Scotland's runners welcome Phase 3 & the ‘Return to Sport’
Further relaxation of lockdown rules for all and good news for the Granite City
Changes to the coronavirus lockdown restrictions that come into force today (Monday, 24 August) should mean a return to normal – or at least herald the start of a proper ‘new normal’ – for many smaller running clubs and groups.
As Scotland has now entered Phase 3 of the Government’s ‘Path out of Lockdown’, official guidance permits outdoor coaching and group road-running sessions of up to a maximum of 30 people.
Even better, those 30 people taking part are now deemed to be part of a ‘field of play’ bubble for the duration of their training, which means no social distancing is required during that time.
scottishathletics, however, recommends a maximum ‘bubble’ of 15 adult athletes and requires its coaches and jogleaders to work to the discipline-specific guidance issued by the governing body.
While runners no longer need to keep 5m ahead or behind others when running single file, social distancing is still required outwith the actual training – including the start and end of sessions and any breaks – for ‘bubbles’ of either size.
Today also brings good news for Aberdeen’s runners, who have been in local lockdown for nearly three weeks following an outbreak linked to the city’s bars and restaurants.
From midnight, Granite City runners have once again been able to travel more than five miles for exercise and recreation.
If coronavirus stays under control, Scottish runners can expect further changes after the next government review on 10 September. Sports stadia could reopen – with limited, physically distanced spectators – from 14 September.
There may also be a further relaxation of the rules surrounding outdoor events at that point, but runners should not expect the any new rules to allow the return of every event, and almost certainly not large ones.
Next Monday (31 August) will see the long-awaited return of all indoor sport and leisure facilities for non-contact training – hello again, treadmills – provided the establishments follow the appropriate regulations.