Coronavirus (Covid-19) - latest update

09/04/2021

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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 9 April)

Return to Play Guidance

UPDATE: Step 2 Guidance (9 April)

Following the publication by DCMS yesterday afternoon of its detailed Step 2 guidance for grassroots sport ahead of England moving to the next stage of the roadmap on Monday, we have now published updates to our detailed Covid-19 Secure guidance documents for tennis players, venues, coaches and officials. 

The Step 2 guidance applies from Monday 12 April, with the key changes from Step 1 being:

  • More indoor tennis activity permitted (including group activity for under 18s, 1:1 coaching for adults and children, and same household/bubble singles and doubles social play)
  • Changing rooms can be opened (but advice is still to minimise use and arrive ready to play/shower at home where possible)
  • Venues can small outdoor events such as open days
  • Outdoor hospitality can resume (rule of six applies)
  • Travel to and from Wales is permitted (be aware there are different restrictions for playing tennis in Wales). It is anticipated that travel to and from Scotland will be permitted on or shortly after 26 April

You can download the summary grid  and full guidance documents for tennis players, venues, coaches and officials via the button links below.

Step 2 Indoor Restrictions: LTA Statement

The LTA is disappointed that the Government has decided that socially distanced individual sports like tennis and badminton are unable to resume indoors for adults from different households under the Step 2 restrictions. From this same date, individuals will be able to circulate in proximity in shops and other indoor locations, however they will not be able to play singles tennis.

While we understand the priority needs to remain on preventing the spread of the virus, we believe that tennis is a fundamentally safe and naturally socially distanced activity in comparison to a trip to the shops or hairdressers, with it taking place on a court of over 500m2 with a net as a physical barrier between players. Preventing adult indoor singles from taking place is therefore an unnecessary restriction at a time when every extra week that venues can book out courts will help them repair some of the damages to their finances they have experienced through the pandemic, and when the importance of the nation getting back to being active has never been greater.

The LTA remains in dialogue with the Government and has requested that the decision be reviewed to ensure that singles tennis for adults can resume indoors from Monday, in line with other leisure activities.

Government Roadmap for easing of lockdown restrictions

The Government has published a 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.

We have produced a simple summary grid outlining what the various steps of the roadmap means for tennis activity, which can be downloaded via the link below. The document includes a provisional grid for each of the four steps of the roadmap, and will continue to be updated as and when we receive confirmation of further detail from Government and Sport England on the restrictions that will be in place for future steps of the roadmap.

Where activity is listed as permitted, this may still be subject to additional restrictions and protocols – tennis venues, coaches, players and officials should refer to the LTA's full COVID-19 Secure detailed guidance documents published below.

LTA Covid-19 Secure Guidance Documents for Tennis Venues, Coaches, Officials & Players (updated 9 April)

To accompany the summary grid and following the publication by the Government this week of detailed guidance, we have updated our full LTA Covid-19 Secure guidance documents for tennis venues, coaches, officials and players to support the continued safe return to play under Step 2 of the roadmap. You can download these documents via the links below:

Further guidance relating to Step 2 of the roadmap is provided in Sport England's FAQs.

Get back on court!

With outdoor tennis courts now open across the whole of Britain – get back on court.

As a naturally socially distanced sport, tennis is a safe and ideal activity to take part in – so if you’re new to tennis now is a great time to try it.

Don't worry if you're not ready to return yet, though. Check out our Tennis at Home hub  for guidance on how to improve your game from home.

LTA Youth

Who's ready to Level Up? LTA Youth is a new innovative junior tennis programme created for children aged 4-18.

Sessions are packed full of fun games and dynamic training, with specialist coaches making sure every child has the best start to their tennis journey in a safe and inclusive environment. Sessions also cater to all abilities, so no one gets left behind.

Interested? Find out more about  LTA Youth and  LTA Youth Start.

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 

Covid-19 Protocols for Schools

Tennis is a naturally socially distant sport and as such is an ideal activity to help get children active safely. Schools are reminded that there is no requirement for pupils to use their own individual tennis balls (this was an initial precautionary measure put in place at the start of the pandemic and is no longer a recommended measure, in line with the latest research). Rather, it is recommended that the focus be put on other preventative measures such as maintaining hand hygiene.

Out of School Settings

In relation to the provision of activity for after-school clubs or holiday clubs, this is permitted for limited circumstances, as below:

  • Strictly limited to just being for children in specific circumstances (such as where it is reasonably necessary for them to attend in order to allow their parents/carers to work, search for work etc) as set out on the Government website here. This should be made explicitly clear when offering the activity.
  • Provides an exemption during Step 1 for use of outdoor or indoor courts prior to 29 March, or indoor courts from 29 March
  • Applies to venues classed as an ‘out of school setting’ and permits them to run activity out of school hours (e.g. as a holiday club during the school holidays)
  • Even though use of indoor facilities is permitted, Government guidance is for the activity to take place outdoors where possible – more information on safety measures for sports provision in out-of-school settings is available here
  • This guidance is for activity for children aged 5 and over.  For activity for children aged under 5 – there is separate guidance with restrictions on who can operate under it (see here)

Funding & Support

Government Support

Following the announcement of  national lockdown restrictions in January, 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 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.

 

Scotland (updated 30 March)

Scotland's roadmap out of lockdown

The First Minster announced in February a roadmap out of lockdown for Scotland, with a subsequent outline provided of a provisional timetable for the easing of restrictions, setting out how and when the Scottish Government plan to lift the current coronavirus restrictions over the coming weeks and months.

No earlier than 26 April, it is hoped mainland Scotland will return to Level 3, 17 May for a move to Level 2, early June for Level 1 and late June for Level 0. This will be confirmed ahead of each move, and be based on data  

Updated Summary Grid & Next Steps (30 March)

Tennis Scotland and the LTA have liaised with sportscotland and have now updated the summary grid (Version 8) of permitted tennis activity by levels of protections to reflect what tennis activity is currently permitted in Scotland, and provisional details for what will be permitted as we move down through the levels of protection.

The Scottish Government have said additional detail of what activity will be permitted in each level will be confirmed shortly, after which point this grid will be further updated to reflect that. Tennis venues, coaches, officials and players should therefore be aware that the details provided in this grid for Levels 0-3 may change at that point. Once the changes are announced, we will also republish the full Tennis Scotland/LTA guidance document for tennis venues, coaches and players in Scotland.

You can view and download the latest summary grid and guidance notes via the link below:

 

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:

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

If you have any questions please refer to our FAQs.

Wales (updated 1 April)

Wales roadmap update (9 April)

The Welsh Government has announced positive changes to the Covid-19 roadmap for Wales, benefitting the return of adult tennis and indoor facilities. These include:

26 April 2021 (was 3 May)

  • Organised outdoor group activity for up to 30 adults will resume, enabling group tennis coaching, leagues & competitions for adults. 
  • Social doubles for adults can resume outdoors at venues, enabling four people to meet and play tennis. 

3 May 2021 (was 10 May)

  • Indoor sports facilities can reopen, including indoor tennis facilities and gyms across Wales. 

17 May 2021

  • Gatherings of up to 15 adults indoors for exercise classes will return, enabling indoor adult coaching & competitions.

Once all the details for these changes are confirmed next week, Tennis Wales and the LTA will update our Return to Play guidance ensuring that venues and coaches have plenty of time to prepare ahead of them coming in to force.

 

Welsh Government Review (26 March)

Following the Welsh Government Review this week Tennis Wales and the LTA have updated our ‘Return to Play’ guidance and infographics to reflect the latest easing measures set out.

From Saturday 27 March the following changes come into effect:

  • ‘Stay local’ travel guidance is replaced with ‘stay in Wales’ guidance – therefore you can travel anywhere in Wales to play tennis but please do consider minimising travel to stop the spread of Covid-19.
  • Organised group coaching is allowed for children under 18 years old on outdoor courts.
  • Up to six adults and children aged 11+ from two households only can play together.
  • Grade 6 and recreational competition can restart but group competition is limited to children under 18.
  • LTA approved competition will provisionally restart from Monday 19th April.

Download Guidance

You can download the full, updated Tennis Wales and LTA guidance document for tennis venues, coaches and players in Wales via the link below:

 

Further Easing of Restrictions

Tennis Wales and the LTA expect the situation over the next few weeks in Wales to change significantly through a phased reopening of both sport and the wider Welsh economy.

The Welsh Government has set an indicative time line that has implications for the return to tennis and to help coaches and venues plan we have set out the proposed easing measures below. Welsh Government are committed to the Alert Level guidance set out in December 2020 and they will gradually ease measures over the coming weeks to return Wales to Alert Level 3.

From Monday 12 April, subject to confirmation closer to the time:

• A full return of children to onsite education.
• The reopening of all non-essential retail.

Welsh Government has indicated at its review of Covid-19 measures on the 22 April. It will give consideration to:

• The reopening of indoor sport and leisure facilities.
• Restarting organised activities for adults (30 outdoors, 15 indoors).
• Resumption of extended household arrangements.
• Resuming outdoor hospitality.

We will provide updates on the reopening of indoor courts and indoor/clubhouse facilities and a return to competition when we have further information. 

 

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:

 

 

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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