UKBJJA Statement on the Prime Minister’s announcement, 22 September 2020

Today the Prime Minister announced a tightening of restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 and new guidelines have been published on the government website (LINK 1, LINK 2).

As BJJ is not a team sport, the restrictions on indoor team sports do not apply to us.

However, the published guidance does contain the following: “From 24 September, organised indoor sport and indoor exercise classes can continue to take place with larger numbers present, provided groups of more than six do not mix. If groups of six are likely to mix, these indoor activities must not go ahead. There is an exemption or organised indoor team sports for disabled people.”

We therefore recommend that coaches strengthen their existing social distancing procedures to ensure compliance with the above and that they can comply with the rule of 6. Apart from that, please follow existing guidelines and make sure you have a suitable risk assessment in place. Physical contact is not permitted, except between members of the same household or support bubble or athletes registered on our Elite Athlete programme.

From 24 September, businesses (including gyms) will need to display the official NHS QR code posters to allow visitors to check in as an alternative to providing their contact details. Posters can be downloaded here.

The new measures are to be enforceable in law and businesses could be fined up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.

Please note that these new guidelines apply to England only. Members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should refer to relevant local guidelines.

The UKBJJA is hugely disappointed that we have still not been given the go-ahead for a return to full contact training (in particular for Juniors) and we are concerned that sports in general are being unfairly singled out by the government, instead of being recognised for the crucial role they play in encouraging physical and mental health, supporting communities and reducing crime.

We are continuing to work with the Combat Sports Panel convened by Sport England to push for a safe return to training as soon as possible.

Mike Williams
CEO, United Kingdom Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association