Higher Education group size exemptions confirmed in Tier 2 & Tier 3 lockdown areas (England)
Fencing activities delivered to groups of up to 15 students in higher education institutions can take place in Tier 2 & Tier 3
This means that the 2nd October government exemption covers all alert levels.
Sport England published this advice on 15/10/2020:
Most sport in educational settings will be covered by the exemption for supervised activities for children (i.e. under-18s), and so can take place in groups larger than six.
This includes pupils over the age of 18, where the sport is for the purpose of education, such as curriculum sport or playing for school/college/university teams, but does not include all activity on the educational site.
This means the limit on numbers for indoor team sport doesn’t apply, even if the pupils are over 18, or playing alongside under-18s, provided the sport is for the purpose of education.
This applies to all coronavirus alert levels.
- Fencing activity may take place in groups of up to 15 students
- The exemption does not currently cover recreational use, i.e. hall bookings for groups of friends to fence. Nor does it cover community clubs using higher education facilities or university clubs that have non student/community members. These remain covered by the ‘Rule of Six’ (Tier 1 only)
- Over-18s are only covered by the exemption for sport for educational purposes but this does include intra-mural, training and inter-university competitions.
- This includes anything related to the curriculum/sport-related degree programmes.
- Playing for school/college/university teams is covered by the exemption both at an intra-mural and inter-university level.
- The exemption does not apply to all activity that happens to take place on the university site. i.e. playing for a university fencing team is exempt, but another club that happens to use the university facilities or is loosely associated would not fall under the exemption. It could still go ahead in Tier 1 lockdown areas, but the rule of 6 would apply as with other indoor team sport.
- Over-18s and under-18s (who are students at the university) can play together without restrictions only where this falls under the education exemption (as set out above).
- Other than when actually fencing the 2m social distancing rules should be strictly adhered to.
- All other BF guidelines and fencing adaptations should be implemented.
- Consideration should be given to minimise exposure by avoiding unnecessary travel and mixing with teams from other universities
More information here.
BF Return to Fencing Guidance for England can be found here. This will be updated over the next few days in line with the recently published advice.
Coaches and clubs must continue to adhere to the specific published fencing adaptations designed to reduce risk including those regarding maximum sparring times/bouts.
It may not be sensible or practical to deliver sessions to groups as large as 15. Decisions on group sizes for your setting should be based on:
- the ability to maintain social distancing at all other times other than when doing sparring/pairs work.
- BF guidance on coach ratios
- the ability of those in attendance to maintain social distancing and practise hand hygiene
- your session plan (expected movement, use of space, equipment)
- the size or layout of your premises
- please note that registered Coaches and Welfare Officers are not included in the 15.
If you have any queries regarding this and other announcements please contact us using this form. Many of the queries we get are answered in our guidance and resources here so we strongly recommend reading this in advance of contacting us.
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