Athletes can now return to training with immediate effect under new guidelines whilst also avoiding punishment if they do not feel that it is yet safe to return.
The new guidelines require all elite athletes to have a one on one check up with a medical expert, who will check their health and explain the risks of Covid-19, before they return to their clubs for training. Social distancing will still be adhered to and athletes can individually decide when they deem it safe to return to training, with them also being provided with a route to step away from training once they have returned if they experience symptoms or feel it is unsafe.
The guidance was prepared by a working group led by UK Sport CEO Sally Munday with input from athletes, medical experts and representatives from governing bodies. Munday said in a UK Sport statement “we are therefore asking all sports to work through the guidance carefully, to give confidence to both athletes and support staff that they can “opt in” to any return to training safely. Ultimately the decision on when to return to organised training must be taken by each sport, in conjunction with relevant training facility providers, understanding all of the complexities and intricacies of individual sports.”
Oliver Dowden, the secretary of state for the department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said “I know our sports stars are keen to get back to training and this guidance will enable them to do so in a safe way. Our top priority is protecting the health of athletes, coaches and support staff. Enabling athletes to get match-fit is an important milestone towards restarting competitive sport behind closed doors – but we have not given a green light yet. We are clear that this can only happen on the advice of medical experts and when it is safe to do so.”
You can read the UK Sport statement here.