COVID-19 Advice & Guidance to the Fencing Community

Last updated 05/01/2020.

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 January 4th the government announced a new national lockdown, the details of which can be found here.

In summary, It’s against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they’re part of your household or support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise in an outdoor public place, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you shouldn’t travel outside your local area (village, town or city area).

What this means specifically for fencing and fencing clubs:

  • Sports clubs/facilities are required to close to grass roots sport
  • No indoor fencing activity in any setting will be able to take place
  • 1:1 training/coaching outside in an outdoor public place (not private gardens) is allowed, provided that the fencer does not travel outside of their local area (village, town or city area). Please note that using metal swords in an outdoor public space is typically not permitted under previous (non Covid-19 related) legislation.  Permission must be granted by the landowner/landlord/local authority.
  • Fencing competitions will not be able to take place.
  • The only exemptions to the above will be for designated elite athletes –  in fencing, this exemption will only be used by BF in exceptional cases to prepare athletes for the Olympic Zonal competitions as part of a BF managed elite programme (in line with the government’s Elite Return to Training guidance). Elite activity will be subject to a further risk assessment prior to commencing in light of the current situation.


From Tuesday 5 January 2021, mainland Scotland moved from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. (Fencing is not an essential purpose.)


Wales – No fencing sparring and no fencing lessons permitted.

All of Wales entered Alert Level 4 on 19th December.

Organised outdoor and indoor sporting activity is not permitted.

Individual outdoor activity – including with your own household is permitted. There is no limit to the amount of outdoor exercise an individual can undertake. All activity must take place locally. Alert Level 4 restrictions must be followed at all times.

Leisure and fitness facilities, including swimming pools, are not permitted to be open to the public under Alert Level 4.

Latest Welsh Government Advice here.


Northern Ireland – Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, additional restrictions were introduced for people in Northern Ireland on 26 December 2020 for a period of 6 weeks.

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

Only individual or household outdoor exercise is permitted. Physical activity such as walking, running, cycling, horse riding, or just walking the dog, bring many health benefits.

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. 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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