How many people can attend group activities?

Covid-19 update

We’re sharing some advice for community groups who may be uncertain about how many people can currently attend group activities in a community room.

From 17th May 2021 larger gatherings exceeding the social contact limits may take place (up to 30 people) providing certain conditions are met. This may enable certain social gatherings such as informal classes, activities and events to go ahead. These gatherings must be organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation. The organiser must take reasonable steps to ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted – up to six people or two households indoors and up to 30 people outdoors – unless another exemption exists.

Here are some examples of larger gatherings and the current guidance.

Support groups

Activity or meetings can take place with up to 30 participants where officially organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. Support groups must be organised by a business, charity or public body and if taking place indoors, must not take place in a private home.

Examples of support groups include those that provide support to:

  • victims of crime (including domestic abuse)
  • those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour
  • those with, or caring for people with, any long-term illness or terminal condition or who are vulnerable (including those with a mental health condition)
  • those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity (including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender)
  • those who have suffered bereavement
  • vulnerable young people (including to enable them to meet youth workers)
  • disabled people and their carers

Exercise, sport and physical activity

You can do unlimited exercise but there are limits on the number of people you can exercise with. You can exercise in a group of up to 30 people when outdoors. When indoors, you can exercise:

  • on your own
  • in a group of up to 6 people
  • in a larger group of any size from up to two households (and their support bubbles, if eligible)

You can also take part in formally organised indoor and outdoor teams sports or licensed physical activity with any number of people. This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment. You should avoid contact in training and, for some sports, avoid contact in all activities.

Indoor activity, such as classes, is restricted to the capacity of the venue (100 square ft per person and subject to adequate ventilation). It is the building operator’s responsibility to calculate these capacities, and it is expected that activity leaders reflect this in their risk assessment, which should also incorporate social distancing.


Up to six people from different households or a larger number of no more than two households can meet indoors without the need for a formal childcare arrangement. All children can go to registered childcare, childminders, wraparound care and other supervised children’s activities indoors and outdoors.

Gatherings above the limit of six people or two households indoors, or above 30 outdoors, can take place for the following purposes:

  • for education, registered childcare and supervised activities for children
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • to allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as between siblings in care
  • to place or facilitate the placing of a child or children in the care of another by social services

Parent and child groups

These can take place indoors as well as outdoors (but not in private homes or gardens) if they are for the benefit of children aged under five and organised by a business, charity or public body. Parent and child groups must be limited to no more than 30 people. Children under five and anyone working or volunteering as part of the group, such as a group leader, are not counted in this number.

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