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Sports and recreation guidance

Following changes to restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Isle of Man Government has continued the process of bringing sports and recreation back online. This follows successful work with sporting associations and clubs to produce sensible and credible plans on how they will do that safely as well as Public Health’s approval of risk assessments and control measures, with the release of guidelines for each sport by the Isle of Man Government.

Please note considerations for the participation in sports extend beyond the number of people participating.

Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, sharing a house with someone displaying symptoms, or required to self-isolate is not allowed to attend.

The sale of sport and recreational activities stopped in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Education, Sport and Culture is now pleased that the guidelines provided will support businesses that sell sport and recreational activities (for example riding lessons) to operate in such a way that they can re-open.

The guidelines that follow apply to all:

  • sports clubs
  • coaches, tutors and instructors
  • Local governing bodies of sport and associations
  • Leisure & recreational activities that involve a group of people participating together

For information on specific sports please see the table at the bottom of the page.

Guidance for sports and recreation activities

Following the recent change to restrictions on social gatherings issued by the IOM Government, outdoor sports and recreational activities will be able to take place by following the strict guidelines as set out below:

Local sports associations and clubs are strongly advised to also seek the advice and  specific guidance for their own sports and activities from their National Governing Body of Sport. Local clubs will need to undertake their own risk assessments in conjunction with their local Association and adjust their activities which align to the guidelines set out below.

  1. A maximum of 10 individuals can participate as a ‘group’
  2. Individuals deemed to be vulnerable due to health conditions should refrain from involving themselves in group activities at this time and continue to exercise or participate as an individual.
  3. If an instructor and/or a coach is present, this person is to be included in the 10.
  4. Any instruction or coaching is to be done from a distance (minimum of 2 metres) and no physical contact is permitted to assist with technical support. The coach or instructor needs to be aware that there is an increased risk of droplet/aerosol formation from any exercise that raises respiratory rate and depth of mouth breathing. In these instances it is essential that rigorous 2 metre distancing is adhered to and regular hand washing is undertaken.
  5. Up to 10 individuals permitted per area/facility. Multiples of 10 cannot be distanced over the area/facility in separate sections. If there are 10 people present for a session the next group will need to wait, regardless of available space within the vicinity.
  6. Outdoor sports and activities only
  7. Club houses and changing rooms remain closed
  8. If toilets are open to encourage hygiene and hand washing, a cleaning attendant is required to clean at regular intervals
  9. Social distancing of at least 2 metres is required for the sport or activity to take place
  10. No element of the sport or physical activity is to involve contact with others (a traditional game of rugby, hockey, football or other contact sport / activity cannot take place).
  11. Where a club has an organised training activity involving children taking place then a qualified first aider should be present. Physical contact to administer life-saving or attend to serious injuries is permitted if required.
  12. No sharing of equipment. Where a sport requires the touching of a piece of equipment (ball) by more than one individual from different households suitable adjustments should be made to ideally remove this element or put in place measures to ensure risk is reduced (e.g. hand washing immediately before and after play).
  13. Once an activity has ended, any equipment that has been used by an individual to participate in their activity must be cleaned and sanitised prior to being used by another person. Hand hygiene should be observed by all participants before and after activity.
  14. It is the responsibility of the organiser of a group activity to arrange access to sanitiser and / or wash rooms to observe the necessary hand hygiene measures for participants; and general environmental hygiene (e.g. frequent cleaning/sanitising of touch points including handles, doors etc.)
  15. No competitions, tournaments, fixtures or events must take place. Only leisure and recreation at present time.

Recreational Sport


Permitted but with adaptations

Not yet permitted




























































Indoor Gyms / Exercise classes




Outdoor Exercise Classes












Martial Arts








Recreational motorcycling















Snooker / Pool












Table Tennis








✓ Permitted: These outdoor activities can be performed on your own, with someone from the same household or with a group of up to 10 individuals that are not from your household, as along as strict social distancing measures are applied and equipment is not shared.

✓ Permitted, but with adaptations: These activities may not be permitted in their ‘current form’ however some sports Governing Bodies may wish to restart some form of ‘adapted activity’ for their sport based around the guidelines issued.  A risk assessment will be required from the organising body to evidence that these guidelines will be adhered to. Organisers of an activity who are found to not be abiding by these guidelines risk a fine of up to £2,500

X Not yet permitted: These activities are not permitted at this time due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • They require the use of indoor venues
  • They are ‘close contact’ activities which would not enable social distancing measures to be implemented. 
  • They require groups of more than 10 people from outside your household, which is not currently permitted.