Lockdown eased from 27 April, allowing walking in special "red" and "green" zones for limited amounts of time (max 2 persons). Green areas and parks were closed until 11 May. Gatherings of more than two people in public spaces will not be allowed.
Outdoor exercise permitted and non-contact sports (e.g. golf and tennis) resumed 1 May. Outdoor facilities such as athletics, tracks, and skiing facilities away from ski resorts also opened 1 May. Parks in Vienna reopened on 14 April.
The Flemish Minister for Sport has announced that, in addition to allowing residents to walk, jog, cycle, and rollerblade outside, outdoor sports and exercise will be permitted again 4 May. Individuals can exercise with two other people who are not from their household. Indoor sports facilities and changerooms will remain closed. Further announcements will be made on 18 May.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Quarantine measures relaxed on 24 April, allowing senior citizens and children to leave home every second day for several hours. But on 29 April it was decided to reinstate the night curfew during the three-day Labour Day holidays and ban gatherings of more than five people.
By Order No. RD-01-143 / 20.03.2020, the Minister of Health suspended visits to parks, urban gardens, sports and children's playgrounds, and facilities in open and closed public places. Now visits to urban parks and gardens are allowed during specified periods of time and only for dog owners and children up to 12 years old with accompanying adults (no more than 2 persons). There is still a ban on visits to outdoor and indoor public and outdoor playgrounds and facilities. Individual outdoor sports activities are allowed from 4 May, but not competitions. Athletes are allowed to do individual training.
Sport and recreational activities were suspended until 4 May. From 11 May, up to 10 people will be allowed to gather in the same place on the condition of physical distancing.
Gyms, casinos, and other recreational activities resumed on 13 June, around three months after the lockdown was imposed.
Gyms will operate at half of their capacity and only with reservations. Changing rooms and shower areas must remain closed.
Swimming pools will be allowed more swimmers per square metre of surface water under updated regulations issued by the Health Ministry on July 6. Previously, the stringent protocols stipulated that in the case of outdoor pools, only one swimmer would be permitted for every 5 square metres of surface water. For indoor pools, the rule was one swimmer for every 10 square metres of surface water. This has now changed and outdoor pools can have one swimmer for every 2.5 square metres of surface water and for indoor pools, one for every 5 square metres. The 2 metres distancing rule remains in force. The new rules come into effect one month after the launch of Phase 3 of the relaxation of restrictions, which included the opening of swimming pools. Regulations cover personal hygiene of staff and users, checks on the quality of the water, disinfection of premises and rules for changing rooms, among others. They require all swimmers to wear a swimming cap. Spectators must comply with the 2 metre distancing rule on the stands and must remain in those areas and not enter the swimmers’ areas. The exterior of the swimming pool should have signs on the floor so that swimmers can easily maintain a 2 metre distance. Use of changing rooms and showers should be in line with decrees while tables and sunbeds in outdoor pools are permitted provided they are 2 metres apart. Management must ensure they are cleaned and disinfected every time there is a new user. (Reference)
As regards other types of sports, the health ministry’s protocol stipulates that until 28 June there can be no contact between two athletes in indoor spaces such as punching in martial arts, or shoulder-to-shoulder contact in claiming the ball between rival teams in futsal games.
Fitness centers officially opened on 27 April in the Czech Republic. They operated with capacity restrictions of one person per 10 square metres, group indoor lessons with maximum capacity of eight clients plus one instructor and locker rooms and showers closed. During exercise, wearing a face mask was mandatory, as well as disinfection of fitness machines after use of every client. The Czech government began lifting restrictions in waves. From 11 May, the maximum capacity of the fitness center was increased to 100 persons at one time. For more information, see IHRSA National Federation Manual for reopening in English version. Wearing a face mask is not mandatory anymore. From 25 May, facilities operate practically without restrictions. The only restriction now are the increased hygiene conditions. All clubs have been ordered to close again since 9 October.
Outdoor, self-organised exercise allowed for individuals, pairs, and groups under 10 people. DGI and the Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) announced on 20 April that non-contact outdoor sports clubs (e.g. golf and tennis) could reopen. Changerooms, gyms, and indoor facilities remain closed.
Individual outdoor exercises (max 2 persons) have been allowed throughout quarantine. All indoor organised sports are still banned with no concrete deadline. It is allowed from 2 May to use outdoor playgrounds and sports facilities, but some municipalities (Tallinn) impose restrictions.
Individual outdoor exercises are allowed. The Finnish government announced its "hybrid" reopening strategy on 4 May. It plans to reopen outdoor facilities on 14 May and allow sports competitions to resume from 1 June. A gradual reopening of indoor facilities such as swimming pools, sports facilities, leisure and youth centres will also start on 1 June. There will be a 50-person limit to public gatherings, which included sporting events.
Strict lockdown measures are expected to ease on 11 May, but sport is unlikely to resume anytime soon. Beaches will remain closed until "at least" 1 June as well as some parks. People will be able to move freely outside individually or in groups of under 10 people.
The German government announced on 30 April its plans to reopen playgrounds. The German chancellor announced on 6 May that schools may reopen in phases and outdoor sports may resume for children and non-professional leagues under strict hygiene rules. States can decide about the relaxation of measures at their own discretion. For example, sports training as part of a Verein (association) is allowed outside from 15 May in Brandenburg, and in Hessen, sports where a distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained have been allowed since 9 May. Fitness studios will be allowed to open from 15 May.
Regional lockdowns have taken place from 22 June due to new outbreaks of COVID-19.
As of 4 May, people may move freely, as long as it is within their own prefecture. Personal exercise will be allowed in open areas and at beaches, except for organised beaches, which will remain shut. Sports events are likely to be cancelled.
Hungary began lifting restrictions on 4 May. Sports training for professionals and amateurs is now allowed "behind closed doors" and matches will be allowed to resume without spectators. All parks and open air baths are open to the public. Curfews and restrictions still apply in Budapest and Pest County.
Self-organised exercise and organised sport outdoors is allowed for individuals and groups of up 4 people. Public gatherings (including student groups of all ages) was raised from 20 to 50 people on 4 May. Gyms, swimming pools, and indoor sports clubs reopened on 25 May and public gatherings of up to 200 people were permitted.
In a major change from the original five-phase reopening plan on 1 May, An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) announced on 19 June an escalation of reopening from 29 June. This includes all swimming pools, fitness, sports clubs, and most other activities. This is most welcomed by the industry from the original reopening date of 10 August. Only pubs (who don't serve food) and casinos will remain closed until 20 July and limits on mass gatherings to continue with 50 people indoors and 200 outdoors are allowed from 29 June. A new stimulus package was announced to help swimming pools reopen. Following a shock announcement made Friday, 6 August, An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) imposed severe restrictions on movement in three counties (Kildare, Laois, and Offaly), closing down gyms, indoor sports centres, and swimming pools along with restaurants and hotels (except for business accommodation) for a period of over three weeks. New national restrictions were introduced from 18 August to 15 September, which were then followed by a new five colour system as part of the new Living With COVID-19 Plan announced 15 September. It is recommended that those responsible for managing these facilities carry out a risk assessment before reopening to manage the public health risk for their customers, attendees, participants, and staff.
The assessment should consider the risk factors for getting COVID-19, that is distance, activity, time and environment, and include controls such as managed entry, improved hygiene facilities, and regular cleaning to limit these.
Facilities should observe physical distancing guidelines and apply the public health checklist to their operation. Guidance on mass gatherings should also be followed.
Also on 15 September, new local restrictions for the Capital City of Dublin were announced, which are in place for at least three weeks. Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools can open with protective measures, for individual training only.
As of 22 October, all of the Irish Republic was put into Level 5 (highest level of restrictions) for six weeks, closing all health and fitness clubs.
Israel reimposed on Monday, 6 July, a series of restrictions to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, including the immediate closure of bars, night clubs, gyms, and event halls.
One of the strictest national quarantine measures was partly lifted on 4 May, with residents being allowed to go outside to walk or exercise and visit relatives within their region. Gyms reopened on 25 May. Gym members must wear a mask on their way in, but do not have to wear one while working out, and each piece of equipment must be disinfected after every use. People must keep a two-metre distance between each other at all times. Swimming pool users must have at least seven square metres of space to themselves, and keep at least a metre and a half away from other swimmers. Swimming pools and gyms must keep a record of who has attended for at least two weeks, which is the virus' incubation period. Increased national severe restrictions closed gyms from 25 October for a minimum of four weeks with bars/restaurants allowed open until 6 p.m.
The state of emergency is extended until 9 June. From 12 May, gathering indoors and outdoors is permitted with no more than 25 participants. Indoor events can last no longer than 3 hours, outdoor events are no longer limited in hours. Sports and other leisure venues are restricted to working hours (7:00 until 24:00) It is also permitted to conduct sports training under certain conditions.
The government began to relax its measures from 27 April, but sport clubs and fitness centres remain closed.
Lockdown extended until 31 May, but some restrictions have been eased. Sports clubs opening and outdoor events with maximum 30 participants will be allowed from 18 May. From 30 April, outdoor leisure activities are allowed in open areas, with groups of two families or smaller. Golf and outdoor tennis, outdoor shooting, and water sports have already been permitted.
Individual physical activity (running, walking, and cycling) was always allowed during lockdown. On 5 May, the government released major reopening measures starting 11 May. Contact sports will not be allowed, but outdoor sporting activities resumed 11 May, e.g. tennis, golf, and horse riding. Schools are reopening in three phases (secondary schools, 4 and 11 May; primary schools, 25 May), but all physical education classes will be cancelled until the end of the school year. Playgrounds remain closed, but it will be possible for up to 20 people to meet outside 11 May.
All people aged over 65, pregnant women, and others who suffer from particular medical conditions have been ordered to stay at home. The first relaxation measures came into force 4 May, including permission for gatherings of up to 4 persons. Local councils are now encouraged to open up their streets and public squares to pedestrians and cyclists and make some streets car-free.
Moldova is operating a state of emergency until 15 May. It is not known yet if it will be prolonged, but the situation is stabilising. The government reopened parks on 27 April, so residents are allowed to go for a walk/run or to do other physical activity. Sports facilities and playgrounds and other public movement spaces are still closed, as well as all sports clubs and gyms. People can gather in groups of 3 maximum (exceptions are families and people living together).
The Dutch government has announced a step-by-step reopening of public spaces 11 May. Children up to 12 years old can exercise together under supervision. Young people from 13 to 18 years old are allowed to exercise outside with each other under supervision, but with a distance of 1.5 meters between them. Outdoor sports in groups are allowed for all ages from 11 May, if a 1.5-metre distance can be kept. No competitions, shared changing rooms or showers are allowed. Official matches and competitions will not be allowed. Municipalities will make agreements with local sports clubs and community sports coaches. Different municipalities may opt for different approaches. Indoor fitness clubs, gyms, and sports clubs may not be allowed to open until 1 September.
From 7 May, gatherings and sports activities will be possible in a public place with up to 50 people keeping a minimum 1-meter distance. Sports activities can also resume training following strict health recommendations. Contact sports with high risk of transmitting infection are still not allowed, changerooms remain closed and sports equipment should not be shared. The government is also considering allowing events of up to 200 people from 15 June.
The public is able to use open sports facilities from 4 May. The government is implementing a gradual relaxation of restrictions in grassroots sports, including sport classes in schools, sport and fitness facilities, and outdoor sports events with up to 50 participants, without spectators. Due to new outbreaks, all gyms/pools have closed since 19 October.
Exercise outdoors has always been permitted under lockdown, for a limit of one hour at a time. Outdoor classes with a max of 5 participants are allowed. All individual sports are now allowed, respecting health rules. Swimming pools, gymnasiums, and indoor classes remain closed until the end of May (source: IPDJ Sport for All Division).
Lockdown will be gradually lifted after 14 May, enabling people to move freely within localities. People will be allowed to do outdoor sports but in groups no larger than three persons. However, this restriction will be waived for professional athletes, who will be able to train in groups, under special conditions. Sports competitions will not resume yet.
The two largest Russian cities, Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, have extended the coronavirus lockdown until 31 May. Starting 12 May, residents will be required to wear face masks and gloves in all public places and transport. The government is working out a 3-stage plan on lifting restrictions, first allowing people to go for walks and exercise on the streets, and opening parks and other recreational facilities in the third stage.
Serbia lifted its restrictions on 7 May and now allows gyms and fitness centres, parks, and public areas intended for recreation and sports to reopen subject to Serbian government regulations. Residents may move freely outside, but are recommended to stay indoors as much as possible. But temporarily, Serbia’s president announced the reintroduction of a lockdown after the Balkan country reported its highest single-day death toll from coronavirus. President Aleksandar Vucic called the virus situation in the Serbian capital of Belgrade “alarming” and “critical” as the city’s hospitals neared their capacity limits. Vucic said the government would reimpose a curfew as of Friday, 10 July. He said it will “probably” last from 6 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. on Monday, 13 July.
Sports grounds were reopened 22 April for non-contact sports (food/drinks are not allowed, changerooms are closed). Lockdown will be eased in four stages, with stages 2 and 3 expected to be implemented earlier than planned. Stage 4 will include opening of swimming pools, indoor sport venues, and sports events.
From 4 May, all outdoor activities/exercises/sports are allowed with 2-meter distance from others. Professional non-contact sport as well as individual training for all team sports are also permitted. On 6 May, the government adopted an Ordinance on the Temporary Conditions for Playing Sport, which allows adapted training to take place and competitions to proceed without spectators and only participants who are necessary to carry out the matches.
South Africa is still under Level 4 restrictions, but residents were allowed to exercise outside again after 5 weeks on 1 May. There are still strict curfews, so exercise outside is only permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
A ban on exercising outside was introduced in March and lifted 7 weeks later on Saturday, 2 May. Adults are now allowed to exercise between 6 a.m.-10 a.m. and then 8 p.m.-11 p.m. Children can go out to play from midday-7 p.m., and elderly/people with disabilities have protected time slots from 10 a.m.-midday and 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Gyms and swimming pools have since reopened across Spain. But following further outbreaks in Barcelona, gyms were closed on 26 July. Following a high court case taken against the closures, they were then allowed to reopen from 30 July. A national State of Emergency was declared from 26 October with curfews, but decisions regarding gyms will be made regionally.
Outdoor exercise allowed for all. Adult sports matches and tournaments are suspended, but training indoors and outdoors (recommended) is allowed for individuals and groups of under 50 persons. From 17 April, children under 18 can participate in matches and tournaments again. People aged over 70 are advised not to participate in indoor group sports. Gyms remain open according to strict hygiene rules (commercial chain SATS closed for 2 weeks in March). Sports associations can apply to the government for compensation until 15 May (500 million SEK total crisis package).
Restrictions on grassroots sport were lifted on 11 May, when training in all sports and other activities can resume, following strict guidelines. Sports activity may only take place in small groups with a maximum of 5 people, without physical contact and in compliance with hygiene and distance rules. Competitions are also not allowed, but professional sport may resume on 8 June. A decision will be made on 27 May depending on the development of the pandemic.
Lockdowns on weekends are expected to continue until late May. During the week, only citizens 20-65 years old are allowed to go out. Public places like parks are off limits, sports facilities are also closed. From 11 May, it was announced that more people of different age groups will be gradually allowed to go out within limited walking distances, but now lockdown has been extended again until 19 May.
Quarantine is in place until 22 May, and measures are to be eased starting from 11 May: parks, squares, recreation areas will be open for visitors; training of athletes of national teams and individual training will be allowed. Currently, it is prohibited to exercise outdoors. Sport clubs and fitness centres are closed.
The U.K. government issued a roadmap on 11 May, but this is effectively only for England as the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Ireland governments disagree with some of the timelines and reopening protocols. Each of the three home countries are/have introduced their own roadmaps. The other U.K. countries are not following England and will make their own announcements for each of the home nations.
The Northern Ireland First Minister announced on 25 June that social distancing requirements are to be reduced from 2 metres to 1 in a bid to save thousands of companies in Northern Ireland. In addition, “leisure centres” (these are sports, fitness, aquatics facilities) were allowed to reopen from 7 August, which is almost six weeks later than the revised reopening date in the Republic of Ireland. This is significant because there are no physical borders or any restrictions travelling between the Republic and Northern Ireland after the 29 June. On 14 October, the Northern Ireland government introduced a four-week increase in restrictions, but sport and fitness facilities are allowed to remain open for “individual” activities, which means no indoor group exercise classes will be permitted.
The U.K. government has outlined the measures for England that will allow outdoor pools to reopen from 11 July as well as indoor gyms, swimming pools, and sports facilities to reopen from 25 July. Further local restrictions continue to be imposed on sports and fitness clubs from 14 October in the city of Liverpool. Only outdoor classes are allowed. UK Active, supported by IHRSA, continues to campaign to keep clubs open as essential services.
A petition has been issued to keep gyms open and, by time of this publishing, it has reached the minimum 100,000 signatures required for a debate in parliament.
The guidance, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has been compiled with input from the trade body ukactive, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Sport England and other sports bodies, and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.
It includes advice for providers of pool, gym, and leisure facilities on cleaning, social distancing, and protection for staff to help venues get back up and running safely.
It also supports the reopening of sports halls which are vital to the return of play for many sports, including badminton and volleyball. Guidance produced by national governing bodies will complement the government guidance and help ensure indoor sports can be played safely from July 25.
Venues must ensure they can enable customers, staff and volunteers to maintain social distancing before, during and after participation.
The U.K. Prime Minister announced new national restrictions for England on 22 September, which are expected to be in place for six months. This includes the "rule of six" has been extended to indoor sports teams, such as five-a-side football games and the phased reopening of stadiums for sporting events from 1 October has been scrapped. The specific guidance for gyms, fitness, swimming pools, sauna and related services is updated regularly and is now a legal requirement from 28 September 2020. Clubs have again closed in several regions, but are allowed to stay open in Liverpool at highest Tier 3 with regional decisions being made on gyms.
In Wales, nearly five months after being forced to close as part of the nationwide lockdown, health clubs, gyms, indoor pools, and leisure centres have reopened on 10 August, one week after the country's pubs and restaurants were able to open their doors to customers.
Commenting on the reopenings, ukactive CEO Huw Edwards said: "This is a health crisis, so we now look forward to playing our central role—using our facilities and staff to help combat COVID-19 by strengthening the physical and mental health of people in every community.
“We know that many people in Wales have missed their favourite activities, workouts and sports over the past four plus months.
“The health and safety of staff and customers is the number one priority for our sector.
"Having demonstrated to the Welsh Government and public health officials the hygiene and social distancing measures in place, our sector looks forward to showing customers they can return to their gyms and leisure facilities safely and confidently.”
In Scotland, the government has refused to allow gyms, pools, and indoor sports facilities to reopen. A provisional reopening date for the country's facilities has been set for 14 September. (Source)