SPORTING bodies have been reacting to the news that grassroots sport can now return in England, following the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

On Thursday night, the government outlined measures that will allow indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities to reopen from Saturday, July 25.

Recreational team sports are permitted to return outdoors from this coming weekend (July 11-12), provided that those sports and their participants follow government guidance in their fixtures.

Supporters will be allowed to attend community fixtures in small numbers, provided they are in groups of two households only, or no larger than six people from different households, and adhere to social distancing measures.

The full government guidance can be found here.

Each individual sport must submit an action plan and related guidance to the government, with any adaptations required, before it can be approved to restart.

Those action plans will recognise that the return of grassroots sport may need to be paused in the event of a raised coronavirus threat level, either nationally or locally.

As of this Saturday, July 11, competitive 11-a-side cricket matches can take place, with adaptations in place to mitigate the coronavirus transmission risk.

Notably, the overall group size (including coaches and officials) is limited to 30 people in total.

Other adaptations include having regular hygiene breaks, and distinct running lanes to keep batters two metres away from the bowler and their batting partner.

The full England & Wales Cricket Board guidance can be found here.

The Football Association has made the following statement: "We welcome the announcement and publication of the government’s return to recreational sport framework, which means we can look forward to the safe return of competitive grassroots football.

"We are now working to submit a comprehensive action plan and related guidance for government approval.

"Once approved, we will publish new guidance for the grassroots football community.

"We will confirm timings as soon as we are able.

"In the meantime, competitive grassroots football can prepare to return and look forward to the start of the new season."

Until that new guidance for grassroots football is published, players are asked to adhere to the FA's advice from July 3.

Similarly, both England Hockey and England Rugby are working on their own action plans, to allow for the safe return of those sports at grassroots level.