Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Advice for venues

26/03/2020

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Please refer to this page regularly for the latest advice and guidance on dealing with Covid-19.

IMPORTANT

The absolute priority of everyone in Britain needs to be protecting the health of the nation, with a requirement to dramatically adjust our behaviour to help slow the spread of the disease, prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, and ultimately save lives. The way everyone can do this is complying with the Government’s guidance and staying at home.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday evening (23 March) all tennis facilities and courts should be closed, and tennis coaching and activity should be put on hold with immediate effect.

The National Tennis Centre is closed, and all 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 31 May 2020.

During these challenging times for our society,  our focus over the coming weeks will be 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 are continuing to work with Government to help us achieve this, and establishing what further support can be provided to help all those impacted by this unprecedented situation.

Further guidance will be added to this page in due course relating to the statement made by the Chancellor as part of the announcement made on Friday (20 March).

The information on this page has been produced based on the latest information available to us and in consultation with both Tennis Scotland and Tennis Wales, and follows our continued dialogue with Government.

The guidance on this page is intended to be read in conjunction with the information on the LTA’s main coronavirus (Covid-19) page which provides links to the latest Government and NHS advice.

LTA Programmes and Initiatives

All activity relating specifically to the Big Tennis Weekends, Tennis For Kids and Team Challenge is on hold until further notice. This includes switching off the ability to load sessions and ordering resource packs and allowing participants to book.

If you have events/ sessions already booked, please inform bookers and participants of postponement or cancellation. Resource packs for events already uploaded are on-hold and will not be distributed.

For LTA Big Tennis Weekends postponements, we recommend un-publishing the event so that you can republish with ease once able to be rescheduled, rather than cancelling the event.

Further guidance for Tennis for Kids has been provided to Coaches here.

Insurance Cover

The LTA Insurance Centre provides full details of the Registered Venue insurance cover, along with FAQs and a dedicated ‘contact us’ function if you have any specific questions. Rather than add specific updates to this page, please visit this insurance centre microsite for the latest position.

Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses

The Government has published information on financial support packages including tax payments deferral for the self-employed, advice for businesses, support for your employees and information on changes to planning and regulations.

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

The latest guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about the coronavirus, COVID-19 is available via the gov.uk webpage:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

Handling Membership Renewals/Cancellations

If you are concerned about membership renewals, cancellations or refunds, in the first instance you should look at your existing membership terms and conditions. If you need any support in this area, you can get in touch with Brabners, our Legal & Tax advice partners, by calling 03330 433 232 and quoting your LTA Registration or Coach Accreditation number.

For venues with less formal membership conditions, we encourage you to stay in regular communication with your members, listen to their concerns and wherever possible ask them to support the club whilst the current situation prevails.

If you feel exposed due to little or no membership or booking terms and conditions, then now may be a good time to review your policies and procedures. The venue support section of the LTA website provides some guidance on good governance and management.

Business Rate Relief

The Government has announced that it will introduce a business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to your relevant local authority.

Small Grants

The Government has announced a £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

The Government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your local authority – you do not need to apply. Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch next week to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

Government Support for Self-Employed

We know that 80% of the LTA Accredited Coach workforce are declared as self-employed, while there are many others involved in tennis in Britain who are self-employedm and we understand that this brings with it particular worry and concern right now.  We have been in ongoing conversations with Government to assist our assessment of the needs of this workforce, and to make sure their concerns are heard. As part of these conversations we have been pushing for Government to make further support available.

Following the Chancellor’s statement on Thursday (26 March) in relation to providing specific support for the self-employed, additional information will be added to this page outlining what this means for those involved in tennis in Britain as further details of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme are released.

Wimbledon Ticket Ballot Social Events

If the venue has yet to run the Wimbledon ballot and you are now concerned about holding an event to do so, we suggest that the Ballot Administrator make use of the automatic ballot process.

An automatic ballot ensures that all tickets are fairly balloted by automatically assigning them to the venue’s eligible and Opted In LTA Members at random. Importantly, given the current situation, an automatic ballot can be run very easily by the Ballot Administrator simply using the online ballot system.

Download the Ballot Administrator Step By Step Guide which is also available in the Ballots tab in the Ballot Administrator online system. Review the pre-ballot information and then follow instructions on pages 6 & 7 of the guide which will walk you through the process of running an automatic ballot.

Once the Ballot Administrator choses to start the ballot it will be run automatically overnight by the LTA system. A List of Winners will be available to view by the Ballot Administrator so that winners/purchasers can be tracked.

Wimbledon Ticket Refunds

We appreciate that your members may have some concerns regarding Coronavirus and their ability to return tickets for a refund. If the Championships are cancelled or postponed the full face value of the tickets will be refunded. Should the event go ahead but a ticketholder be unable to attend The Championships, the LTA will also provide a full ticket face value refund as long as we are informed up to 23.59 prior to the day of play.

Additional Queries

In addition to the points listed, we have also received queries around Registration Fees and Facility Loan Repayments amongst others. Please be assured that we are working through each of these issues and will publish guidance when in a position to do so.

In the meantime, if you have any further questions the LTA Services Team are working remotely and can be contacted via info@lta.org.uk.

For the latest advice for tennis coaches please click here

Thank you for your continued patience and support during this time. 

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