SG02: Planning for social distancing

The SGSA has published guidance to assist sports grounds in planning for the return of fans under social distancing – Supplementary Guidance 02: Planning for Social Distancing at Sports Grounds, which we refer to as SG02.

This guidance builds on the Green Guide.  It has been developed to support the recovery of sport and help fans to return to our sports grounds and safely enjoy the experience of live sport again.

Download the guidance: SG02 Planning for Social Distancing at Sports Grounds

It will help to equip you with the knowledge and guidance you need to plan for the return of fans with confidence. Importantly, it will help you to determine a new safe capacity for your venue. The guidance is aimed at outdoor sports but many of the practical steps that we set out will be equally relevant to indoor sports.

It includes:

  • Assessing the safe capacity of a sports grounds for social distancing
  • Management responsibilities for social distancing and COVID-19 protection
  • Management – facilities, supplies and installations
  • Circulation design and management, including ingress, egress and concourses and vomitories

Policy guidance

To accompany the guidance, we have developed policy guidance to generate a common understanding on how the existing sports grounds safety regulatory framework in England and Wales will apply in the context of the new COVID-19 biosecurity protocols.

Download Policy Guidance Sport with Spectators COVID-19 Regulatory Controls – August 2020

The guidance has been developed to help practitioners to implement the Government’s Stage Five guidance, which sets out that social distancing will be maintained wherever possible when spectators are admitted to elite sporting events.

The publication of this guidance does not allow for the admittance of spectators to elite sporting events in England at this time. The Government’s Stage Five guidance is only in draft format at this stage and subject to change.  We will keep our guidance under review and update as and when necessary.

Support materials

The SGSA has developed a number of support materials to assist grounds in planning for the return of fans.  This includes:

  • Videos detailing the contents of the SG02 guidance, led by Ken Scott, author of the document
  • Webinars which can be watched on-demand, including question and answer sessions with Ken
  • Case studies based on two EFL grounds

This and other COVID-19 related guidance can be found on our COVID-19 webpage.

Martyn Henderson, Chief Executive of the SGSA, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on sport. We know the immense pressures that sports grounds and clubs, their owners, staff, players and supporters have faced.  Bringing fans back into grounds while maintaining social distancing will bring new challenges. Just as we have all had to learn new behaviours in order to reduce the spread of the virus, sports grounds too will need to significantly adapt.  This guidance provides sports grounds with the knowledge and guidance they need to plan for the safe return of fans with confidence.

“Our purpose is, and always will be, ensuring fans can watch live sport safely.  The return to full stadia will not happen overnight.  However, our new guidance provides sports grounds with the tools to enable some spectators to return safely.”