Junior sport banned for at least a month - government confirms

The government has confirmed all youth sport must stop in the new national lockdown - unless it is part of school activities.

Monday, 2nd November 2020, 10:00 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd November 2020, 10:04 pm
Roffey Robins - pictured last year - are among scores of youth sport teams across Sussex who won't be able to play or train together for the next month - at least

It's another blow for sport on a day when prime minister Boris Johnson said football must stop below elite level.

Many families and organisers of youth sport had pleaded for their activities to continue to help keep kids fit, healthy and happy. But ministers have said they cannot make exceptions to the general that group gatherings are not allowed.

So sport will still played by youngsters if it is during their school day - but things like youth football, rugby and hockey matches and training sessions are banned - to the dismay of many.

This much was confirmed on Monday night by Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for digital, culture, sport and media, who tweeted a series of questions he had been asked followed by his answers.

One was: "Can children play grassroots sport? This will be permitted in school settings. Unfortunately we need to pause grassroots sport outside school to reduce the transmission risk from households mixing. As soon as we can resume this, we will."

The PM has said the intention is to end the national lockdown on December 2 and return to regional tiered restrictions. But whether this happens will depend on how Covid infection rates are looking by then.