Statement: Coronavirus update (23rd June)

June 23, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing has today updated its guidance for Members and Clubs following the latest government advice published on 23rd June.

Regrettably, the Government has not changed its advice regarding the opening of gyms. They are to remain shut until advised otherwise. This is a legal requirement.

England Boxing understand the inconsistency of this and how frustrating this will be to its Membership. It continues to push for this to be changed in conjunction with other national governing bodies. However, it still remains the organisation’s view that it is far safer to train outdoors.

With regard to the change, in certain circumstances, to one metre, with mitigation, of the social distancing rule from 4th July, England Boxing will review the ban on pad work (outside of households) and provide additional advice, including use of gloves, in advance of this. But in any event, this cannot change before 4th July.

However, due to the increased levels of physical exertion while exercising, and thus the spreading of vapour droplets, at least two metres should be maintained wherever possible, even after 4th July. In no circumstances is sparring / competitive boxing permitted.

The latest advice reiterates that as well as exercising on your own or within your household, you can exercise with up to five other persons from outside your household – provided social distancing measures remain in place. This means that pad work, sparring or contact is not permitted.

For avoidance of doubt, the groups are limited to six in order to prevent larger and wider chains of transmission. Therefore, you can’t have multiple groups of six unless there is significant distance between them and they do not mix or share equipment. Even within the group of six, equipment should be thoroughly cleaned between each individual use, alongside following the governments personal hygiene advice.

This also means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household, as social distancing cannot be maintained.

People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish. You are still not able to use areas like outdoor gyms, or ticketed outdoor leisure venues, until at least 4th July (more information on those types of venue to follow in due course) where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces.

With regard to boxing activities and training, it means England Boxing’s guidance for Clubs and Members is as follows:

  • Exercise and boxing activity can now take place as many times in a day as a person wishes, but must be conducted either individually or amongst those within a household in outside spaces for things such as general fitness, aerobic training, running, cycling, agility work. Resistance / weight training is allowed, providing a person has access to their own equipment, as well as bag or pad work if confined to those in the household.
  • Additionally, one person from a household may meet up to exercise with five other persons in an outside space (maximum six people in total). Where this occurs, they must maintain social distancing guidelines of being at a distance of at least two metres. So, potentially, a coach or boxer could join five others for sprinting / running, shadow boxing etc, but not hold pads and there must be no sparring or contact between two boxers etc. We have been advised that a person such as a coach / boxer could meet up with five others in the morning for exercise and meet another five later in the day, although the advice says that meeting multiple groups during a day should be kept to a minimum. To be clear, multiple groups of 6 should not meet unless there is significant distance and no contact between the groups or sharing of equipment.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, all safeguarding requirements must be maintained.
  • All coaching outside of this context is to be conducted digitally or by other means (such as telephone support), avoiding personal interaction.
  • Continued compliance with social distancing guidelines is to remain two metres away from people outside your household and you should maintain good hand hygiene (wash hands regularly), particularly with respect to shared surfaces. Where equipment is shared, it must be fully cleaned with strong hygiene measures e.g. cleaning with a suitable cleaning product between use.
  • Those responsible for public places must be able to put in place appropriate measures to follow the new COVID-19 secure guidance. Normal safety considerations should also be considered.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, all indoor gyms remain closed, and all outdoors gyms are also not permitted at this time (with more information on outdoor gyms to follow in due course).
  • All competitive amateur boxing bouts and sparring is not permitted at this stage, other than those as defined for elite athletes (boxers on the GB programme or professionals who have completed stages one to three of the government’s elite sport return to domestic competition guidance) – as previously explained.
  • Those who are clinically vulnerable should check for further information on the government website:

As stated above, England Boxing understand Clubs’ desire to get back to training for many reasons. However, it is important that the government advice is followed in order to not transmit the virus and put people at risk.

So that Clubs are aware, the Government has not provided any detailed indications as to when the gyms will be allowed to open or what will be required in order to do so.

England Boxing continues to push for this and will provide updates on return to boxing as soon as they are available. England Boxing will review the latest detailed advice and get further clarification and update accordingly, including regarding pad work, as soon as possible. In any event, there will be no changes before 4th July.

You can read the UK Government’s latest guidelines regarding outdoor sport and recreation here.