29/06/2020- Covid 19

Guidance for training under new social distancing measures (England)

Fencing activity in England can be expanded from 4th July to include adapted lessons and adapted pairs training under the guidance of a BF Registered Coach, provided additional mitigation steps are followed.

The recent PM statement (on 23rd June, here) outlined the reduction in England in social distancing from 2m to 1m with additional mitigation steps. This will come into effect on 4th July.

There are still restrictions in place regarding numbers of households that can meet and where they can meet and these must be followed at all times.

The purpose of permitting adapted lessons and adapted pairs training is to allow for the re-introduction of some blade in hand skills development training which requires temporary and infrequent movement into 1-2m distance. Additional mitigation steps to reduce risk (these are over and above the mitigation steps already in place for hygiene, equipment sharing etc) are laid out below.

All medium/high intensity work (eg fitness and mobility training) should be undertaken individually at the full 2m social distancing.


Adapted Lessons and Adapted Pairs : Skills development only


Close quarter work, for example angulated/bent arm hits to body.


Medium/High Physical Intensity

Extended periods of time working in 1-2m range.



Maximising long distance work (for example Epee/Sabre can focus on hits to wrist and arms)

Low Physical Intensity



Be aware of the hitting distance of participants based on their height/reach/sword size/target and adapt the exercises as appropriate to minimise time spent within 1-2m.

Be aware of direction of movement in pairs, particularly in relation to direction of ventilation.


Mitigation steps should include:

  • Face Masks or Mask Liners. Close fitting face masks must only be used for this adapted training which should not require elevated breathing – you should be able to easily hold a conversation. Where face masks cannot be used, mask liners (such as those sold by Leon Paul) should be used.
  • Minimum 2m between any training pairs at all times. In a typical fencing venue we would normally recommend using every other piste, and training areas should be set out accordingly.
  • Good ventilation of training area.
  • All previously issued guidance in relation to equipment sharing, cleaning and hygiene should be followed.


Additional Notes:

Risk assessments must be in place for all training sessions.

Additional resources, sample risk assessments and guidance on equipment cleaning, hygiene etc can be found here.

Contrary to expectations, sport centres and facilities will not be opening in England on 4th July and the government is strongly advising against community centres opening for indoor fitness and sports activity.  Some indications from government that indoor facilities may open mid-July. Therefore the expectation is that adapted skills development training will predominantly happen outside.

We will continue to update our COVID-19 advice here, with dedicated pages for clubs and coaches. 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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