COVID-19 Advice & Guidance to the Fencing Community

Last updated 30/11/2020.

Scroll down for current Home Country status, links to resources and dedicated advice pages including those for coaches and clubs. The latest COVID-19 related news items from BF will appear at the bottom of this page and on a dedicated news page here. Archived updates can be found here.

Current Status


On November 23rd the government announced new measures that will came into place on December 2nd, 2020.

These measures are based on a three tier system, currently expected to be very similar to the three tier system prior to the last lockdown.

In summary, from 2nd December we anticipate:

  • U18s will be able to participate in organised indoor fencing following the BF guidelines in groups of 15 in all three tiers.
  • For those age 18 and over in Tier 1 they will be able to participate in organised indoor fencing (sparring and lessons) following the BF guidelines in groups of 6.
  • In Tier 2, those age 18 and over indoor can participate in socially distanced classes with no interaction between households/support bubbles (ie no actual fencing). BF will be publishing sample Tier 2 compliant classes that clubs can choose to run.
  • In Tier 3, those age 18 and over – no indoor fencing, except between members of households/support bubbles.
  • 1:1 lessons can take place in all tiers at all age groups but restrictions apply with regards to interactions, travel and location.
  • Please note – this may change if detailed guidance from DCMS changes.

More information can be found here. Draft tier guidance here.

Scotland – A new 5 tier system has been introduced. More information here.

Key points are:

  • All fencing (outdoor) for U18 (those aged 17 and under) including lessons and sparring can happen up to and including local authorities in Level 3
  • All fencing (outdoor) for adults (those aged 18 and over) including lessons and sparring can happen up to and including local authorities in Level 2
  • Fencing (indoor) for U18 can happen up to and including Level 3. This includes sparring and other forms of training done within the age groups although all adults are required to distance therefore no traditional lessons can happen but coaching from a distance is fine.
  • Fencing (indoor) for adults is only permitted at Level 0. From Level 1 upwards all adults not in the same household must distance as per the usual requirements (2 metres)


Wales – No fencing sparring and no fencing lessons permitted.

Wales entered a “fire break” lockdown on Friday the 23rd October and this finished on the 9th of November. Details of the post lockdown guidance can be found here.

“Specifically up to 15 people can take part in an organised indoors activity (such as an exercise class – where a responsible body is managing the event) and up to 30 in an organised activity outdoors, providing all social distancing, hand hygiene and other covid safety measures are followed”.

Latest Welsh Government Advice here.


Northern Ireland – New measures in regulatory effect on Friday October 16th  for a period of four weeks. No indoor fencing of any kind involving household mixing. No mass events involving more than 15 people (except for allowed outdoor sporting events where the relevant number for that will continue to apply). Gyms may remain open but for individual training only with local enforcement in place

Government Regulations and what they mean for you.


All Nations – Risk assessments must be completed before any activity takes place. Welfare and First aid provision must be considered. Welfare Officers are still a requirement for clubs. Coaches must be on the BF Register and club members must hold BF membership. No fencing competitions currently permitted. Any outdoor activity must have additional appropriate outdoor safety measures in place eg flooring, footwear.

(Lessons = where one fencer hits another fencer/coach on their body with a sword)

Scroll down the page to find additional useful links (including links to guidance published by Home Nation Funding agencies and local governments).  See news here for more information.



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