21/05/2021- Covid 19

Northern Ireland – Indoor Club Training in Squads from 24th May

NI Sport release guidance on the return of indoor club training in squads as indoor group exercise and training (numbers informed by venue) restarts from 24th May.

For all indoor activity, the following restrictions remain:

  • Social distancing
  • Risk assessment to maximum capacity
  • All contact details must be taken and retained

This means that affiliated clubs can restart indoor fencing. BF protocols and guidelines with respect to kit hygiene, equipment sharing and adaptations to indoor fencing must be followed. For more information see here.


Outdoor sport can now return in full through the removal of:

  • the limit of 15
  • the limit on squad training
  • the requirement for outdoor sport being permitted only for those affiliated to a Governing body or an organisation that regulates a sport or sporting activity
  • the cap of 100 on competitive sporting events, and replace with an overall limit of 500 on all outdoor sporting events.

This will allow the more informal sporting events, such as 5-aside matches to take place with up to 500 participants, with 500 spectators also.


Schools can resume extra-curricular activities, including indoor extra-curricular sports and outdoor inter-school sport fixtures.


More information

Return To Sport | Sport NI

Frequently Asked Questions | Sport NI


Further Changes expected from 31st May

An indicative date of 31 May has been set for the return of competitive indoor sport (subject to risk assessment and appropriate mitigations).


To comply with the regulations any club organising indoor sport training needs to be able to satisfy the following criteria:

  1. they are affiliated to or have membership of a body / organisation that has oversight of the standards of their provision (In the case of fencing this is NI Fencing/BF)
  2. they have appropriate Return to Sport Covid protocols in place (as published by BF here.)


A summary of BF’s COVID-19 advice can be found here, with dedicated pages for clubs and coaches. To help you keep up to date, you can also subscribe to our new weekly summary email featuring the previous week’s latest news and announcements. Sign up here.

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