COVID-19 Guidance

FA Guidance update in advance of the government’s step 3 roadmap- 13th May 2021

On Monday 17 May, as part of the next step of the Government’s roadmap out of national lockdown, there will be further changes to the restrictions on ‘non-elite’ football. Our guidance has therefore been updated to reflect this. The key changes to note are in relation to spectators, indoor hospitality and indoor football and futsal.

This updated guidance comes into effect on Monday 17 May and until then all participants should follow The FA’s guidance for Step 2 which can be found here. You can read the Government guidance here.

The key changes to be aware of are:


From Step 3, spectators will be permitted to view events on both public and private land but need to adhere to social distancing rules and social gathering limits set at groups of 30 outdoors and six people/two households indoors. Please note that multiple numbers of these group sizes are permitted as long as social distancing rules are followed.

Spectators are allowed indoors, but the total number of all participants, coaches, officials and spectators must comply with the ventilation rates permitted by the particular venue. You can find more information about this here.

At larger events, capacity limits for spectators, set by The Government will apply. For indoor events this is 1,000 or 50% of capacity and for outdoor events this is 4,000 or 50% of capacity (whichever is lower in both cases).

Indoor Hospitality

As part of Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, both outdoor and indoor hospitality at ‘non-elite’ football is permitted. All participants must follow Government guidance on hospitality settings and specific advice for sport facility operators available on the Government’s website. People using clubhouses and hospitality facilities must adhere to legal gathering limits and wider government guidance.

Indoor Football and Futsal

From Step 3, indoor gatherings of either six people (the ‘rule of six’) or two households can take place. This means that organised indoor adult and children football can return.

For organised indoor sport and physical activity, there’s no limit on group numbers so long as people adhere to capacity restrictions on indoor facilities. The maximum occupancy of each indoor facility should be limited by providing a minimum of 100 square ft per person.

This guidance applies to all youth and adult football and futsal, including all formats of the game. If there are any further updates from the Government, we will communicate these in due course and we will continue to update our guidance as we move through the different steps of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Government’s latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke guidance documents from The FA.

Resumption of football guidance update – 8 April 2021

The FA has updated its guidance on the resumption of football, which has changes to the guidance on the use of changing rooms, and clarifies what the step 2 changes mean for spectators and for hospitality:

FA update on grassroots football for step two of the Government’s roadmap (

A reminder that references to “step 2” in the document take effect from 12th April, and “step 3” from 17th May.

Please be aware that the reference to parents, we are advised, does not allow for more than one parent attending any organised game on private land such as a club or hired pitch because this would breach the spectating rules, but does allow parents to watch their children play “informally” in a public space such as a park, under the “rule of 6” guidance.

Notes from original guidance of resumption of football from 29 March

  • Travel is permitted in order to play football, although you are advised not to travel at busy times or on busy routes. Whilst non-essential travel is to be avoided, it is permitted to travel to play. However, outside of the FA’s guidance, the DCMS guidance notes that overnight stays for the purpose of attending sports events is NOT permitted so please ensure you do not permit overnight stays before the guidance is reviewed on 12th April
  • Parental consent is required for children to play football post-Covid. Parents are required to confirm they are content with your covid security arrangements and as such are permitting their child(ren) to take part. Please ensure you obtain these permissions before you play
  • You are required to complete a full risk assessment, including Covid-specific controls, prior to planning your events. You may find it helpful to share your covid risk assessment with parents in order to gain their consent for their children to play.  You can find a template here
    FA-Covid-19-Risk-Assessment-Guidance-and-Template.pdf (

Please also look out for updates at each step of the lifting of lockdown restrictions, as the guidance may change at each review

The FA’s First Aid Guidance:

The FA’s Guidance for Outdoor Facilities:

The FA’s Guidance for Referees

*Please note: you should also be completing the ESFA standard risk assessment document as well as COVID-19 risk assessments for all activity. These documents are available to download here.