New coronavirus restrictions announced on Tuesday could be in place for more than six months, following a surge in infections across the country.
Aside from imposing a 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants, Boris Johnson also tightened the exemptions around the ‘rule of six’ – which allows no more than six people to meet at any one time – reducing the number of guests allowed at weddings as well as putting new restrictions on indoor sports.
So just what does this mean for your game of five-a-side football – can it still go ahead?
Here’s what you need to know about the changes…
Is five a side football allowed?
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Under the new restrictions indoor sport with more than six players in total is now banned – meaning that you can no longer play indoor five-a-side football.
Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday Boris Johnson said of the change: ‘We will also have to extend the rule of six to all adult team sports.’
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden later tweeted: ‘Due to the rapid spread due to social contact, I’m afraid we can no longer permit exemptions for indoor grassroots sport’.
However, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has now clarified that this only applies to games played indoors – meaning that you can still play five-a-side as long as it’s outside.
The rule also only applies to adult sports – children are still exempt from the rules.
‘We are not stopping outdoor physical exercise, we are not stopping outdoor physical exercise, we are not stopping team sports outside, we want that to continue,’ Boris Johnson said as he faced questions in the Commons after laying out the new measures.
Which indoor sports can you still play?
Indoor sports which involve fewer than six people can continue as long as they stick to Covid-safe measures which have been approved by the Government.
This means sports such as badminton and tennis, as well as activities such as trampolining and gymnastics can continue.
Exercise classes and swimming pools can also continue to operate, as long as they stick to Covid-secure guidelines.
It’s not yet clear what will happen with elite sports which are played indoors – with the British Basketball League saying on Tuesday they are ‘seeking clarification’ over whether they will be allowed to carry on playing matches.