15/07/2021- Events


In anticipation of the move to Step 4 of the government roadmap in England on 19th July 2021, BF provide an update on the anticipated changes to event protocols. 

In light of the recent announcement of the move to Step 4 of the roadmap in England from 19th July 2021, BF provides an update on the expected changes to the indoor competitive event protocols document for Step 3.

Please note that the expected changes are not yet confirmed, as we are awaiting further clarification from the Government and Sport England in the coming days.

We believe it is still appropriate for fencing events to continue to put in place risk mitigation measures to reduce transmission risk to protect the health and safety of participants, volunteers, coaches, and spectators is paramount and we have indicated the likely measures that will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The expected changes to government guidance which directly impact the running of events are as followed:

  • “You will not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There will also be no limits on the number of people you can meet” However, BF recommends to all those attending events to continue to be mindful of others and maintain space where possible. We will be asking competition organisers to risk assess the areas around pistes especially during poules to prioritise the health and safety of the competitors and the event volunteers/referees.
  • “The requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.” BF strongly recommends face coverings continue to be worn whilst not fencing inside (unless exempt). We are considering continuing with mandatory face masks (unless exempt) for indoor ranking events, and asking event organisers that decide not to require face masks to ensure their risk assessment records the reasons behind this decision, considering the risk posed to all participants (fencers, event volunteers, coaches, spectators etc.)
  • At present, it is expected that capacity cap restrictions will be lifted, however, some venues may put in place restrictions and guidance and event organisers are encouraged to assess risk and put in place restrictions on numbers to avoid overcrowding – particularly at the end of pistes during poules.


Furthermore, requirements that will still be in place for event organisers/events are expected to be:

  • Letting fresh air into enclosed spaces- Measures should continue to be taken to allow airflow throughout the venue (air conditioning systems or opening doors for ventilation)
  • Records of all attendees to kept in accordance with Test and Trace.
  • Any attendee reporting symptoms or required to self isolate after testing positive or contacted by NHS Test and Trace should not attend.

The rules around shaking hands are still suspended for the foreseeable future and fencers are expected to return to on guard line and salute each other (and the referee) at the end of bouts. We are also likely to recommend that shouting is minimised, particularly where spectators/coaches/supporters are in close proximity to each other and fencers/event volunteers.


At present, the following measures will remain in place at BF run events:

  • Mandatory wearing a face covering whilst not fencing (unless exempt)
  • Field of play restrictions
  • No coaching during the poules
  • Restrictions in relation to coaches/spectators – it is likely that for some venues, there will be limited spaces for spectators to have a direct view of the event
  • No shouting
  • No handshaking/elbow touching – replaced with salutes on on guard line

The updated indoor competitive event protocols document for Step Four will be published on Monday 19th July 2021 following the community discussion event on the evening of the 15th July.

Please note, as per the previous announcement, those ‘B’ grade BRCS (Cadet and Junior Women’s Foil and Junior Men’s Foil) will be held under the same measures as the other ‘B’ Grade BRCs held before the 19th July 2021.

This evening (Thursday 15th July)  BF is hosting a COVID-19 Community Discussion Event – Stage 4. Sign Up for this event has been sent out to all Registered Club Admins and COVID-19 Officers on sport80. If you have not received a notification please e-mail [email protected].

More information can be found here – Frequently asked questions on the national coronavirus restrictions | Sport England.


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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