HRH Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021 Read more

Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): stadium sector guidance for professional football and rugby

Guidance on professional football and professional rugby for the stadium sector, including an operational guide and checklist.

7 page PDF

240.8 kB

7 page PDF

240.8 kB

Coronavirus (COVID-19): stadium sector guidance for professional football and rugby
Health and safety

7 page PDF

240.8 kB

Health and safety

Health and Safety within stadiums is regulated through the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and where appropriate the stadium designated safety professional. The stadiums will adhere to HSE regulations at all times but especially where measures are being implemented in relation to physical distancing and restricted stadium access.

In the planning for restricted access, the appropriate risk assessments will be undertaken to ensure a stadium operates safely, protecting its users but reducing the risk of users contracting and spreading COVID-19. 


  • risk assessments completed for specific hazardous areas which could contribute to the spread of COVID-19
  • maximum occupancy load assessments in specific areas of the stadium to ensure physical distancing measures are adhered to
  • undertake key stadium testing requirements prior to opening to users such as checks on water, fire, safety, ventilation, gas and electrical systems
  • develop risk communication to inform stadium users on prevention and infection of COVID-19
  • scope provision of enhanced first aid and medical services able to triage and refer suspected cases for COVID-19 testing

Physical distancing

Restricted stadium access through the implementation of physical distancing measures is critical in the reduction of the spread and contraction COVID-19. NAs/NGBs/Professional Clubs will comply with Scottish Government guidance on physical distancing when planning and preparing for opening their stadiums, they will take reasonable measures to:

  • ensure a distance of 2 metres is maintained between people in their facility
  • ensure a distance of 2 metres is maintained between people waiting to enter their facility
  • only admit a sufficiently small number of people to their facility so as to maintain a distance of 2 metres between them while within
  • appreciate there are exceptions to the 2-metre rule for persons of the same household, and for carers and the person they are assisting


  • key communication on physical distancing and restricted access
  • separate access and egress points in high volume areas outside and inside facility
  • physical distancing signage / markings
  • make use of one way systems with arrows/floor markings for pedestrian traffic, as much as possible, in and around the stadium
  • ensure 2m physical distancing indicators are marked on floor/ground, as much as possible, in and around the stadium
  • factor in inclement weather when planning for physical distancing in stadiums where there is insufficient shelter;
  • restricted access to areas within the facility
  • zoning off areas


Prior to any access, key testing will be introduced at stadiums to ensure the measures implemented are in line with HSE regulations and current government guidance. This will be overseen and authorised through the NAs/NGBs/Professional Clubs’ Health and Safety professionals.

Dynamic assessment

All stadiums will continue to undertake dynamic risk assessments – which is common practice in this sector – and continue to observe, assess and analyse the changes in the stadium environment to identify and mitigate risk, where appropriate.

Utilising expertise

All NAs/NGBs/Professional Clubs’ Health and Safety professionals and representatives are suitably trained and qualified to understand the risks associated with COVID-19 in managing operations at a stadium.

Building confidence, supporting wellbeing

All stadium users will be communicated with on a continuous basis using multiple channels and appropriate visual messaging to reinforce key messages – taking into account the potential number of users in specific areas based on the recommended physical distancing measures implemented and the procedures to adhere to – prior to and during access to the stadium. This will also reduce levels of apprehension on how safe the stadium may be and provide reassurance that measures have been taken and appropriate risk assessments have been undertaken to ensure safety. Stadium should provide its own guidance, training or online modules to ensure all personnel accessing the stadium are aware of the new control measures which have been introduced.

Page last updated: 3 September 2020

First published: 3 Sep 2020 Last updated: 3 Sep 2020 -