The governing body has updated its return to competition guidance

A return to standard format racing in events up to 3000m is among the updates to England Athletics’ latest competition guidance.

The governing body says the latest guidance, for fixtures from August 8, comes after “careful planning, consultation with medical input and other sports and logging the information with DCMS/Sport England”.

The previous guidance had capped races to socially-distanced 1500m events, while athletes in 800m races were required to remain in their lane the whole way.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has asked sport bodies to base their return around three factors – droplet transmission (from breathing), fomite transmission (surfaces) and population (in each event and in the whole competition).

“Different events in track and field present challenges in different areas,” adds England Athletics. “For example, throws can maintain social distancing (droplet transmission) but use equipment (fomite transmission).

“The social distancing requirements can be reduced within a Covid-19 secure competition environment for relatively short periods of time based on a medical assessment of droplet transmission and the nature of each event.

“With sprint track events taking place in lanes of 1 metre-plus width and capping middle-distance events at 3000m including steeplechase the sport can, with limited fields, up to six athletes, at this point in time, adopt standard format racing.

“Track racing numbers are lower than road racing numbers because of the nature of track racing and the reduced likelihood of athletes being able to spread out on the track compared to the road.”

Six athletes can also compete in a group in jumps events, with cleaning according to the guidance to be carried out after each group of up to six competitors.

In the throws events, up to 12 athletes can compete in a group “due to the ability to social distance and use own equipment”.

Although current guidelines limit middle-distance racing to a maximum of 3000m, England Athletics says that British Athletics will accept 3000m times for entry consideration to the Müller British Athletics Championships 5000m scheduled for September.

The updated ‘Return to Track & Field Competition’ guidance document can be found here.

The above applies to events in England. The latest from Welsh Athletics can be found here, while Scottish Athletics guidance is here.

On August 3 Athletics NI updated its guidance to clubs to allow for larger training groups which is now at a maximum of 30 participants. Click here to read more.

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