Coronavirus Guidance for Athletics


Athletics NI have put together some useful information below to help assist our clubs, athletes, coaches and officials during the Coronavirus outbreak in Northern Ireland.

This page will be updated on a regular basis, to reflect the latest guidance from the Government and Public Health Authority. Click here for an accessible version of this content.

COVID-19 Restrictions Update

Updated 22nd April 2021

Now that restrictions are easing and competition is coming back, we want to advise our Competition Providers that the current Irish Government restrictions state that travel in Ireland is restricted to within the county, or up to 20km if crossing a county boundary. Any athlete resident in Ireland is therefore unable to compete in any Northern Irish competition, unless the competition is within 20km from their home. The exemption to this is elite athletes who hold an exemption letter from the Athletics Ireland High Performance Director.

While we can’t wait to welcome all Irish athletes back to compete in Northern Ireland, we ask that all competition providers continue to follow the guidance from both the NI Executive and Irish Government to ensure the safety of all involved.

Updated 20th April 2021

Following the NI Executive announcement of the restrictions from 23rd April, Athletics NI would like to advise all stakeholders of the following:

  • From 23rd April groups of up to 15 people (including coaches and volunteers) can take part in outdoor athletics training through an Athletics NI affiliated club. More than one club session can take place at the same time in the same vicinity, but groups should remain socially distanced*
  • Athletics tracks are limited to 100 participants at any one time, with maximum group sizes of 15
  • Competition can be organised by a club, individual or individuals affiliated to Athletics NI, with numbers (including participants, officials, management and essential support personnel) not exceeding 100 and no spectators permitted
  • All activity is subject to continued adherence to PHA guidance on social distancing, face coverings and hand sanitising, and to the protocols on the Athletics NI website

*Sport NI have clarified the above further by stating that: To comply with the regulations any individual / club organising outdoor sport training needs to be able to satisfy the following criteria: (a) they are affiliated to or have membership of an organisation that has oversight of the standards of their provision. This therefore allows Athletics NI Licensed Coaches to take sessions.

Athletics NI will update this guidance upon further updates from Sport NI and the NI Executive.

The following Return to Competition Guidance has been updated:

Guidance Documents

Covid Exit Plan This is our Pathway for a return to sport, and covers venues, coaching, clubs and competition. It aligns with the NI Executive and Sport NI Frameworks and details what activity can resume in each category as we reach each Step. It is designed to be a flexible document and is likely to change depending on instruction and guidance from the NI Executive, UK Athletics and Sport NI.

Return To Sport Guidance for Clubs  Updated 31 March 2021

Return to Sport Guidance for Athletes & Coaches  Updated 31 March 2021

Guidance for the Resumption of Jumps  Updated 31 March 2021   

Covid Risk Assessment Before commencing any training session coaches should complete a risk assessment to determine if it is safe to do so. This risk assessment has been designed to specifically assess Covid-19 related risks

Covid Coordinator Checklist This document has been designed to aid those who have been appointed their Club's Covid Coordinator.

Sport NI- Guidance on Managing a Confirmed or Suspected Case

These documents has been developed with guidance from Marsh Insurance, UK Athletics, the Home Country Athletic Federations. They are subject to change as we fully return to sport and as further guidance is issued from the NI Executive and Sport NI. We would like to thank all our clubs, coaches and athletes for their patience and understanding during this difficult time. We appreciate the desire to return to training and competition and hope that these guidelines will assist everyone in their return to athletic activity.

Useful Links

Advice on Coronavirus & Social Distancing:

Information on Facilities and Outdoor Activities:

Webinars & Athletics Activities

England Athletics Coaching Webinars:

World Athletics- Athletics At Home:

NI Direct Covid Advice