EPSB Covid-19 Guidance Clarification

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On 1 December the UK Government’s Department for Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) published updated guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport.

This follows last week’s government announcement of new Local Restriction Tiers, which come in to place from today, and the EPSB’s subsequent Covid-19 guidance update, published on 25 November.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic the EPSB has followed the DCMS action plan, including a detailed risk assessment of participation in our sport, informing our Covid-19 protocols for clubs, players, leagues and coaching provision.

We continue to regularly review these documents in line with the latest government guidelines, as well as sharing our guidance with DCMS within this action plan.

We have received queries from clubs and local authorities, which we would like to address as follows…

Tier 2 – playing against someone from another household

While the government guidelines state that there should be no mixing of households indoors in Tier 2, DCMS guidance does allow limited, controlled mixing when participating in indoor sports that are played individually, are non-contact, can observe social distancing and have strict Covid-19 secure protocols in place.

We have been through the necessary processes to ensure that our sport has the correct protocols to enable affiliated clubs to offer the safest possible provision to their members.

We have further updated our guidance in line with our risk assessment, including the space required to take part in our sport, and DCMS guidance.

Clubs in Tier 2 must strictly observe the following:

  • Solo practice is permitted
  • Adults playing together must play singles only (doubles not permitted)
  • Players can be from two different households
  • Adult coaching is permitted – strictly one-to-one

There is further detail available on our Covid-19 Guidance page

Other tiers

Our guidance on coaching has been updated to enable coaches in Tier 3 areas to coach when using private facilities that are not open to the public.

Travelling in Tiers 1 and 2 is permitted within guidance, while players in Tier 3 areas should avoid travelling to other parts of the UK to play snooker.

Clubs and players working together

This is now a critical moment for our sport as we must all ensure that clubs and players alike follow these guidelines so that our sport is able to continue at club level right through this Local Restriction Tier period.

Every club has put in immense time, effort and expense, so we simply cannot run the risk of fines or further restrictions.  While we continue to await the opening of clubs in Tier 3, those clubs in lower tiers must stick closely to these protocols for the good of our sport.

EPSB will be monitoring the situation to make sure there is a clear understanding and implementation of these guidelines, while continuing to offer direct support and advice to affiliated clubs.

We will continue to update our guidance whenever necessary, so please check our guidance page regularly for details.

Article by the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards.