Coronavirus (Covid-19) - latest update

19/10/2020

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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:

 

Playing Tennis During Coronavirus Outbreak

We know how important it is for people to be active, and the particular role tennis can have in the physical and mental wellbeing of those that play it. By its very nature, tennis is an activity whereby close person to person contact can be avoided, with the UK Government saying tennis is a good example of an activity that can be undertaken in a way compliant with social distancing restrictions.

Local Restrictions

Links are provided below providing details of any local restrictions are in place in England, Scotland or Wales, and where there are any specific implications for taking part in tennis activity this is specified.

However, anyone taking part in tennis activity should be aware of whether they are in an area with local restrictions, and if so what the restrictions are as they may impact on aspects of the activity beyond the tennis court, such as travel or restrictions on socialising with people outside of your household around the tennis venue (e.g in venue clubhouses). 

England - Return to Play (updated 14 October)

Following guidance published by the Government for the phased return of sport and recreation, the LTA has developed an updated set of practical guidelines for venues, coaches, players and officials/competitions. Key additions and updates to the guidelines have been clearly marked on the pdfs, including what dates they apply from where applicable.

This version of the guidance has been updated to provide clarity on indoor group activity after the Government announced tighter restrictions for indoor sports activity, as well to include new specific guidelines for disability tennis activity to support the resumption of the LTA's Open Court programme, guidance for venues on how to deal with a positive case and updated guidelines for venues providing hospitality. In relation to indoor group tennis activity, from Thursday 24 September:

  • Organised indoor group tennis activity for adults (including coached sessions and club nights held indoors) can take place in larger numbers in COVID-19 secure venues, provided it is organised into sub-groups of no more than six people (excluding coaches) - these sub-groups should stay separate and not mix for the duration of the session. There is an exemption for activity for disabled people, which can take place in any number, and organised group indoor activity for children is unaffected by this change and can continue as before in line with the limits for outdoors

Please note, since initial publication, we have updated the following guidance:

  • Coach guidance to provide further clarity on organised indoor group activity (updated 24 September)
  • Venue guidance to provide further information relating to the NHS Covid-19 App, staging AGMs and cleaning (updated 2 October)

These guidelines apply to tennis as well as padel, and outline adaptations and considerations so that tennis and associated activity can be enjoyed in a way that is in line with Government advice and helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They include measures to maintain hygiene and minimise unnecessary interactions with others.

These guidelines apply to England only, and have been produced to help venues, coaches, players and officials operate in line with the Government guidance. The full guidelines can be downloaded below – please ensure you read the relevant guidelines in full:

If you have any questions please refer to our FAQs.

Local Restrictions (updated 16 October 2020)

A list of  areas in England in each tier, and the general rules in place for these can be read on the Gov.uk website:

Following the introduction of this new tiered approach to restrictions in England, we have clarified with Government how their new restrictions 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.

To help understand what the Government's new rules mean for tennis activity by tier, we have produced a summary grid, accessible via the link below:

Under this new legislation, the Government has defined racket sports (including tennis) as being activity that involves mixing because they require at least two people for it to happen, despite them being on opposite sides of a net. This means that for people in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, tennis for adults indoors is limited by law to play between people in the same household/bubble or one to one coaching - the same rules apply to people from Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas even if they travel to a Tier 1 area.  However, we’ve continually argued that tennis is a naturally socially distanced sport that can be played safely, and we’ll keep putting the case to Government for tennis to be treated appropriately.

Please note, the Government have confirmed that there is an exemption for tennis activity for disabled people and for under 18s, and it is safe and appropriate for activity for these groups to continue indoors in both Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas as long as it is done in line with the LTA's COVID-19 Secure guidelines for players, venues, coaches and officials - these exemptions also apply to travel and accommodation guidelines for Tier 3, so these groups (plus parents/guardians and any necessary workforce) can travel into and out of Tier 3 areas for tennis activity and stay overnight where this is necessary to facilitate participation.

Our full guidelines for tennis venues, coaches, players, officials and competitions (as linked to above) will be updated to reflect these changes in due course.

 

Scotland - Return to Play (updated 9 October 2020)

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 as Scotland progresses with a staged approach to exiting from lockdown.

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.

This fifth edition of the Phase 3 guidelines was published on 9 October 2020 to include an appendix detailing additional temporary restrictions in place from Friday 9 October until Sunday 25 October 2020. 

These temporary measures have implications for tennis venues offering hospitality in Scotland as a whole, and for outdoor and indoor tennis activity in specified areas of the country where additional local restrictions are in place. The information outlined in the appendix should be used in conjunction with, and where appropriate supersede, the main guidelines. 

Limits to group sizes for social gatherings do not apply to organised group tennis activity. However, normal physical distancing and household number guidelines are applicable before and after playing tennis or when taking breaks.

Please click the link below to download the full guidelines:

If you have any questions please refer to our FAQs.

Local Restrictions (updated 9 October 2020)

A list of areas in Scotland affected and the rules in place for these can be read on the Scottish Government website:

Venues in these areas should refer to the appendix section of the main guidelines.

Wales - Return to Play (updated 19 October)

UPDATE: ‘Firebreak’ Lockdown (23 October - 9 November)

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has today (19 October) announced that Wales will go into 'firebreak' lockdown from 6pm Friday 23 October until Monday 9 November. The First Minister said the "time-limited 'firebreak'" will be "a short, sharp, shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus and buy us more time".

Following liaison with the Welsh Sports Association, Welsh Government, and Sport Wales, Tennis Wales and the LTA can confirm that all tennis facilities and activities will be required to close and cease throughout the firebreak lockdown, as will be the case with other sports and leisure facilities across Wales.

The Welsh Government will be providing additional financial support to businesses and individuals affected by lockdown in Wales, and as soon as information becomes available Tennis Wales and the LTA will be sharing this with the tennis community.

We will continue to liaise regularly with the tennis community across Wales, keeping you as up to date as possible throughout what we know is a very difficult and uncertain period of time.

Tennis venues, coaches, facility operators and officials are advised to take the time to communicate with tennis players, parents, members and participants ahead of Friday’s lockdown, and make it clear that tennis facilities and programmes will cease during the lockdown period.

FAQs

The Welsh Government has published an FAQ document to help answer questions relating to the firebreak lockdown which you can read here.

'Firebreak' Announcement

 

Tennis Wales and the LTA have worked with the Welsh Government and Welsh Sports Association to publish updated detailed guidance for venues, coaches and players, so that tennis can be played safely in Wales, where the local environment allows.

Please note, these guidelines (Version 5.1) were updated on 25 September to include further guidance around key changes, including;

  • New indoor court limits
  • Prohibition of competition ‘waves’ on the same day – in effect competitions now have to run within the 30 group limit with dedicated officials. Officials cannot administer more than one group on the same day simultaneously or consecutively
  • No spectators permitted at competitions and events other than parents, guardians or carers
  • Updated details relating to the new licencing curfew
  • Information on the introduction of NHS Covid-19 App and its support to Test, Trace, Protect

Venues, coaches and players are all encouraged to read the updated guidance carefully, and take any necessary time to implement them.

Resources remain available for tennis venues and coaches to help with opening up, including Clubspark webinars for online court booking and Covid-19 risk assessment templates.

Both Tennis Wales and the LTA look forward to continuing to work with all involved in the sport to open it up to more people.

Local Restrictions (updated 16 October)

A list of areas in Wales affected and the rules in place for these can be read on the Welsh Government website, with Bangor added to this list on 10 October:

Specific inplications for tennis activity include:

  • People living in the areas of Bangor, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Llanelli, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT), Swansea, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan or Wrexham can now only play tennis in that area. People in all of these areas cannot travel to other local authorities to play tennis
  • People living outside of these areas cannot travel into theese areas to play tennis
  • People cannot meet people from other households in club houses

UPDATE: Travel for children’s sport during local lockdown

Tennis Wales and the LTA can confirm that children are able to travel out of, or into lockdown areas to participate in tennis from 6pm Friday 16 October.

This will apply to anyone under the age of 18, and they will be able to be accompanied by one responsible member of their household over the age of 18 if required for transport etc.

Adults are not permitted to enter or leave local lockdown areas to play tennis.

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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