Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said this would “reduce the transmission risk from households mixing”.
But the decision sparked a backlash from coaches and campaigners. Brian Akintokun, international co-ordinator at Grassroots for Good and community development director at Hackney Wick FC, said: “We think the guidelines are senseless. It doesn’t make sense that children can go to school but cannot take part in sports outside in a socially distanced way. It’s going to be harmful to their physical and mental health.”
Former sports minister Tracey Crouch tweeted: “If travelling was an issue we could have stopped competition but continued with training, with all the Covid security clubs have introduced.”
Founder of Tennis First Charitable Trust Matthew Cattaway, who coaches in Ealing and Hounslow, said: “The LTA is lobbying the Government and we are waiting on a final decision.” England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson has signed a letter to Boris Johnson asking for a rethink.
Joe Wicks has confirmed he will bring his online workouts back for the new lockdown from Monday. He said on Instagram: “I promised if we went back into a lockdown I would be here to help you get through it and I’m now committing to filming and sharing three new workouts a week until lockdown is over.”