COVID-19 Advice & Guidance to the Fencing Community

Last updated 19/05/2021.

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 22/2 the government announced a Roadmap to Ease Lockdown Restrictions which is expected to start on 8th March.  More details here.

Organised Outdoor Fencing activity started from 29th March- more details here.

Organised Indoor Fencing activity started on the 12th April – more details here.

Further restrictions lifted for from the 17th May – more details here.

In summary, with respect to Organised Fencing from 17th May:

  • Indoor space is subject to a capacity cap (based on sq ft/sq m area) and no longer be determined by a ‘bubble’ size
  • U18s and adults are able to fence each other
  • Outdoor organised fencing – no group size limits, groups of up to 30 spectators allowed on public and private land (social distancing rules apply within groups)
  • Licensed indoor competition is allowed, under published BF protocols



On the 17th May guidance was updated for fencing in Scotland. Please find Scottish Fencing’s updated guidance here

As a summary

  • As the country has different levels of restrictions please pay close attention to what is applicable to the region your club is located in. Also note that if a club member has travelled to your session from a region with a higher level of restriction then the session can only run with the group numbers and activities that are permitted in their region.from Monday 17 May
    • Level 3: Moray and Glasgow to remain at Level 3.
    • Level 2The rest of the mainland, Skye and some islands will move to Level 2
    • Level 1Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, the Highland islands with the exception of Skye, and the Inner Hebrides islands in Argyll will move to Level 1.

    These levels may change at short notice so if you are unsure which level of restrictions apply you can use the Scottish Governments postcode checker which is here

    Refer to British Fencing’s Updated Equipment Cleaning protocols and Scottish Fencing’s Adaptive Training Guidance for further advice.



From 3rd May 2021

Gym’s and leisure centres can re-open for individual or one to one training.

  1. A revised risk assessment is required to account for the move to indoor training and must be sent to Welsh Fencing. You may need to work with your venue to ensure it is suitable for all parties. We suggest including an assessment for the further relaxation of restrictions due 17th May
  2. Face masks should be worn at all times except during the lesson
  3. All other guidance above remains
  4. Group work must continue outdoors

Wales enters alert level 3, Children’s indoor activity can resume, organised indoor activities for adults can resume for groups up to 15 people.

  1. Group training can move indoors. Consider the maximum number of fencers the space allows to maintain a 2m distance between everyone when not engaged in fencing activities
  2. Consider keeping U18’s and adults in separate groups that are appropriately distanced
  3. Consider further splitting the fencers into bubbles of 6, only working with those in their group specified by the coach at the start of the session.
  4. Adapted sparring will also be able to commence, in organised sessions only and subject to BF regulations which include:

– Bubbles of 6 fencers (there can be more than one bubble training in the venue at one time)
– Bouts will need to be 1x15hits or 3×5 hits long for a maximum of 10 minutes
– No close quarter, flunge or fleche within the bout
– Face masks must be worn when not sparring, including when resting, watching or refereeing.

Welsh Fencing Advice Page.


Northern Ireland – Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, additional restrictions were introduced for people in Northern Ireland on 19 February 2021. The current regulations are in place until 1 April 2021. They will be reviewed on 18 March 2021.

The regulations will be available on the Department of Health website.

From 12th April, structured outdoor sport training for up to 15 people (including coaches) can resume if organised by clubs/individuals affiliated to NI Fencing/BF. More information here.

Prior to 12th April:

Indoor and outdoor sport is not permitted, other than at elite level.

You should minimise time spent outside your home. You can leave your home to exercise in a public outdoor place: by yourself, with the people you live with, with your bubble, or, when on your own, with one person from another household.

You should not travel more than 10 miles from your home in order to take exercise. If, when you arrive at your proposed destination, there are crowds which will make social distancing difficult you should find an alternative place to exercise.

You cannot participate in personal one-to-one training sessions or group activities such as running or cycling.

Physical education delivered by or for schools, pre-schools and other education providers is permitted to continue.

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 – anyone intending to organise a competition within the next few months should contact BF. 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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