England eases Covid restrictions

What the new rules mean for runners

Runners can now meet in groups of us up to six in England

by Trail Running |

The easing of coronavirus restrictions in England has today opened the door to racing, travel for exercise, organised club sessions and informal runs in groups of up to six.

The rules which come into force on March 29 retract the "stay at home" order, meaning runs on non-local trails are a possibility. Meanwhile, thorough guidelines cover race organisation and organised club activity.

Here's a summary of how running is affected by the new rules:

Travel for exercise

Although you no longer have to stay local, the latest guidelines say you should minimise travel where possible. You should avoid making unnecessary trips. You should also avoid car sharing and not stay away from home for a holiday.

Those wanting to travel across borders between the home nations should check restrictions for the respective areas.

Some of England's national parks have welcomed back in visitors in their formal messaging with some reminders of the need to follow social distancing and other guidelines.

Group runs

The "rule of six" returns, meaning up to six people can meet up for a run. In addition, a group of any size from two households can meet. Different rules apply to those classed as elite.

Club runs

Club activity for unlimited groups, including formal coaching, can resume. However, "it must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment."

England Athletics has outlined comprehensive guidelines to which clubs will need to adhere if they choose to restart.

They will have to meet up outside until at least May 17.


Outdoor competition with a licence can now take place, although the extra precautions needed, as well as uncertainties about the future Covid situation will mean not all will go ahead. The Trail Running Association has released guidelines for the staging of "Covid-secure" races.

Parkrun expects 52 of its junior events to resume on Sunday April 11, while the senior 5km resumption is still planned for Saturday June 5.

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