Coronavirus (Covid-19) - latest update

23/11/2020

| News

Generic tennis balls image

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.

England (updated 23 November)

UPDATE: Post-lockdown Regional Tiers (23 November)

Following the confirmation by the Prime Minister today (23 November) that England will return to a three-tier system of regional restrictions once the current lockdown period ends at 00:01 on 2 December, the LTA is working with DCMS and Sport England on the full details of what means for tennis.

However, we can confirm that:

  • Outdoor tennis will be able to resume across all tiers
  • In Tier 2 areas, indoor sport can take place within households as before, but people will also now be able to play certain sports which do not involve close proximity or physical contact against one person from another household, such as a singles tennis match
  • In Tier 3 areas, indoor sport (including tennis) as we as exercise classes will be restricted to within your household only. Outdoor sport will be able to continue
  • Organised activities for U18s and disabled people will be able to continue indoors across all tiers

As soon as we have full confirmed guidance we will publish an updated summary grid for tennis activity by tier that can take place from Wednesday 2 December onwards, together with updated full guidance documents for players, venues, coaches and officials.

The Government will be confirming which areas of the country will be under which tier on Thursday (26 November).

As a naturally socially distant sport that involves participants stood a significant distance away from each other with a net in between, the LTA does not believe that playing tennis contributes to the spread of COVID-19 in any significant way, and so it can play a role in helping to safely maintain the health and wellbeing of the nation under coronavirus restrictions. We thank everyone from the tennis community who has made this case to their local MP in recent weeks - we know this has had an impact in ensure that outdoor tennis is able to resume post-lockdown and that more indoor tennis will now be permitted.

The LTA has remained in discussion with Government over the past few weeks, requesting that outdoor tennis activity should continue to be permitted across all tiers, as per the previous tiered system, and that more indoor adult tennis activity should also be permitted in tiers 2 and 3.

As part of this, the LTA worked with other indoor sports to put forward a joint proposal to Government so that as much indoor sporting activity as it is possible to do safely is permitted across the tiered system, given its essential role in the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the nation.

We are therefore pleased that the Government has listened to the arguments put forward on the socially distant nature of tennis in making its decision to allow singles tennis for adults indoors in Tier 2 areas, and this will help more people enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of being active over the winter. 

 

Lockdown restictions (5 Nov - 2 Dec)

The Government has announced new national restrictions for England between Thursday 5 November – Wednesday 2 December.

Despite the LTA and tennis community making a strong case to Government, we can confirm that the new restrictions mean that tennis activity in England is not permitted for the duration of the national lockdown, as a result of the closure of all outdoor and indoor facilities.  The only exceptions to this are for elite tennis players, and for tennis activity in schools, colleges and other educational establishments as part of education.

Whilst we are disappointed with the outcome, we must urge all involved with tennis in England to adhere to the decision that the Government has taken.

We know these restrictions will have a significant impact on the whole tennis community, and our focus now will switch to campaigning to ensure that as much grassroots tennis activity as possible can resume as soon as possible, including both indoor and outdoor tennis.

LTA Chief Executive Scott Lloyd has today (4 November) provided a more detailed update on the latest coronavirus restrictions in England – read it via the link below:

FAQs

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

 These FAQs provide further guidance and information, including covering:

Additional guidance is also provided on the Sport England website.

Funding & Support

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:

Government Support

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

Local Authority Grants

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will also be eligible for the grants, to be delivered through local authorities, which will vary depending on a property’s rateable value.

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.

 

Tennis at Home

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, before we can return to on-court play. 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:

 

Scotland (updated 20 November)

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 seventh edition of the Phase 3 guidelines was updated on 20 November 2020 to clarify toilet access, floodlight access and travel guidance for Level 4 areas - and specifically the Scottish Government exemption that permits travel locally (within around 5 miles of your local authority area) in to and out of Level 4 areas to reach a place to take exercise outdoors. 

Please note the guidelines include an appendix of a summary grid detailing what tennis activity can take place under each level of protections.  The information outlined in the summary grid should be used in conjunction with 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 and summary grid:

If you have any questions please refer to our FAQs.

Local Restrictions - Levels of Protection

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:

Venues, coaches, officials and players in Scotland should refer to our summary grid which outlines what tennis activity can take place under each level of protection (further information will be added to the grid once confirmed details are received from the Scottish Government and sportscotland). These measures come in to force from Monday 2 November - this summary grid should be used as the main reference point for any tennis activity taking place in Scotland from that date.

 

Wales (updated 17 November)

 UPDATED: Guidelines for tennis following Firebreak Lockdown

Tennis Wales and the LTA have published our updated  ‘Return to Play’ guidance for tennis to reflect the new national restrictions related to COVID-19 introduced by the First Minister and the Welsh Government following the end of the Firebreak Lockdown on 9 November and allow activity to resume. We have also updated our infographics and posters which can be used by tennis venues, coaches & officials to help communicate the Return to Play guidance in Wales.

Key Updates

Please note, the Welsh Government have subsequently updated their guidance for organised sport. As a consequence, this version of our return to play guidance (Version 7) includes the following principle changes:

  • Adult activity (people aged 18 and over) can play tennis in groups of 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors – these maximum group sizes must include any coaches and officials.
  • For children and young people (aged under 18) there are now no limits on group size indoors or outdoors. However your activities must maintain social distancing for young people aged 11 and over. Please ensure you adhere to LTA player coach ratios at all times and also ensure that you do not breach the maximum number of people per court within our return to play guidance.
  • For children and young people the size of your venue will dictate the maximum people who can participate – to ensure 2m social distancing is maintained on court. Indoor centres should use the UK Active guidance on 100 square foot per participant.

The following previous key updates and changes also all still apply:

  • There are no restrictions on travel to play tennis in Wales.
  • Multiple groups for coaching activity are allowed indoors and outdoors but they must be discreet groups that do not mix and have separate coaches/support staff.
  • Limited groups to up to 4 people (not including any children aged under 11) unless they are from a single household in clubhouse, café, restaurant and social settings.
  • Players and coaches must not travel to England to participate in tennis activity during the English Lockdown.
  • People who live in England must not travel to Wales to participate in any tennis activity.

Please click the link below to download the full guidelines:

 

 

 

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.

Share article

  • Print