FA COVID Guidance for the Return of Football

Guidelines for the Return of Grassroots Football

Get the latest guidance from The FA on the return of football following the pandemic

Guidance for players, coaches, officials, volunteers, clubs, leagues, parents/carers and facility providers undertaking grassroots football activity in England

UPDATED 20/08/2021 15:00

On Monday 19 July, England moved to Step 4 of its roadmap in easing COVID restrictions. This means that almost all legal restrictions on social contact have been removed, although the Government is encouraging people to act with caution. The FA guidance has therefore been updated to reflect this.

This updated guidance which covers Steps 3-6 of the National League System (NLS), Tiers 3-6 of the Women’s Football Pyramid and grassroots football (including Regional NLS Feeder Leagues).

The full guidance document can be downloaded below and should be referred to for further details. This guidance document applies to all youth and adult football and futsal, including all formats of the game, both indoors and outdoors.

The summary key points are:

  • On field adaptions for playing football are no longer required
  • No limits of how many people can meet
  • 1m plus rule removed
  • The definition of close contact remains the same, however the rules on self-isolation changed from the 16th August
  • Face coverings no longer required by law, but recommended in crowded indoor settings and may be mandated by some clubs or facility providers
  • Changing rooms can be used, however participants should use their own judgement and minimise use where possible to avoid close contact in a crowded area for a prolonged time
  • No capacity limits for spectators but good practice is encouraged
  • Hospitality is permitted without restrictions
  • NHS Test and Trace QR codes not required by law but encouraged
  • Free NHS lateral flow testing is available to clubs and The FA encourage clubs to take this up
  • No domestic travel restrictions. Participants should continue to follow Government advice on international travel for any fixtures/ tournaments

While most restrictions are being lifted, there will still be the requirement for those identified as close contacts of someone testing positive to self-isolate (if they are over 18 and have not been double jabbed). Therefore to minimise the impact on squads, players and clubs should still consider how they can reduce the likelihood of close contact occurring.

We would like to thank you once again for playing your part in helping to get our game going again. By observing Government guidance and the football-specific protocols, we can look forward to ensuring the transition back to enjoying football is as smooth and safe as possible.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL GUIDANCE 

Further updates will be added to this page as appropriate

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