The government has been urged to issue guidance on how new lockdown rules for England will affect sport, “unless they want more sports to face collapse”.

Shadow sports minister Alison McGovern made the comments following the announcement of a new four-week lockdown from Thursday until 2 December to combat rising Covid-19 numbers.

“Yet again sport and physical wellbeing is an afterthought,” McGovern tweeted.external-link

The Wirral South Labour MP said answers were needed “ASAP”.

She posted her message in response to the FA Women’s National League (FAWNL) saying it was waiting on guidance about what the new restrictions meant for its competition.

McGovern added: “The [Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] need to answer questions ASAP unless they want more sports to face collapse.

“And we need to see a cross-government effort on physical and mental wellbeing.”

The Premier League and other elite sports have been told they can continue behind closed doors.

It is not clear how grassroots and amateur sport will be affected but sources have indicated to BBC Sport that it is unlikely that grassroots team sport will be permitted.

The Football Association says it is “awaiting further information before we can confirm how this may affect non-elite football across England”.

Nine of the 40 FA Cup first-round ties scheduled to be played from 6-9 November involve teams from ‘non-elite’ leagues.

“We understand people will have a lot of questions and DCMS officials and ministers will be working through these and detailed implications with sectors over the coming days,” said Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary.

Many facilities, including gyms and pools, must close, along with other indoor and outdoor leisure centres.

Under the new restrictions:

  • People are being told to stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave, such as education and work that cannot be done from home.
  • People are allowed to exercise outdoors alone, with their household or with one other person.

The Sports and Recreation Alliance, which represents UK national sports organisations including the FA and Rugby Football Union along with community sport, has warned the new measures may “prove to be the final nail in the coffin for a number of these clubs”.

Chief executive Lisa Wainwright said: “The closure of our facilities will once again place a financial burden on thousands of community clubs who are already reeling from the initial lockdown and we fear that many may never reopen their doors without a comprehensive sports recovery fund provided by government.

“With another lockdown looming, this funding is now essential.”

Swimming pools will also have to close but Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson says she will be “working in partnership with other indoor sports to lobby government”, with meetings scheduled for Monday.

She added: “I am championing our clubs and the health benefits of swimming to the nation as this is a key message to government.”

The Lawn Tennis Association says that, while indoor tennis will be halted, it will “make a case” to the government for outdoor tennis between two individuals from different households to be allowed in line with restrictions on exercise, adding that tennis is a “socially distanced sport with the net acting as a natural barrier”.

Meanwhile, 11-time Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Grey-Thompson has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnsonexternal-link urging him to keep gyms and leisure centres open during the new lockdown.

Grey-Thompson wants the facilities to stay open because of the “essential role they play in both our fight and recovery from this virus”.

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