Martial artists in the UK will be able to resume training following the release of the Phase II guidelines from the government, which require the training to be held under specific conditions to minimize the risk of a second wave of new coronavirus infections.
The second-phase guidelines follow the UK’s Phase I guidelines, which were published on May 13 and include standard social distancing practices. The guidelines for Phase II include the following:
“Stage Two training can be described as the resumption of close contact (interaction within the two-metre social distancing boundary) training where pairs, small groups and/or teams will be able to interact in much closer contact (e.g. close quarters coaching, combat sports sparring, teams sports tackling, technical equipment sharing, etc).”
While the government is permitting close-contact sports, it’s leaving the transition up to people such as coaches or officials in the individual sports communities, who will be responsible for ensuring that the guidelines are adhered to. The guidelines recommend a slow transition to full group training, such as starting off with smaller groups of athletes training together. They also suggest having participants (such as athletes and coaches) adhering to social distancing practices when not actively practicing the sport, such as when sitting on the sidelines.
The entire document, including the list of all the Phase II guidelines, can be found here.
Provided all goes well, a Phase III reopening is likely to occur in June, which will see the reemergence of professional sports events.