running pairs

'Non-affiliated' group runs and events hobbled as 'Rule of Six' comes into force

New limits on social groups another good reason to join a running club

New government guidance on the size of social groups comes into effect in Scotland today (Monday, 14 September), reducing the number of people we can run with at one time.

What’s come to be known as ‘The Rule of Six’ across the UK reduces the number of people aged over 12 who can meet indoors and outdoors in Scotland to six – from just two households. Failure to comply can result in a £60 on-the-spot fine. 

The good news is that the reduction in permitted numbers does not apply to those taking part in sessions organised by scottishathletics affiliated running clubs or jogscotland groups. 

For 'affiliated' runners taking part in club training sessions or group jogs, the current Phase 3 guidelines permitting 15 individuals to run together, with social distancing required only before and after a session, remain in place. 

The bad news is that the ‘Rule of Six’ reduction and guidance on household numbers applies to all other kinds of running groups, like those made up of friends, neighbours or work colleagues. The reduction also applies to non-affiliated events. 

The apparent surge in cases of COVID-19 in Scotland makes it unlikely that the country will move to Phase 4 of the government’s route map out of lockdown – and the return of larger-scale events – at the next review, scheduled for Thursday. 

With that in mind, all runners should play their part in helping to stop the further spread of the virus by adhering to appropriate guidelines, as well as remaining strict about hygiene and social distancing whenever possible – not just when required. 

In particular, clubs and groups in East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire – the five areas currently subject to local restrictions – are strongly advised to reduce their bubble sizes from 15 runners to eight. 

Clubs and groups in these areas are also advised to reintroduce physical distancing during sessions by  keeping 2m apart when running side by side and 5m when running single file.

Image credit: Unsplash

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