Latest updates

Updates:

19th July 2021
The majority of Covid restrictions have been eased.
Entry on the day is permitted.
ROs must continue to complete a Covid risk assessment.

Members should continue to self-assess for Covid symptoms and SHOULD NOT attend if symptomatic or positive.

Face coverings are not required; however, the Government recommends that people should continue to wear them in crowded and enclosed settings (such as registration or prize presentations indoors), and some Race Organisers may stipulate requirements for face coverings as a condition of race entry.


17th May 2021
Overnight accommodation is more widely open.
Spectating in the outdoors is permitted in groups of up to 30.
Additional guidance for Race Organisers regarding face coverings.

14th April 2021
Overnight domestic stays are allowed in self-contained accommodation.
Spectating in groups of no more than 6 may now be possible after 17th May.(28, updated 8th April 2021)

26th March 2021
Following updated guidance from DCMS (28, updated 25th March 2021) our guidance on spectating has been updated.

24th February 2021
Races are permitted from 29th March with suitable Covid-safe social distancing measures in place.
Members are advised to minimise travel although there will be no restrictions on County borders.
Domestic overnight stays are permitted after 12th April. Spectating in groups of no more than 6 may be possible after 12th April(31).

4th January 2021
Following the Government’s updated Covid-19 National restrictions, events have been suspended until further notice (29).
All outdoor competition is not permitted (30).

29th December 2020
Following updated guidance from the Government and England Athletics, events cannot take place in Tier 4 (Stay At Home) areas.
Events can take place in Tier 1-3 areas.
Volunteers may travel into or out of Tier 3 (Very High alert level) areas to officiate.
Members should not travel into or out of Tier 3 (Very High alert level) areas.

22nd December 2020
Following updated guidance from the Government and England Athletics, events cannot take place in Tier 4 (Stay At Home) areas. Events can take place in Tier 1-3 areas. Volunteers may travel into or out of Tier 3 (Very High alert level) areas to officiate. Members should not [emphasised] travel into or out of Tier 3 (Very High alert level) areas.

2nd December 2020
Following updated guidance from the Government and England Athletics, events can resume from 2nd December 2020 (26).
Local tier restrictions do not affect outdoor organised sport (23); however, travel affects events and residents in Tier 3 areas.

5th November 2020
Following updated guidance from England Athletics, events have been suspended until at least 3rd December 2020.
All outdoor competition is not permitted (25).

28th October 2020
Following updated guidance from England Athletics, events can still take place within Very High alert level areas however there is to be “no travel into or out of those areas to compete or officiate” (24).

17th October 2020
New regulations involving local COVID alert levels (‘tiers’ or also known as a ‘local lockdown’) introduced 12th October DO NOT apply to outdoor organised sport (23). However, guidance does advise residents should not travel outside Very High alert level areas and people should not enter a Very High alert level area (22).

22nd September 2020
New regulations involving the ‘rule of six’ introduced 24th September DO NOT apply to organised sport and as such do not affect current advice in place (18) (19)

14th September 2020
New regulations introduced 14th September DO NOT apply to organised sport and as such do not affect current advice in place (4) (7)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)



The Fell Runners Association appreciate this is a very challenging time for our sport as the country tackles outbreaks of Covid-19.

As regulations change, please be kind to our Race Organisers who have a difficult job putting on events and attempting to manage rapid changes outside their control at short notice.

(This guidance applies to fell races in England only - please see this note.)


We are committed to:
  • - keeping our Members informed of relevant changes to guidance regarding our sport and encouraging members to keep physically active and racing to promote health and wellbeing
  • - supporting our Race Organisers in staging fell races in a safe and secure manner where they feel it is achievable by advising of current guidance and suggesting best practice in accordance with regulations.
  • - ensuring that Junior fell races are enjoyable for the younger athlete despite the Covid restrictions.

We have established a Covid Working Group to help understand new regulations and advise Race Organisers and Members through this difficult time.

This page will be updated with information relative to ongoing guidance.

Contents:
Summary of Activities
Guidance for Members
Guidance for Parents/Guardians
Guidance for Race Organisers
Additional Guidance For Race Organisers Of Junior Races

Summary of Activities

as at 19th July 2021 (latest changes in red):

Races can take place without restriction.

To clarify, entries on the day are allowed.

ROs and Members must remember that any third parties attending races (e.g. timing service providers, venues, etc) may stipulate their own conditions for attending races. Race Organisers should check with such third parties in advance where possible and advise entrants accordingly.

Runners are advised to bring a face covering to all races as the Government recommends that people should continue to wear them in crowded and enclosed settings (such as registration or prize presentations indoors) to protect themselves and others.(1) Runners exempt from wearing a face covering must contact the Race Organiser well in advance in accordance with the guidance below (here) to establish whether arrangements can be made to accommodate this.

Participants must continue to self-assess and not attend any race if they are showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste

Participants are continued to be advised to practise good personal hygiene at all times (including use of 70%+ alcohol hand sanitiser) - before arriving, at registration, when using toilets (if provided), when entering checkpoints, leaving checkpoints, etc.

Guidance for Members

This is an extremely challenging time for organisers and you can help by adhering to these measures.

Failing to follow this guidance undermines the case for our safe sport to be allowed to take place. Please respect Race Organisers' requests to ensure everyone feels safe.

Self Sufficiency
In the true spirit of fell running, we continue to encourage self-sufficiency :
Bring your own face covering (a doubled-up neck gaiter will suffice) and hand gel (70%+ alcohol content)
Carry these with you in your race kit in case of emergency.
Carry your own food and water where possible.

Runners are advised to bring a face covering to all races as the Government recommends that people should continue to wear them in crowded and enclosed settings (such as registration or prize presentations indoors) to protect themselves and others.(1) Runners exempt from wearing a face covering must contact the Race Organiser well in advance in accordance with the guidance below (here) to establish whether arrangements can be made to accommodate this.

Travelling

You can travel and stay in accommodation to exercise and take part in informal and organised sport(28).

Follow best practice for travel including minimising use of public transport and limiting car sharing. Walk or cycle if you can. People from a household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle. Details can be found here

Please be aware of general Government advice for individuals and families at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Symptoms

You must continue to self-assess and not attend any race if you are showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms:

  • a high temperature,
  • a new, continuous cough,
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

In addition, do not attend if you have :

  • been in contact with anyone showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms in the past 14 days
  • been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace service,
  • travelled within the last 14 days to an international location where self-isolation is required following your visit. A list can be found here

At the race

Follow all personal hygiene guidance including washing your hands, carrying tissues for sneezing and bringing a small face covering in case you need it (they are small and easily fit in your bag)

Use hand sanitiser: before arriving, at registration, when using toilets (if provided)

Following the race

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms and/or have a positive test within 72 hours of the race, you must inform the Race Organiser and you should complete the UKA Covid-19 Report Form here .

Club training activity

The principles of Covid-safe activity detailed here can also be applied at formal Club Training activities. Specific guidance for Club Training will be provided by your Club and is also available at englandathletics.org.

Club officials looking for examples of ways in which to implement Covid-safe protocols might find it helpful to review Trawden AC’s Covid page here.

.

Guidance for Parents/Guardians

This is an extremely challenging time for organisers and you and your child can help by adhering to these measures.

Failing to follow this guidance undermines the case for our safe sport to be allowed to take place. Please respect Race Organisers' requests to ensure everyone feels safe.

Self Sufficiency – In the true spirit of fell running, we continue to encourage self-sufficiency:

  • Bring your/their own face covering (11+ only; a doubled-up neck gaiter will suffice) and hand gel (70%+ alcohol content).
  • Carry your/their own food and water where possible.

Runners are advised to bring a face covering to all races as the Government recommends that people should continue to wear them in crowded and enclosed settings (such as registration or prize presentations indoors) to protect themselves and others.(1) Runners exempt from wearing a face covering must contact the Race Organiser well in advance in accordance with the guidance below (here) to establish whether arrangements can be made to accommodate this.

Travelling

Please be aware of Government restrictions on individuals and families available at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Symptoms – You or your child must continue to self-assess and not attend any race if you or they are showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms, including:

  • a high temperature;
  • a new, continuous cough;
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
In addition, do not attend if you or they have:
  • been in contact with anyone showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms in the past 14 days;
  • been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace service;
  • travelled within the last 14 days to an international location where self-isolation is required following your visit. A list can be found here:

At the race:

  • Follow all personal hygiene guidance including washing your hands, carrying tissues for sneezing and bringing a small face covering in case you need it (they are small and easily fit in your bag).
  • Use hand sanitiser: before arriving, at registration, when using toilets (if provided).

Following the race

If you or your child develops Covid-19 symptoms and/or has a positive test within 72 hours of the race, you must inform the Race Organiser and you should complete the UKA Covid-19 Report Form here .



Guidance for Race Organisers

Race organisers will need to continue to carry out a Risk Assessment for their event including risk associated with Covid and necessary safe procedures; consideration must also continue to be made for the wellbeing of marshals and volunteers. A template Risk Assessment for key areas highlighted here is available

We have produced a template Risk Assessment specifically for Junior fell races to assist in designing your protocols for Covid-Safe procedures. Please see here.

It is important to remember that the law does not expect you to eliminate all risk but you are required to protect people as far as ‘reasonably practicable’. (9)

Emphasis is placed on reducing:

  • Droplet transmission: based on duration and proximity of participants.
  • Fomite transmission: the risk associated with the handling and transfer of equipment in the sport
  • Population: the number of participants likely to take part (15)

It is noteworthy that the risk of droplet transmission during a fell race is considered low, with generally greater than 1m proximity for less than 3 seconds’ duration.

By controlling the flow of participants and maintaining good personal hygiene, the risk can be kept manageably low.

PPE

Gloves are not recommended and considered unnecessary. “Regularly washing (sanitising) your bare hands offers more protection against catching Covid-19 than wearing rubber gloves.” (11)

If you are using handheld timing devices which means you may transfer to/contact someone else, then gloves are advisable.

PPE should NOT be considered a replacement for keeping people 1m+ apart and avoiding “spending time in crowded places or in groups” (12)

Face coverings for participants

The Government recommends that people should continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings (such as registration or prize presentations indoors) to protect themselves and others.(1) Race Organisers should check with third parties such as event timing companies, venues, etc, in advance where possible and advise entrants accordingly.

Most face coverings are intended to protect others rather than the wearer. Their use allows mass starts to be more compact than without face coverings, which is essential for the viability of certain races.

Participants who have a reasonable excuse for not wearing a face covering should contact the Race Organiser (RO) in the first instance to discuss whether suitable arrangements can be made. It would be sensible for the terms of race entry to require participants to confirm, at the stage of entry, that they will wear a face covering as required or, if they believe they have grounds for exemption, contact the RO by a specified time in advance of the race.

ROs should, where practical, cater for such participants; failure to do so could in some circumstances be contrary to the law by being indirect discrimination against participants with a particular protected characteristic (e.g. disability). The nature and extent of adjustments which may be possible (if any) will depend on the particular circumstances of each race and so are a matter for, and at the discretion of, the RO.

If accommodating any face-covering-exempt participants, ROs will wish to consider the safety of volunteers and marshals (which might include offering them secondary face shields) as well as other participants. In line with Government guidance on physical distancing there should be a suitable starting position that maintains at least 2m distance to other participants in the starting area.

ROs have a duty of care to participants and may therefore ask those citing an exemption to provide the reasons. Any such request should be made sensitively and in a manner which will protect the privacy of the participant (which is why it is important this is issue is discussed with a participant citing an exemption in advance of the race, not on registration where others will be present). Runners unwilling to disclose details to ROs when requested may contact the FRA directly (through the Secretary) to request a blanket exemption. If granted, the exemption should be honoured by ROs and participation in races permitted so far as possible with reasonable adjustments.

Additional COVID-19 detail for event brief - You should ask entrants to report to you if they show any Covid-19 symptoms and/or a positive test within 72 hours following your event. If athletes test positive you should direct them to complete UKA Covid-19 Report Form here: https://www.uka.org.uk/governance/health-safety/covid-19-form/. This should be done prior to the day by email to bring the participants’ attention to key information.

Ensure marshals continue to self-assess and do not attend any race if they are showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms:

  • a high temperature,
  • a new, continuous cough,
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

In addition, they should not attend if they have :

  • been in contact with anyone showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms in the past 14 days,
  • been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace service,
  • travelled within the last 14 days to an international location where self-isolation is required following their visit.

Kit - in addition to mandatory kit, all Participants should continue to carry appropriate hand gel and mask face covering.

Licensing - New licences for all races will be required, by application to Andy McMurdo, Fixtures Secretary. Please refer to email “2021 FRA Race Licensing” dated 20/09/2020 or contact Andy for further clarification (07568 092534 or [email protected]). A link to the FRA Licence Application Form is here.

Brief Checklist

Check with Local Authority and Landowners of private land to gain approval for the race and review any additional measures they may impose. Contact the FRA with any unreasonable impositions or refusal of land access for further support.

Review your Risk Assessment taking into account additional Covid risks. Use the Risk Assessment Template to incorporate any additional mitigation measures you feel are appropriate

Consider the venue and space to ensure there will be adequate space to prevent overcrowding or implement measures accordingly (such as a requirement for face coverings).

Review your plan for marshals/volunteers - whereas some areas may need more help, there may be cases where too many volunteers may hinder physical spacing.

Additional Guidance for Race Organisers of Junior Races

Junior fell races present additional complexity owing to accompanying parents and the requirement for supervision of the younger athlete. These organisational differences are highlighted below to assist in your planning for Junior races.

English Junior Championship Registrations with up to 350 runners are complex events and the following suggestions and recommendations may assist organisation:

  • EOD is permitted, but consider limiting it to a maximum of 20 to reduce the queue and inputting on the day required prior to each age group start.
  • Actively encourage online entries.
  • Consider increasing the prices of EOD to reflect the increased cost of additional PPE and cleaning equipment required.
  • To manage queues if EOD is offered, consider allocating a specific time window, at spaced intervals for each age EOD group.
  • Consider putting the EOD registration in a separate area to minimise gatherings.

If you have any queries regarding Junior Race procedures, please contact us by emailing [email protected].

References

1) Government Covid-19 general advice for England (here)

2) Sport England Covid-19 advice (here)

3) England Athletics Covid Guidance (here)

4) Update: Athletics and Running activity will not be affected by the new restrictions 10th September 2020 (here)

5) Government Additional Local Restrictions (here)

6) The risk of infection is low outdoors, where "normal conventions of personal space and natural social distancing" are respected - Rapid Scoping Review of Evidence of Outdoor Transmission of COVID-19 (Centre for Sport, Physical Education & Activity Research (spear) at Canterbury Christ Church University) (here)

7) “There are exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people. These include...organised sport or exercises classes or licensed outdoor physical activity.” - Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): Meeting with others safely (social distancing) (here, updated 14 September 2020)

8) “You shouldn’t travel with someone from outside your household unless you can practise social distancing - for example by cycling. It is not possible to practice effective social distancing in small vehicles.” - Guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England (here, updated 15 September 2020)

9) England Athletics, A Return To Restricted Training Activity And Ability To Access Track Venues – Athletics And Running Health And Safety Guidance (here)

10) WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 5 June 2020 (here) via ITRA Covid-19 Race Organizer´s Standard Operating Guidelines (here)

11) WHO Advice: Coronavirus Infographic. 09/03/2020 (here) via ITRA Covid-19 Race Organizer´s Standard Operating Guidelines (here)

12) WHO Advice: COVID-19: physical distancing. 14/06/2020 (here) via ITRA Covid-19 Race Organizer´s Standard Operating Guidelines (here)

13) Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers (here)

14) NHS Check if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms (here)

15) Guidance Return to recreational team sport framework Updated 15 September 2020 (here)

16) Appendix 1 of Guidance Return to recreational team sport framework Updated 15 September 2020 (here)
(click image for full size version)

(click image for full size version)

17) COVID-19: guidance for first responders (here, updated 22 September 2020)

18) Sport England Guidance (here, accessed 23 September 2020)

19) Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): Meeting with others safely (social distancing) Updated 22 September 2020, Exemption from rule of six for "organised outdoor sport or licensed outdoor physical activity, and supervised sporting activity (indoors or outdoors) for under-18s" (here)

20) Public Health England: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - what you need to know. "Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours." (here)

21) "Neck Gaiters" study, J Pan and L Marr, Civil and Environmental Engineering of Virginia Tech (here)

22) GOV.UK - Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know (here)

23) Sport England current guidance (here, accessed 16th October 2020)

24) Guidance update – step 3 (21st October 2020), England Athletics (here, accessed 28th October 2020)

25) New guidance announced for athletics and running following latest national lockdown restrictions (4th November 2020), England Athletics (here, accessed 5th November 2020)

26) Guidance update (27 November 2020), England Athletics (here)

27) Guidance update (20 December 2020), England Athletics (here)

28) Coronavirus (COVID-19): grassroots sports guidance for the public and sport providers, UK Government. Updated 25th March 2021. Updated 8th April 2021. (here)

29) National lockdown: Stay at Home, UK Government (here)

30) Guidance update (8 January 2021), England Athletics (updated 13th May) (here)

31) COVID-19 RESPONSE − SPRING 2021, UK Government (here)

Notes

PLEASE NOTE:
This guidance is for English fell running only which is under the jurisdiction of the Fell Runners Association. For details of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland guidance, please refer to the website of the relevant organisation: