Coronavirus (Covid-19) - latest update

04/03/2021

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This page provides up to date information as to how the coronavirus (Covid-19) and the latest government advice around it, relates to tennis activities in Britain and all those involved in delivering them, with separate guidelines in place for each of England, Scotland and Wales.

LATEST UPDATES:

England (updated 2 March)

UPDATE: Resumption of outdoor tennis activity from 29 March

Government Roadmap for easing of lockdown restrictions

The Government has today (22 February) published its roadmap for the gradual and staged easing of lockdown restrictions in England, made possible by the pace of the vaccination programme.  Restrictions will be eased across all areas of England at the same time.

The announcement confirmed that:

  • Outdoor tennis courts will be able to open from 29 March. This will mean recreational tennis will be able to resume, including singles and doubles social play, 1:1 coaching and formally organised activity for groups, including group coaching (maximum group size and court ratios subject to confirmation)
  • Indoor courts to remain closed until later in the roadmap   
  • Tennis in schools can resume from 8 March (see below)

Summary Grid - Permitted tennis activity from 29 March

We have produced a simple summary grid outlining what the Government's publication of the roadmap means for tennis activity from 29 March, and setting out the key relevant aspects for tennis in terms of how the roadmap will progress under each step, which can be downloaded via the link below.

This document will be updated as and when we receive confirmation of further detail from Government and Sport England.  We will also republish updated versions of the LTA's full COVID-19 Secure guidelines for tennis players, coaches, official and venues in due course.

Please note, we have now updated this grid since initial publication, confirming details for group size and court limits for formally organised group activity, details for competitions and confirmation of indoor access for floodlights.

LTA response to roadmap

We are pleased that there is now a clear date for when outdoor tennis will be allowed to resume in England. We know sport has a key role in supporting the physical and mental health of the nation, so its return will give a boost to the whole country, and is very welcome.

Clearly tennis is a naturally socially-distanced and safe activity and so we would have liked restrictions to be lifted without delay and made the case for this. However we are now focussed on supporting venues, coaches, officials and players to prepare for the return of outdoor tennis on 29 March.

It is also important that indoor facilities can reopen as soon as it is safe for them to do so. Many of the country’s network of indoor tennis facilities have suffered real financial challenges so it is vital that we protect these community assets to avoid them closing permanently, and we are keen to work with Government on this.

The initial plans for the return of spectators to sports stadia are also welcome, and we will continue to work closely with Government ahead of the LTA’s summer grass court events. We will share more information with tennis fans in due course.

Tennis in schools

The Government’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions in England confirms that schools will reopen from 8 March, and that school sport and after-school clubs can resume from this date.  As part of this, activities such as tennis that can help pupils to be physically active while encouraging physical distancing are encouraged.

The Department for Education has published guidance to support the resumption of physical activity in schools, and coaches, teachers and venues should be aware of the following points:

  • Each school has the flexibility to decide how physical education, sport and physical activity will be provided
  • Pupils should be kept in consistent groups, with equipment cleaned between use by individual groups
  • Outdoor sports should be prioritised where possible, and large indoor spaces used where it is not
  • External facilities can be used
  • Competition between different schools should not take place until wider grassroots sport for under 18s is permitted
  • Schools can work with external coaches, clubs and organisations for curricular and extra-curricular activities, but must be satisfied that it is safe to do so 

Further details on the guidelines around provision of activity for after-school clubs will be provided shortly.

 

Nationwide Lockdown Restrictions

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January of new national lockdown restrictions to be introduced across England, the LTA can confirm that regrettably all indoor and outdoor tennis facilities will need to close.

The LTA believes tennis is a naturally socially distanced sport that is safe to play and gives people of all ages the opportunity to exercise with friends or relatives. Tennis is important for people’s physical and mental health and we will continue to liaise with the Government to ask them to allow players back on court as soon as possible.

We know that this is incredibly disappointing and frustrating news for all those players, coaches, venues and officials involved with the sport, as well as presenting further significant financial challenges. Further information on current financial support available from Government is available below, and the LTA will also continue to engage with Government to help ensure that the tennis community is supported through the coming weeks and months.

The Government has confirmed that elite sport is able to continue in line with the strict protocols and measures that are in place for it.

Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is also allowed to continue. For full details, please see our detailed guidance for disability tennis during the national Stay At Home lockdown in England, and our FAQ document:

The Government has advised that this guidance should be followed immediately, and will be updating the law to reflect the new rules.

FAQs

We have now published a list of FAQs relating to the new lockdown restrictions in England.

 You can view the FAQs  here.

These FAQs provide further guidance and information, and will be updated as further detail is published by the Government and Sport England.

Tennis as a socially distanced sport

The LTA recognises the impact of COVID-19 on everyone in Great Britain, however tennis is a naturally socially distanced sport that involves participants stood a significant distance away from each other with a net in between. As such the LTA believes that tennis is a safe sport for participants to engage in as long as they follow the correct procedures. Tennis provides significant physical and mental health benefits to participants, and so can play a role in helping to safely maintain the health and wellbeing of the nation.

We understand and share the disappointment amongst the tennis community that our sport has had to be suspended under the Government’s national lockdown restrictions in England. 

The LTA has continued to push for tennis to be allowed to resume at the earliest stage of any easing of restrictions.. Players up and down the country want to get back on court, whilst coaches, venues and officials have again been affected by this latest lockdown.

Tennis at Home

Whilst tennis courts are closed, we have a dedicated online hub – Tennis at Home – where you can find a host of support and advice to keep active, healthy and entertained at home. From LTA Youth coaching and educational content to keep children and families busy, to fitness, physio and yoga programmes to support your physical and mental wellbeing whilst working from home:

Funding & Support

Government Support

Following the announcement of new national restrictions, the Government has announced new one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to help them through to the spring.

The grants will be provided as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

The new one-off grants are in additions to existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.

Grants are to be delivered via local authorities, who will be the best initial point of contact for further information.

The following support is also available from Government for businesses impacted by the national restrictions:

More detail on support will be shared here as it becomes available.

Sport England funding for tennis venues

Sport England have reopened their £16.5 million Return to Play: Small Grants fund to refocus on helping groups, clubs and people who deliver sport and physical activity through the additional challenges that this period of national restrictions will bring.  They have also made important changes to the criteria to ensure they are giving the right help at this time. 

Their two other coronavirus-related funds, Return to Play: Community Asset Fund and Return to Play: Active Together, are also open for applications.  

Separately, Sport England are also working closely with Government on a package of support for sports, following the £100m of government support to leisure operators.

To find out more about the Sport England funding options and how to apply, visit the link below:

Statement: Government Sport Winter Survival Package (20 November)

The LTA welcomes the announcement of support for sporting bodies from the Government and the recognition of the significant uncertainty we face in planning for next year, particularly around staging major events. We will now engage with Sport England to understand more of the details around the support that is being provided.

The announcement is focused around spectator sports and funding, predominantly in the form of loans, will be accessible to NGBs for the ongoing central operation of their sports.

However, it does complement funding already available for clubs, venues and organisations that can be applied for directly through Sport England’s return to play funds, and we would encourage anyone that would benefit from this to submit an application.

We appreciate the ongoing impact of the pandemic on clubs and venues and are continuing to make the case for as much tennis activity as possible to be permitted, as we emerge from the current national lockdown in England.

Sport England - 'Return to Play' Club Case Study

Peterborough Town Tennis Club feature in a new Sport England 'Club Matters' video, using them as an example to demonstrate how sports clubs across the country have successfully got back up and running this year to help their community get active. The tennis club is part of a multi-sport club, and you can also see a video covering the whole club here.

Scotland (updated 4 March)

UPDATE: Scotland's roadmap out of lockdown

The First Minster has today (23 February) announced a roadmap out of lockdown for Scotland, with the following initial changes to take place no earlier than 15 March:

  • Non-contact outdoor group sports for 12-17 year olds
  • Outdoor meetings of 4 people from 2 households

No earlier than 26 April, it is then hoped to return all of Scotland to Level 3 as part of a return to the variable levels approach, to enable the graduated opening up of economic and social activity, at a pace that is safe given the conditions.

What this means for tennis (4 March)

Tennis Scotland and the LTA have liaised with sportscotland and have now updated the summary grid of permitted tennis activity by levels of protections to reflect what this announcement means for tennis activity in Scotland. This includes updated information for doubles play at Level 3 and Level 4, and the extension of outdoor organised group activity and coaching at Level 4 to include U18 from 15 March.

It is anticipated the grid will be updated further later this month. The Scottish Government has announced a planned return to a levels system, which includes regional variation based on data, with an indicative date of 26 April for this.  Initially the intention is that mainland Scotland will move to level 3, and the islands currently at level 3 may drop to level 2, based on data. As part of this, the levels system will support the phased re-opening of sport. The detail of what activity will be permitted in each level will be confirmed in mid-March – tennis venues, coaches, officials and players should therefore be aware that the details provided in this grid may change at that point.

 

Stay at Home Regulations (6 January)

Following on from the First Minister’s announcement of new stay at home regulations coming into effect on 5 January, we have updated our guidance to reflect the new level 4 restrictions for recreational tennis activity.

The key changes to the level 4 restrictions are as follows:

  • Adults and children aged 12 and above can only take part in outdoor singles tennis, unless all participants are members of the same household or extended household. This is in line with the requirement that only up to 2 people from 2 different households may participate in outdoor sport and exercise.
  • Those aged 11 and below are exempt from these gathering limits, and organised outdoor group tennis activity for under-12s can continue in line with COVID-Secure guidance from the Scottish Government, Tennis Scotland and the LTA, and sportscotland.

As per the First Minister’s statement, the island areas currently in level 3 will continue with current restrictions for now. You can check COVID restrictions in your area here.

Those involved in professional sports remain exempt for training and coaching, in line with strict COVID-secure protocols.

To see the latest detailed guidance for tennis, please see our summary grid and full guidance documents:

Tennis activity by levels of protection

Tennis activity can take place in Scotland, with guidelines in place. This follows the Scottish Government’s confirmation of the route map from lockdown and subsequent updates from the First Minister.

The LTA and Tennis Scotland have developed an updated set of practical guidelines for tennis venues, coaches and players to follow so that tennis can be played in Scotland in a way consistent with the route map for moving out of lockdown, where the local environment allows.

Please note the guidelines include an appendix of a summary grid which provides the full detail of what tennis activity can take place under each level of protections. Venues, coaches, officials and players in Scotland should refer to this summary grid as the main reference point for any tennis activity taking place in Scotland.

Please click the link below to download the full guidelines and summary grid:

A list of which local authorities are under each level of protection is provided on the Scottish Government website, alongside details of the general restrictions for each level:

If you have any questions please refer to our FAQs.

Wales (updated 19 February)

UPDATE: 19 February

Following the First Minister’s update today, regrettably sports facilities including tennis courts in Wales are required to remain closed.

Tennis Wales will continue to engage with the Welsh Government, with the support of the LTA, ahead of the next review of restrictions, to ensure the safe resumption of tennis activity as soon as possible.

 

19 December – CLOSURE OF TENNIS

Following the Welsh Government announcement of the immediate move of the whole of Wales to Alert Level 4 from midnight tonight. It is with regret the LTA and Tennis Wales must inform all tennis venues and courts (Indoors and Outdoors) in Wales must close at midnight tonight (Saturday 19 December).

Alert Level 4 ‘Very High Risk’ brings into effect a ‘stay at home’ lockdown/firebreak requirement across Wales and unfortunately sees the cessation of all tennis activities. It is our understanding there will be 3 weekly reviews of alert level across  Wales by Welsh Government.

Tennis Wales sends best wishes to the whole tennis community in Wales at this challenging time, stay safe.

Channel Islands

The latest guidelines for players, venues, coaches and officials in the Channel Islands can be found via the links below:

Further information is also available from the Guernsey Sports Commission and Jersey Sport.

 

SERVES

To support the resumption of the LTA's SERVES programme that takes tennis to new people and places, alongside the main country-specific guidance detailed above, the LTA has produced a summary of key things for venues and organsiations delivering SERVES tennis activity to consider:

Open Court

To support the resumption of the LTA's Open Court disability tennis programme, alongside the main country-specific guidance detailed above, the LTA has produced a summary of key things for venues and organsiations delivering disability tennis activity to consider:

Find a court

Please be aware that not all courts may be open. Venues will need to make an assessment based on whether they can facilitate safe play at their venue. Where they chose to remain closed please respect this decision.

In addition, some courts may take time to be unlocked and prepared for use following the closure during the lockdown period. 

Click the button below to find your nearest tennis court. 

Find a court

Venue Resources

Resources for venues in England, Scotland and Wales can be downloaded from the  LTA Venue Support Resource Library - including infographics, posters and a risk assessment template.

COVID-19 Venue Posters

FAQs

For answers to frequently asked questions for players, venues and coaches around the guidelines for a return to restricted play, please visit the LTA Help Centre:

National Tennis Centre

The National Tennis Centre reopened on Friday 15 May for Great Britain's elite players to return to training on a controlled basis. 

Read more here.

 

 

UPDATE: Following the introduction of the new tiered approach to restrictions in England, we have clarified with Government how this will impact tennis activity. Outdoor tennis activity can continue in Tier 2 (High) and Tier 3 (Very High) areas in line with the current national guidelines, but there are additional restrictions on indoor tennis activity in these areas. The Government’s guidance to avoid travel in or out of Tier 3 (Very High) areas also applies to tennis activity.

 

For details on tennis activity at each tier of restrictions, view our grid. 

COVID-19 Support Packages COVID-19 Support Packages addremove

During these challenging times for our society, our focus is to ensure tennis coaches, venues, volunteers, officials and players are supported in any way they can be, so that tennis in Britain emerges from this period in as strong and healthy position as possible, and the sport is able to resume its role in keeping the nation active.

We have created a bespoke web page which gives an overview of all our packages of additional funding and measures to support those involved in tennis in Britain who have been severely impacted by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

These measures have been developed by the LTA in consultation with Tennis Scotland and Tennis Wales, and will make additional support available to tennis venues, coaches, officials and players to complement that available from the Government in recognition of the vital contribution these groups all make to tennis.

You can read our announcement of these support measures here.

LTA Activity & Summer Major Events LTA Activity & Summer Major Events addremove

The National Tennis Centre is now open for elite training on a controlled basis, as part of the phased return of elite sport. All other activity delivered by the LTA remains suspended for the foreseeable future, including all LTA organised coaching sessions, programmes and training courses. We have also now extended the cancellation of all LTA staged and LTA approved competitions (grade 1 to 6) up to Sunday 26 June 2020 (please see below for further details on this).

The LTA, in conjunction with the All England Club, the ITF, ATP and WTA, has regrettably announced the cancellation of its summer Grass Court events and the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships following the latest advice from the UK Government and the suspension of professional tennis due to the escalating coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

For further details on this including what it means for fans who had tickets, please read our news article on the announcement.

Wimbledon Ticket Refund Update Wimbledon Ticket Refund Update addremove

We are still working through the refund process for tickets for The Championships 2020 alongside The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which we are advised is expected to take a few weeks. We would like to apologise that this process has taken longer than initially anticipated.

We will be in contact with all ticketholders as soon as we can; an email notification will be sent on the date the refund is processed.

We appreciate your patience during what we know are difficult times. Thank you for your continued support of tennis in Britain.

Extension of Competition Cancellation Dates Extension of Competition Cancellation Dates addremove

We have now extended the cancellation of all LTA staged and LTA approved competitions (grade 1 to 5) up to Monday 31 August 2020. This includes the O35s County Cup, Ilkley Grade 2, East Gloucester Grade 2, County Championships and the Junior National Championships.

We have updated our dedicated FAQ pages in relation to competitions for both officials and players - should you have any further questions, please refer to these pages.

Tennis at Home Hub Tennis at Home Hub addremove

To help everyone continue to stay active, we have produced a variety of content to keep you fit, healthy and entertained whilst at home - check out our dedicated 'Tennis at Home Hub', and follow LTA social media channels to get more #TennisAtHome content!

 

Government Advice & Guidance Government Advice & Guidance addremove

The latest Government and NHS guidance and information regarding Covid-19 can be found via the following links:

For those in England, Sport England’s latest update for the sport and physical activity sector regarding Covid-19 can be read here: 

Getting in touch 

Due to the impact of COVID-19, our LTA Services function is operating a highly limited service. We ask that you only get in touch if absolutely necessary.

Please visit our Help & FAQs to find answers to the majority of enquiries.

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