GOVERNING bodies have provided updates on sports activity that impacts on people in the St Helens area.

The Football Association and the Rugby Football Union are among those to have spelt out what it is that individuals, teams and clubs can now do and still can't do during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

There is common ground for many sports in the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions announced by the Government from June 1.

This includes allowing small groups of up to six people to meet for training outdoors while adhering to social distancing rules such as staying two metres apart.

The FA state the situation for all permitted grassroots football and informal football activity outside:

• Playing football individually. For example, practice of individual skills or fitness activities

• Playing football with your family or other people living in your household

• Football training or fitness activities in groups of no more than six, keeping two metres apart at all times.

The FA update also advises that the sharing of equipment should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after.

And it warns that physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted, therefore playing of any games (small-sided or full) is also not permitted at this time.

"Avoid meeting in groups of six in busy or overcrowded areas if it is so busy that it is not possible to maintain social distancing at all times," it says.

The guidelines also state that football coaches can now undertake small group sessions up to six people (including the coach) but are reminded to follow FA safeguarding policy when coaching/working with children.

This must include risk assessing the activities, gaining consent from parents/carers and ensuring another adult is in sight of the session.

It is permissible for coaches to organise a training session that has two or more groups of six (including the coach) involved in the session, as long as the groups of six are kept separate, everyone is socially distancing and strict hygiene measures are in place with any equipment.

Football coaches working with people with impairments must ensure they can adequately cater for any additional needs while still avoiding physical contact and maintaining social distancing. Individuals should follow Government guidance relevant to their own impairment or health condition.

People are reminded in the update that if an individual is symptomatic, living in a household with a possible Covid-19 infection or classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home.

The RFU have developed further guidance for community clubs in light of the restrictions update.

"Rugby activity remains suspended. However, individuals may, if clubs wish to open their facilities, engage in outdoor field based individual training with members of their own households, or as part of a small group of up to six individuals from different households while staying two metres apart," says the update.

"People should avoid mixing with too many people from outside of their household in a short space of time.

"Any involvement of coaching personnel must be included as part of a group of six people.

"Care should be taken at all times as there is a continued risk of infection. Given this, equipment – including rugby balls – should not be shared with anyone outside of an individual’s own household.

"There is no change to the guidance regarding club facilities. Each club should make individual decisions about when their facilities are ready to open and can be operated safely.

"Until a club believes it is safe and responsible to re-open, it should remain closed. Facilities that are open must follow relevant government guidance."

The general advice is to check current up to date guidance issued by the Government, sport governing bodies, leagues and clubs before involving yourself in group sporting activity.