As an additional measure to keep players safe and promote playing from home during the coronavirus outbreak, Niantic is removing the walking requirement for the Pokémon Go Battle League.
For the next 30 days, several changes are being made to the Battle League and Trainer Battles, including reducing requirements to actually compete in the battle.
Starting with the Battle League, players will no longer need to walk 5km to play five matches or use PokéCoins to cut the cost. Instead, Niantic is suspending this feature completely, letting players play five Battle League matches per day at no cost.
If you are in the middle of earning a set of matches, it will be applied to your next cycle.
As for regular Trainer Battles between friends, the overall requirements have been lowered to allow players to send match requests to any users they have become Good Friends with. This will let players compete in a wider variety of battles during this regulated time period.
Niantic has also said these changes may continue beyond the initial 30-day period depending on circumstances around the globe in April. This set of changes was made to go along with other updates the developers have made to remove the necessity of movement so players can continue playing the game regularly despite practicing social distancing.
More changes could be coming to the game in the coming weeks as Niantic and The Pokémon Company continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and the response from their player base.