The corner flag on an artificial pitch.

Covid-19 Guidance For 'Non-Elite' Football Updated Following Tier 4 Announcement

The FA has issued the following update

Further to the government’s announcement on Saturday 19 December and subsequent statements on Wednesday 23 December and Wednesday 30 December with regards to the introduction of Tier 4 areas and the latest information on COVID-19, we have issued the following update.

Football for adult participants across ‘non-elite’ football in Tier 4 areas is not permitted, including all training and fixtures. This immediate advice in place from 20 December applies to the following aspects of ‘non-elite’ football in England in Tier 4 areas:

Steps three to six of the National League System (NLS)
Tiers three to seven of the Women’s Football Pyramid
Regional NLS feeder leagues
Barclays FA WSL Academy League (unless under elite guidance)
Indoor and outdoor adult grassroots football
Vitality Women’s FA Cup (which is currently classified as ‘non-elite’ at this stage in the competition)

The government’s Tier 4 guidance states organised outdoor sport for under-18s and disabled people will be allowed, while there are exemptions for FA Girls' Regional Talent Clubs.

The government’s guidelines on travel between tiers should be adhered to. These players cannot move in or out of Tier 4 or travel between Tier 4 areas, as listed by the government here, to train or play.

The government’s Tier 4 guidance confirms that elite sportspeople (and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18) are able to compete and train.

It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers in Tiers 1 to 3 (and permitted football in Tier 4) continue to strictly follow both the UK Government's latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke guidance documents from The FA. Any incidents of non-compliance will be reported to the local County Football Association.

In summary, no adult football including training can take place in Tier 4. Youth football can continue in Tier 4 but clubs and players cannot travel in and out of Tier 4 areas. 

Please also note, spectators are not allowed unless they are adults where they are needed to supervise under 18's in a safeguarding role. Parents or other adults who are not required to fulfil a supervising role are considered to be spectators and must NOT attend. 

If there are any further updates from government these will be communicated in due course.