TODAY (Wednesday, May 13) sees the return of socially distanced outdoor sports, such as golf and tennis, in England.

On Sunday, the government confirmed changes to what is allowed in relation to sport and physical activity, as part of the next phase of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

From today, people can go outside more than once a day for exercise if they're following social distancing guidelines, are alone, with members of their household, or with one person from outside their household.

People must still only exercise in groups of no more than two people, unless exercising with their household.

Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities can reopen from today, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely.

Outdoor gyms, playgrounds, or outdoor swimming pools will remain closed.

England Golf’s latest update confirmed that the sport could resume in England from today, but with certain restrictions in place.

The statement said: “As a sport we must work together to resume play responsibly as and when the relevant government determines it is safe to do so.

“We must ensure that the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved from golfers, to club staff and greenkeepers is maintained at all times.

“Golf clubs and golfers have observed the lockdown very well and must keep it up and act responsibly as play resumes.”

Brean Golf Club has reopened today for members only, and players are requested to book a tee time in advance.

Burnham & Berrow Golf Club is open again, too, for members only at this stage.

Tennis’ governing body, the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), has provided guidelines for venues, coaches and players via its website

The LTA’s latest statement reads: “We know how important it is for people to be active, and the particular role tennis can have in the physical and mental wellbeing of those that play it.

“By its very nature, tennis is an activity whereby close person to person contact can be avoided, with the government saying tennis is a good example of an activity that can be undertaken in a way compliant with social distancing restrictions.

“LTA has developed a set of practical guidelines… so that tennis activity can be enjoyed in a way that is in line with government advice and helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“They include measures to limit hand to shared surface contact and minimise unnecessary interactions with others.

“Please ensure you read the relevant guidelines in full before undertaking tennis activity.”

There is to be a maximum of two people per court, i.e. singles play only, but players can be from different households.

The only exception to this is where a group of four players are all from the same household, in which case they can play doubles.

With all tennis clubs, it is important to check if and when they are open, and whether pre-booking is required.

Players and fans of other sports should note that, under government guidance, team sports remain off the table for now, and no professional sport - even behind closed doors - will take place until June 1 at the earliest.