Coronavirus(Covid-19) - Latest Advice 2021

14/01/2022

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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 EnglandScotland and Wales.

LATEST UPDATES:

England

Plan B Update (17 December)

An update on tennis activity and general guidance following the Government's announcement of a move to 'Plan B' in light of the increased challenge posed by the spread of the Omicron variant:

Tennis Activity Guidance

There are no restrictions on tennis activity, and so all forms of tennis activity including social play, training, coaching and competitions can continue take place, indoors and outdoors with no set limits on numbers, in line with the below 'Return to Play' guidance. While there are currently no plans for this to change, the situation remains one that can change very quickly and so tennis players, coaches, venues and officials are advised to check the latest information on a regular basis. Further information is available on the Government website and via Sport England's FAQs.

General Guidance

While there are no restrictions on playing tennis, all those involved in our sport should continue to follow Government guidance to help reduce transmission, including for all activity surrounding tennis such as travel to and from your venue. The Government's full information on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of the virus can be read here, with extracts of relevant information also provided below.

 

Return to Play Guidance

The move to Step 4 on 19 July saw the removal of a large number of restrictions, with no set restrictions on how many people can take part in sport and physical activity.

The following simple overarching guidance of key considerations for tennis venues, coaches, officials and players is a summary of relevant Government guidance. An accompanying set of FAQs contain information on specific questions, whilst Sport England have also published separate FAQs.

Step 4 Guidance

The country moved to Step 4 of the Government roadmap from 19 July, meaning that most legal restrictions have been lifted. There are no longer any restrictions on how many people can take part in tennis activity, indoors or outdoors.

The Government has published guidance for the public and sports providers on how to organise and participate safely in sporting activity.

Tennis remains a naturally socially distant sport and relatively low risk activity. However, undertaking the following key considerations can help to ensure the safety of participants when attending tennis venues for officials, coaches and volunteers, reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

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Participants

Tennis is a naturally socially distant sport, but players should take the following steps to reduce the risk of transmission when attending and participating in tennis activity.

1. Check for COVID-19 symptoms. Before attending any tennis activity, players (like officials, volunteers and coaches) should self-assess for symptoms of COVID-19. These are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

If you have one or more of these symptoms you should not attend any sporting activity, even if your symptoms are mild, and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible. You should stay at home and self-isolate until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test - following NHS guidance on testing and self-isolation.

If someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • you're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

 2. Follow your provider’s safety measures. The venue you are attending, coach or provider may put in place safety measures, which could include asking you to ‘check in’ using the NHS app to scan their QR code, supporting NHS Test and Trace.  Whilst this is no longer a legal requirement for venues or participants, it can support NHS Test and Trace and reduce risk of transmission of the virus.

 3. Take part safely. As a socially distant sport, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 whilst participating is low. However, participants should continue to:

  • Follow good hygiene practices, to reduce the risk of transmission in sport environments. Also consider the wishes of other participants (i.e. if they do not wish to shake hands after a match).
  • Avoid sharing water bottles or other refreshment containers. Where possible, you should take your own drink, in a labelled or highly distinguishable container.
  • Where a face covering where asked to do so - please note, face coverings are now required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, including taxis. While they are not legally required in premises where exercise is the main activity, the government recommends that people should continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they don't normally meet, to protect themselves and others. It's not advised that participants wear face coverings while taking part in sport and physical activity.

Venues

In line with Government guidance, we recommend tennis venues undertake the following priority actions.

  1. Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes risks from COVID-19. This should take into account any reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities, and should be shared with any staff. More information is available in the Government’s guidance and HSE guidance. There is additional advice for event organisers in the Events and Attractions guidance.
  2. Turn people with COVID-19 symptoms away. Staff members, customers and participants should self-isolate if they have symptoms of COVID-19 (or in some cases if someone they live with has - see above). They must also self-isolate if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. If you know that a worker is self-isolating, you must not ask or make them come to work. It is an offence to do this.
  3. Provide adequate ventilation. Venues should make sure there is a supply of fresh air to enclosed spaces where there are people present. This can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. More information is available in the HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Clean more often. Venues should increase how often they clean surfaces, especially those that are touched a lot. Staff and customers should be encouraged to use hand sanitiser and clean their hands frequently.
  5. Enable people to check in at your venue. It is no longer a legal requirement to collect contact details, however doing so will help to support NHS Test and Trace to reduce the spread of the virus. Venues can enable people to check in by providing an NHS QR code poster, though you do not have to ask customers to check in or turn them away if they refuse. If you display an NHS QR code, you should also have a system to collect (and securely store) names and contact details for those who ask to check in but do not have the app.
  6. Communicate and train. Keep all your workers, contractors and visitors up-to-date on how you’re using and updating safety measures.
  7. Encourage face coverings to be worn in communal areas, including where they may be legally required such as a shop within a venue (other than for those who are exempt). While face coverings are not legally required in premises where exercise is the main activity, the government recommends that people should continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they don't normally meet, to protect themselves and others - venues are therefore advised to encourage their use in communal areas. It's not advised that participants wear face coverings while taking part in sport and physical activity (this exemption also applies to the workforce). Further information on face coverings is provided on the Government website and this Sport England FAQ.

 Further detailed considerations for venues are outlined on the Government website.

Coaches and Officials

Whilst tennis is a naturally socially distant sport and the risk from taking part in activity is low, coaches and officials should consider the following actions when organising tennis coaching or competitions, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

  1. Undertake a risk assessment - This should take into account any reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities, and should be shared with any staff. More information is available in the Government’s guidance and HSE guidance. There is additional advice for event organisers in the Events and Attractions guidance.
  2. Provide communications and guidance to participants in advance of attendance - including undertaking a self-assessment for symptoms of COVID, and that they should not take part if they need to self-isolate.
  3. Enable participants to check in – whilst it is not a legal requirement to collect participants’ contact details for NHS Test and Trace, and you do not have to ask participants to check in or turn them away if they refuse, the Government advises displaying an NHS QR code for those who wish to check in.
  4. Encourage participants to practice good hygiene – including avoiding shared water bottles. Depending on personal choice, different players may wish to continue with some changes, such as not shaking hands after participating.  First aiders, physios or other medical personnel should continue to ensure good hygiene standards when treating participants.
  5. Avoid shared equipment – shared equipment should be avoided where possible and practical, and cleaned between uses where required.
  6. Encourage use of face coverings where appropriate (in indoor communal spaces before and after exercise). It's not advised that participants wear face coverings while taking part in sport and physical activity. This exemption also applies to the workforce.  

Large sporting events expecting a significant number of spectators should consult the Government’s guidance for events and attractions.

 

Scotland (updated 22 December)

Beyond Level 0 Guidance

The First Minister provided a COVID-19 update on 21 December 2021, outlining new restrictions. This also reiterated the increasing challenge posed by the Omicron variant, the priority being placed on the continued emphasis on supporting the vaccine and booster programme, and the need for businesses to strengthen compliance with current protection measures.

As part of the update, the First Minister also confirmed enhanced measures will be put in place for up to three weeks from 26 December 2021 for ‘large scale events’, and 27 December for other areas. There is no impact on tennis activity at this stage, but measures include:

Large scale events

  • Large scale spectator and participation events can go ahead if 1m physical distancing measures are put in place and attendances limited to:

Indoors - 100 standing, 200 seated

Outdoors - 500 standing, and 500 seated

Further guidance relating to event organisation is available at Coronavirus advice for events | VisitScotland.org

Indoor hospitality and leisure venues (including gyms and leisure centres)

  • 1m physical distancing should be implemented in gym and leisure centre settings. For classes limit numbers to ensure physical distancing can be maintained throughout the activity and at control entry/exit points. 
  • All indoor hospitality venues should reintroduce physical distancing (1m) between groups (maximum 3 households per group) as well as table service in settings where alcohol is served. Please refer toCoronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector - gov.scot for further information.

 Stay home, stay safe

  • For the three-week period, Scottish Government advises that people stay at home as much as possible, keep contacts to a minimum and keep New Year gatherings as small as family circumstances allow. Further Scottish Government guidance is available at Coronavirus in Scotland - gov.scot.

Businesses and service providers are now legally required to take reasonably practical measures to minimise spread of coronavirus on their premises, taking into consideration Scottish Government guidance available at Scottish Government: Safer Businesses and Workplaces.

The Scottish Government retain the option of putting in place local measures and travel restrictions to manage any future virus outbreaks. 

Please be aware some baseline measures continue to remain in place to mitigate ongoing risks of transmission. This includes:

  • Good hand hygiene and surface cleaning
  • Continued promotion of good ventilation
  • Requirement for face coverings in certain settings (e.g. public transport, retail)
  • Continued compliance with Test and Protect, including self-isolation when necessary

Tennis Scotland and the LTA have updated the summary grid (version 15.1) of permitted tennis activity by levels of protections and the full Tennis Scotland/LTA guidance document for tennis venues, coaches and players in Scotland (version 11.1) to reflect the recent changes announced by the First Minister. Within both of these documents, details of restrictions applicable under each of the Levels of Protection 0-4 have been retained, so they can be referred to should any areas go back to operating under them.

 

Guidance Document and Summary Grid

The summary grid and guidance document outline the mitigating measures retained under 'Beyond Level 0' as well as what tennis activity is permitted in Scotland under each of the Levels of Protection. Tennis venues, coaches, officials and players should be aware that the details provided may change at short notice.

You can view and download the latest summary grid and full guidance document via the links below:

     Summary Grid - tennis activity by level of protection

     Guidance for tennis players, venues, coaches & officials

Please be aware that the Scottish Government may update or change Levels and restrictions at any time, including local areas subject to them.  Venue COVID officers should therefore regularly check the Scottish Government website:

Wales (updated 14 Jaunary 2022)

Welsh Government COVID-19 Update

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has today outlined a timeline for returning Wales to ‘Alert Level 0’ by Friday 11 February.  

Tennis Wales and the LTA have updated our ‘Return to Play Guidance’ to reflect the changes coming into effect from Saturday 15 January. We will update our guidance periodically over the next few weeks to reflect the further easing process. All relaxations are subject to the continuing positive trend of COVID-19 cases downwards.

Here is a summary of changes:

  • From Saturday 14 January, outdoor tennis activities and events can take place with up to 500 participants and 500 spectators.
  • From Friday 21 January, there will be no restriction on the number of people attending outdoor tennis activity.
  • From Friday 28 January, indoor tennis activities and events can take place without any restriction on number of people attending. The rule of six and 2 metre social distancing requirements for hospitality will also be removed.
  • The requirement to work from home will no longer be a legal requirement from the 28 January also.
  • Friday 11 February all remaining restrictions will be removed to move Wales fully to Alert Level 0.

For the avoidance of doubt, organised indoor tennis activities must remain within a 30-person group limit until Friday 28 January. Multiple discreet groups are allowed, please see our guidance for more information.

We have also updated our guidance to reflect the recent changes to self-solation and testing protocols in Wales:

  • You can end self-isolation after 7 full days if on day 6 and on day 7 (at least 24 hours later) you record a negative Lateral Flow Test result from both tests.
  • If you are asymptomatic and test positive for Covid-19 via a Lateral Flow Test, you are no longer required to take a confirmatory PCR test. You MUST report your result and self-isolate immediately. You can finish isolation after 7 full days if you have two negative test results on day 6 and 7 (at least 24 hours later).

     Guidance for tennis players, venues & coaches in Wales

As ever throughout the pandemic, tennis venues, coaches and competition organisers/referees are required to keep up to date COVID-19 risk assessments for all their activities and facilities.

Further information including FAQs are available here from Welsh Government.

 

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.

 

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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