British Triathlon COVID-19 Guidance: what do event organisers need to know?

On 13th July, British Triathlon responded to the government’s announcement regarding the return of recreational sport, by declaring that event organisers in England (but not Scotland or Wales) could apply for a permit and that permitted events could take place after 25th July.

Since then, the governing body has released a definitive set of Covid-19 safety guidelines for triathlon event organisers. As event organisers make their way through these safety guidelines, we wanted to summarise the key points and highlight where organisers will need to concentrate their efforts to ensure their events are run safely and responsibly.

1. Appoint a Covid-19 Safety officer

With Covid-19 set to dominate the landscape for the foreseeable future, this is the first step which organisers should take. British Triathlon have published a clear role description here.

2. Social distancing is key

Under the guidelines all participants must remain 2 metres apart when swimming or running, unless overtaking. This increases to 10 metres when cycling (or 12 metres for middle distance and above), again unless overtaking.

3. Updated participant information

All participants must complete a health questionnaire prior to the event, and provide the most up to date contact information, for the purpose of NHS Track and Trace.

4. Event format

Until indoor public pools reopen, and for the first six weeks after this point, organisers must offer an alternative to swim segments and where the alternative is not taken, ensure that swim segments are non-competitive.

5. Event day logistics

  • Pre-race briefings must take place ahead of time, either via email or virtually
  • There should be no bag drop, nor changing tents
  • Time trial or rolling start, which has been clearly communicated ahead of time
  • Avoid aid stations and advise participants to carry their own water 
  • Provide extensive hand sanitisation/washing facilities

We’ve provided further insight on how to run a Covid-secure event in our article here.

The above provides a brief summary of the key takeaways from British Triathlon’s announcement, however we’d strongly recommend reading the full documentation which is linked below. It’s also important to note that these guidelines currently only apply in England, not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Useful Links:

1. British Triathlon’s Permitted Event Requirements gives a detailed outline of the full requirements for organisers with events already scheduled, or who are considering new events.

2. British Triathlon’s Framework for Events summarises the key requirements that events must meet.

3. British Triathlon’s Covid-19 Event Risk Assessment

Download our how-to guide on running a COVID-safe event
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