20/07/2021- Covid 19

Updated Organised Fencing Guidelines (England) 19th July

BF publishes updated guidelines for affiliated clubs, coaches and members when running and participating in all Organised Fencing activity in England from 19th July.

The government has recently published updated advice for all activity providers. In light of this and Sport England published guidance, BF has reviewed and updated it’s Return to Fencing guidelines which can he found here: BF Return to Fencing – Fencing Guidelines England Roadmap 19th July v1.0

These guidelines set out all the measures and adaptations that members, coaches and affiliated clubs are expected to follow to allow fencing to continue as we enter Step 4 of the roadmap.

The key priority areas for sport providers as identified by government include:

  • Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes risks from COVID-19
  • Turn people with COVID-19 symptoms away
  • Provide adequate ventilation
  • Clean more often
  • Enable people to check in at your venue
  • Communicate and train.


Summary of changes

(Please see document for full details)

  • There will be no legal restrictions on the numbers of those taking part in sessions. Clubs will be expected to perform their own risk assessments and appropriately limit participant numbers to reduce transmission risk and avoid instancing of crowding/close contact.
  • Indoor activity – There is no legal requirement to use face coverings but BF strongly recommends that these continue to be worn whilst not exercising/fencing (unless exempt).
  • No time/hit limits will be in place, but clubs may choose to continue with these protocols to reduce risk.
  • Fleching, close quarter moves and corp a corp within sparring and lessons is permitted, it is recommended that a safety/competency risk assessment is still performed.

As a reminder:

  • The handshaking rule will remain suspended. Fencers should replace the end of bout handshake with a salute on the on guard line (or equivalent safe distance). Elbow touches are not recommended.
  • COVID Officers and Risk Assessments must be in place.
  • Retention of information still required to support Test and Trace.
  • Hygiene measures remain in place (individual and equipment protocols). Please note the updated requirements here.


The most important ways to reduce the risk of transmission indoors is still

  • Good Ventilation
  • Hands – Regular sanitisation of hands
  • Face – Do not touch your face
  • Space – Keep your distance


For more information please see links below:

Update for Clubs

Updated Equipment Protocols

Update for Event Organisers

Frequently asked questions on the national coronavirus restrictions | Sport England

BF Return to Fencing Resources

As the Roadmap progresses and/or we receive more confirmation and clarity we will be updating the BF guidelines. For context, the summary of the full roadmap (in relation to fencing) can be found here.

If you have any queries regarding this and other announcements please contact us using this form. Many of the queries we receive are answered in our guidance and resources here so we strongly recommend reading this in advance of contacting us.


BF will continue to update our COVID-19 advice here.  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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