Salt Lake City (USA)
  • Zonal qualification events for the OG


12/03/2020 09.50 Anaheim Grand Prix is postponed. Information will be published on the Anaheim selection pages and all athletes should check their email for further advice. (MF and WF).

In light of this and the US travel restrictions announced this morning, BF is fully expecting and planning for postponement of Cadet and Junior World Championships. We will publish updates and detailed advice and guidance as we have it on the dedicated Cadet and Junior World Championship page. Please note the preparation camps scheduled for this weekend and next weekend have been cancelled.

12/03/2020 13.15 USFA have announced all FIE events in the next five weeks will be postponed due to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout countries around the world. This includes the Foil Grand Prix in Anaheim as well as the men’s and women’s saber and epee World Cups scheduled next weekend. BF has not yet received any confirmation from the FIE directly.


Club Activity

The Scottish Government issued advice on 15.03.2020 which can be found here. This contains the guidance “Sports may also wish to consider the viability of holding grassroots and club activity, in light of the increased spread of the virus and the impact that (it) may have on both participants, staff and volunteers. Sports may wish to carefully consider cancelling sessions specifically aimed at older adults given the increased risk posed to those individuals.”.

Clubs operating out of hired venues should keep in close and regular contact with the managers of those facilities and ensure that any established protocols for venue use are followed.



Specific questions have been asked around the sharing and use of equipment such as masks, gloves and jackets. The cleaning and maintenance of all equipment should be common practice in clubs. We recommend that all clubs ensure that this is taking place in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Most gloves can be washed in a washing machine and masks should be regularly wiped down, inside and out, either using cleaning wipes or using a clean cloth and a surface cleanser. Please check on the labelling that the cleanser/wipes are effective against both bacteria and viruses.

16/03/2020 Update: Anyone fencing on a regular basis is recommended to purchase their own fencing glove. Where possible we recommend minimising sharing of equipment – for example allocating masks to a single individual for a period of weeks, consider short term equipment loans etc. Where masks are being used by more than one person they should be cleaned between uses (as above).


Participants returning from abroad

If you have participants returning from abroad (these may be existing members/guests/new members) please ensure that they are aware of the current guidelines around travelling and self-isolation;

You may wish to ask them to complete a short questionnaire to confirm they have not been to any category 1. country in the last 14 days or any recent exposure (see example questionnaire below).

Those of you using external facilities, particularly schools, may find that they have already put in place similar procedures for site visitors. If you have not already done so, please contact the facility manager to find out whether these apply to your club.


Members presenting at club with symptoms

As is normal practice already, anyone with symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering. Clubs may wish to ask members to consider checking their temperatures before travelling to club.


Shaking Hands/Hand Hygiene

BF has temporarily suspended the requirement for fencers to shake hands at the end of the competitive bouts. It is recommended that clubs take similar action and simply retain the salute to mark the end of a bout or lesson.

It is also recommended that clubs ensure that there are appropriate hand washing facilities available for members, and encourage handwashing at the beginning and end of each session.


Contact Details

It is important that clubs maintain up to date contact details and attendance registers. In the unfortunate event that any cases arise, you will need to provide these lists to public health authorities to enable them to contact those present. Consider also collecting contact details from any additional visitors/observers such as parents.


Update/Guidance for Sport from DCMS & Sport England


  • That there’s presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may change as the situation evolves.
  • Anyone with flu-like symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering.
  • For those hosting sporting events, whatever their size, attendees and participants should stay up to date on the government’s latest advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus.
  • As the situation progresses we might advise the frail, elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions to stay away from gatherings as part of general advice aimed at minimising unnecessary contact with others.
  • For those travelling to sporting events overseas, the Foreign Office’s travel advice should be followed and travellers should note that apart from the countries and territories named in that advice, the government isn’t presently advising against travel to anywhere else.
  • For those who offer community and leisure services, such as running a local football team or running a gym, hand hygiene should be strongly promoted and encouraged and equipment and facilities should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down as usual following use. The government is planning to publish specific advice on this shortly.
  • There’s presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would.

These should be our guiding principles. As you are well aware, guidance may change in response to events, so please keep a close eye on



Sample Questionnaire

Name: __________________________

BF Membership No: __________________________

Date: ___________________________


1. Have you recently travelled to or from any Category 1 areas for COVID-19 (coronavirus) click link to see Category 1 areas?

2. Have you been in contact with anyone who has traveled to Category 1 areas for COVID-19 (coronavirus?)

3. Have you had any cold symptoms, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing or fever within the last 14 days?

4. Have you been in contact with someone with a proven infection with COVID-19?




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