Update on Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the impact on sport in Wales

Dear WSA Member,

This is an update to help with the sector’s contingency planning around Coronavirus, as we know that many of our members will be concerned about staging events, participation and preventing it spreading further.

Latest Government Information

The UK Government yesterday published an action plan to contain the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Welsh Government has also published information including:

·       statement from Public health Wales (March 4th)

·       Risk level

·       Returning travellers

·       Overseas visitors to Wales

·       Travel advice

·       Further information

The following tailored advice for the sport sector has been developed:

  • There is presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may change as the situation evolves, so please keep a close eye on Gov.Wales
  • Anyone with flu-symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering;
  • For those hosting sporting events, whatever the size, attendees and participants should stay up to date on the government’s latest advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus, which is here;
  • As the situation progresses advice may follow for the frail, elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions (to be defined) to stay away from gatherings as part of general advice aimed at minimising unnecessary contact with others; 
  • For those travelling to sporting events overseas, the Foreign Office’s travel advice should be followed here and travellers should note that apart from the countries and territories named in that advice, the government is not presently advising against travel to anywhere else;
  • For those who offer community and leisure services, such as running a local football team; or running a gym; hand hygiene should be strongly promoted and encouraged and equipment and facilities should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down as usual following use. We understand that the UK Government is planning to publish specific advice on this shortly;
  • There is presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would.

Contingency Planning

Our friends in London, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, have issued the following guidance, and while there should be no presumption that one stage will automatically lead to the next it is best practice to think about the different scenarios that may emerge, adding that the following ‘ABC’ approach may be helpful…

A: As you are - Our current state.

  • There is no need to cancel or postpone your events at this time;
  • Reassure your athletes, stakeholders, and customers, building on the latest Public Health England advice;
  • Examine your insurance policies to see what cover you may have should the situation evolve;
  • Remain mindful of guidance on infection control in the workplace - catch it, kill it, bin it;
  • Take sensible steps to discourage staff with flu-like symptoms from coming to work;

B: Behind closed doors - If the Government finds it necessary to curb travel or large gatherings of people, this is particularly a possible scenario for spectator sports.

  • Consider broadcast options and contractual arrangements, if relevant;
  • Be mindful of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice which may make it more difficult to bring athletes and their teams into the country;
  • Examine your supply chain arrangements, particularly for equipment, and explore contingency plans;
  • Determine the minimum number of staff required to safely stage an event and how you would ensure their wellbeing and manage logistics;

C: Cancellation, curtailment, or postponement - If the Government finds it necessary to impose restrictions which make staging an event or providing a service impossible.

  • Consider how you would resolve your remaining fixtures and conclude your competition, workforce health permitting;
  • Consider how you would deal with cancelled classes, membership, season tickets etc. Make an assessment of the economic impact of lost revenue and share this analysis with Sport Wales. 
  • Please also take every step to help keep our nation active. Being fit and healthy can reduce the risk of infection in the first place. Think creatively about how we can maintain activity levels in such a scenario, looking out for steers from Sport Wales/ Welsh Government. 

The Welsh Sports Association would like to reiterate the importance of following advice from Public Health Wales and Gov.Wales when you have queries relating to the impact of coronavirus. 

If you have any comments or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you don’t want to receive emails in future, please let us know so that we can remove you from our database.

Best wishes



Kate Evans | Head of Communications & Policy/ Pennaeth Cyfathrebu & Pholisi

A: National Centre, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff CF11 9SW