EXCEL TENNIS ACADEMT COVID-19 POLICY

Updated 29/03/2021

It is essential that all of our players, coaches and clubs take the reasonable steps to create a safe environment in which we are able to play tennis again. Our COVID-19 policy guides all parties to ensure these steps are maintained. 

 

The first part of this policy outlines the preparations and precautions that the Excel Tennis Academy has put in place, as well as what we are asking of our players and their parents / guardians. It is essential that this section of the document is read and agreed to before you return to coaching.

 

The second part of this policy is taken from the LTA guidance on returning to tennis, providing a broader set of guidelines for everyone to follow.

Excel Tennis Academy

Preparations and Precautions for Returning To Tennis

What we will be doing

Our coaches will be adapting their sessions to ensure that social distancing measures can be followed at all times.

Tennis naturally lends itself to social distancing, but in instances where it may not our coaches will use varying methods (such as cones, markers, lines, one way systems etc.) to ensure that all players can easily adhere to these rules. Our coaches will take the necessary steps to adapt drills to suit these measures.

All our coaches have been provided with hand sanitiser which they will apply to themselves and, where applicable, other pupils (more on this below). 

Our coaches will be keeping contact records of who, when and where they have taught. 

 

What we ask of you

We ask that players, parents and guardians follow social distancing at all times. 

One way to help with this is to maintain your distance from the tennis courts until your coach is on court and ready to start. We also ask that if there is a group running before your session that you allow space for those coming off the court. This will help prevent gatherings outside of the court area. 

If you are a parent / guardian collecting your child from a session, it is vital that you make yourself visible to the coach at an appropriate distance from the courts 5 minutes prior to the end of the session. This allows our coaches to dismiss in an organised manner and avoids confusion coming off the court. 

If you are a parent / guardian with access to hand sanitiser we ask that you administer this to your child at a safe distance from the courts before the session begins. Our coaches will be asking pupils upon entering the court if this has been done and, if not, will administer hand sanitiser to the child. All pupils will have hand sanitiser safely administered to them at the end of each session. If, due to allergies or other reasons, you do not wish for us to administer hand sanitiser to your child that you contact the academy directly (and have received confirmation from us) before attending any sessions. 

If you wish to talk with a coach about a session we ask that, where possible, this is done by means of a phone call at a time when the coach is not on court. If there is a matter you wish to discuss is person it is advised that you contact the coach beforehand to arrange this.

For us all

We ask that anyone attending a session, both coaches and players, clean their hands before and after every lesson. The government has in place a new NHS test and trace system that we are asking everyone to follow should the need to arise. 

The Excel Tennis Academy retains the right to remove any pupil from a session should they repeatedly behave in a manner in violation to social distancing rules. We understand that these are very confusing times for our younger players - should a child have to be removed from a session we will allow them back the following week providing that the parent / guardian has made efforts to correct this and feels confident that this will not happen again.  

To Summarise:

 

Coaches Will:

- Administer hand sanitiser at start of lesson if child has not been given any by parent /guardian

- Administer hand sanitiser at end of lesson before pupils leaves court

- Walk pupils in to courts before sessions

- Walk players out of court at end of session

- Maintain social distancing for pupils during the sessions

 

Players Must:

- Wash hands before attending lessons and when they get home

- Use hand sanitieser when entering the courts (from parents preferably) and when exiting courts

- Maintain social distancing (2M) from any other person during their lesson

- Listen to all instructions and follow what the coach asks 

 

Parents Must:

- Administer hand sinister to pupils before pupil enters court

- Be outside the courts 5 minutes before the end of the lesson so that children can leave the courts safely without the need for a coach to walk them through the car park

- Maintain their own social distancing from other parents (acting as role models for the children as well)

- Communicate with coaches if they do not wish hand sanitiser to be administered to their child

The support, kindness and capability our community has shown over the years gives us confidence that we can not only return to tennis safely, but in a thriving way. 

LTA Guidance for Coaches and Players

The LTA provides guidelines for coaches and players to help us all return to court safely. We will try to update this page regularly, however for the most up to date information please visit https://www.lta.org.uk/about-us/tennis-news/news-and-opinion/general-news/2020/march/coronavirus-covid-19---latest-advice/

LTA Guidance for Coaches

SECTION 1: GENERAL GUIDELINES

GENERAL GUIDANCE

  • All activity should be consistent with the government guidance regarding health, travel, social distancing and hygiene at all times

  • Coaches and coaching organisations must consider safety first, particularly minimising the risk of infection/transmission (see ‘Risk Assessments’ section below), and follow specific processes for running larger group activity (see ‘Activity Action Plans’ section below)

  • Coaches who have had their normal activity disrupted and have a need to coach outside of their normal venue, should seek prior permission from the venue, local authority or operator who is in charge of the tennis facility, before undertaking coaching

  • These guidelines relate to Step 1 (Phase 2) of the Government roadmap and are applicable from 29 March 2021 – although provisional dates for moving to future steps of the roadmap have been set, be aware these are subject to review and confirmation one week in advance

  • Guidelines will be updated as we progress through the different phases of Government measures – the LTA remains in discussions with Government and so we recommend you check the official LTA position atwww.lta.org.uk/coronavirus on a regular basis to stay abreast of the latest information

  • Any measures coaches put in place to enable tennis activity to resume should be capable of being flexed or changed quickly should restrictions change

  • The guidance set out for coaches covers all tennis venues that follow COVID- 19 secure guidance. Coaches should continue to work closely with the venues at which they are delivering activity, to ensure that all activity is COVID-19 secure

    RISK ASSESSMENTS

  • A thorough risk assessment should be undertaken by venues (or updated if one previously done), and appropriate measures put in place to mitigate against risk and ensure participants, staff and volunteers are protected – you are advised to liaise with your venue when doing this.

  • Risk assessments should be completed in line with guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

  • A risk assessment template is available from the COVID-19 section of the venue Resource Library on the LTA website

ACTIVITY ACTION PLANS

  • Where a venue or coach wishes to utilise exemptions that permit formally organised activity to take place in larger numbers than would otherwise be possible under the social contact limits (such as coached sessions, club nights and competitions), providers should use their risk assessment to develop an action plan for safe participation, to be distributed to all relevant personnel, including coaches and welfare officers

  • The action plan should set out the transmission risk of the relevant activity, and demonstrate mitigations, plans to operate, and any adaptations required. It should also consider how compliance with infection control measures will be achieved, and where relevant set out how information to support NHS Test and Trace will be collected

  • A template event delivery plan that can be used by coaches organising larger group activity can be downloaded from the LTA’s Venue Resource Library

PRE-ATTENDANCE SYMPTOM CHECK

  • All coaches and participants in your sessions should undergo a pre- attendance self-assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms using the information on the NHS website before leaving home, and this should be clearly communicated to attendees in advance

  • No-one should leave home to participate in tennis if they, or someone they live with, has symptoms of COVID -19, currently recognised as any of:

    • -  A high temperature

    • -  A new, continuous cough

    • -  A loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste

  • Should an individual have demonstrated any such symptoms, they must follow NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation and follow the steps for Test and Trace

NHS TEST & TRACE

  • If a player you have coached develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should be directed to follow the Government’s ‘test and trace’ guidelines, which can be read on the Gov.uk website

  • Please note, it is down to NHS Test and Trace to make decisions on close contacts. However, it is our understanding is that if coaches ensure they and those taking part in their tennis activity adhere to the LTA Covid-19 Secure guidelines and maintain social distancing at all times, then it would not be anticipated that they would be classified as a close contact of a participant user who subsequently tests positive

     

TENNIS ACTIVITY

  • Permitted tennis activity under Step 1 of the roadmap from 29 March is outlined in Section 3 of this document, with what is allowed and group numbers varying depending on if the activity is informal social play or organised group activity, and if it is for a group with an exemption

  • You can meet with different clients/groups in a single day as long as you are maintaining social distancing

  • A summary of permitted tennis activity is also provided in the LTA’s summary grid

     

TRAVEL

Information and advice on safe travel is provided in the LTA Guidance for Players, however, venues should be aware that:

- Travel to take part in recreational tennis activity is permitted but should be minimised where possible

- Overnight stays to take part in sport or physical activity are not permitted

 

EXEMPTIONS

Exemptions are in place for some groups to permit indoor tennis activity under Step 1 of the roadmap – full details of these are provided in Section 3

 

MAINTAINING SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Social distancing between players, and between the coach and players should be maintained at all times – the latest Government advice on social distancing can be read here

  • Coaches should ensure this is emphasised to participants in advance and at the start of each session, and that they are clear on how they should maintain social distancing for each drill before starting it

  • Larger group sessions may need to utilise multiple full-size courts in order to maintain social distancing, depending on the local environment and risk assessment. Where space and number of courts available is limited, then based on your risk assessment only smaller group sessions may be possible. Coaches should refer to the LTA’s recommended coach:player ratios for more specific guidance

  • Adaptations to drills and how you provide feedback/instruction may be needed to ensure social distancing guidelines can be safely adhered to

  • Coaches should encourage players to avoid running down balls within an exercise if it could compromise social distancing

  • Coaches should encourage players not to congregate on or around the court before and after play, or during breaks in the session

  • The exemption to permit larger group numbers for sport only applies to the activity itself, and so participants should be advised that any social interaction before or after the session is in line with social contact restrictions (outdoors for Step 1 this is the ‘rule of six’)

  • Attendees should be advised to limit their interactions with anyone outside of the group they are attending the venue with (e.g. players on another court or in a different coaching group), and they should continue to maintain social distancing from those that they do not live with or are in a support bubble with

    SESSIONS WITH ADULTS

  • The maximum number of people permitted in a formally organised group activity for adults should be determined by the coach/venue, in accordance with your risk assessment and activity action plan

  • The LTA recommends no more than 12 players on one full-size tennis court and surrounding areas at any one time (for adult activity indoors, this limit is six people), in order to ensure social distancing can be maintained at all times. Most adult tennis sessions will have far less than this number per court.

  • Depending on your risk assessment, programmes that might ordinarily be delivered in larger groups such as Cardio Tennis, may need some adaptations to ensure social distancing can be maintained, depending on considerations around venue and other general guidance

  • See Section 2 of this document for more details on organised group activity for adults

     

SESSIONS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN

Though the maximum permitted total group size for formally organised children’s activity is 15 participants (excluding coaches), the LTA recommends no more than 12 junior players per full-size tennis court and surrounding areas/run-off space at any one time for tennis coaching, in order to ensure social distancing can be maintained at all times. This limit is most applicable for red stage tennis or younger children (tots)

  • The LTA has provided guidance as to how adaptations to LTA Youth Start drills can be made to maintain social distancing in the LTA’s coach secure area

  • Red court specific guidance: Consider using a safe barrier between red courts (e.g. line of cones, strips or barrier tape) and use spots/ground markers to facilitate children maintaining social distancing as part of the session organisation

  • If you feel your youngest groups would be unable to reasonably maintain social distancing, consider a) prioritising sessions with older children first for commencement, b) reducing number of red courts per full sized adult court, c) adding an assistant to help organisation or d) reducing number of participants in a group

  • Parent and child groups can also take place outdoors with the a limit of 15 attendees (children under 5 do not count towards the attendee limit)

  • See Section 2 of this document for more details on organised group activity for children

     

HEALTH, SAFETY & HYGIENE

  • Ensure usual access to first aid and emergency equipment is maintained

  • Injuries should still be treated, as participant safety is of the utmost

    importance – further details are provided in the LTA’s guidance for venues

  • Further information for those who may need to act as a ‘first responder’ role in

    a sports setting is available on the Government website

  • Additional guidance on delivering first aid during the coronavirus pandemic is

    also available on the St John Ambulance website

  • Hand hygiene is imperative - hand sanitise at intervals if you have to touch

    communal surfaces

  • Avoid touching your face

  • If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve

  • The same recommended hygiene measures also apply to players, and

    coaches are advised to remind them of these in your communications before

    and at sessions

  • See the Government’s advice on the basics of good hygiene for more info

     

EQUIPMENT

  • Coaches do not need to use new or fresh tennis balls for each lesson, and are no longer advised to be the only person to touch the tennis balls. Players also do not need to use their own individual tennis balls (these were initial precautionary measures put in place at the start of the pandemic and are no longer recommended measures, in line with the latest research). It is recommended that the focus be put on other preventative measures such as maintaining hand hygiene.

  • Coaches and players should still take care to avoid touching your faces during play, and you should all clean your hands before the session and immediately after finishing (use alcohol gel if required)

  • Players should still bring their own equipment where possible and sharing of equipment should be limited – however, use of communal rackets can be done subject to thorough cleaning processes between uses

  • Any coaching equipment used (e.g. cones) should be wiped down and cleaned rigorously afterwards

  • Ensure all equipment is removed from the court at the end of the session

BOOKINGS & PAYMENT

  • Operate online booking for coaching sessions where at all possible, or alternatively phone bookings

  • Take any payments online, and avoid handling cash

  • There is now no need to have a buffer period between session booking slots,

    but coaches should still consider what appropriate measures can be

    implemented to allow participants to enter and leave the courts safely

  • Depending on the set up of the venue, this may still involve leaving a small

    gap between sessions or finishing sessions slightly early to allow time for players to leave before the next players arrive, or alternatively having different entry and exit gates or marked out socially distant waiting areas – this is particularly the case for session that involve larger groups, and should be covered in your risk assessment and activity action plan

     

VENUE LIAISON

Coaches should liaise with the venue to ensure an agreed approach to activity that is feasible to deliver safely, and explore how coaches can be supported to deliver sessions

 

VENUE FACILITIES

  • Clubhouses and pavilions should remain closed

  • Indoor access for venue staff, including coaches, is permitted where it is

    required for work purposes under the work exemption, but should be kept to a minimum and is subject to following Government guidelines for working safely during coronavirus

  • Indoor access is for the public permitted to provide throughway access to outdoor courts, use toilet facilities (see below), access floodlights or access equipment (safety measures and clear signage should be in place)

     

CHANGING ROOMS, TOILETS & SHOWERS

  • Toilets can be accessed

  • Attendees should be asked to arrive changed and to shower at home

  • Changing rooms and showers should not be used except by people with

    disabilities or special needs or in emergency situations

     

COMMUNICATION

  • Coaches should make customers aware in advance that undertaking any activity, including tennis, has the potential for increased risk of transmission of COVID-19, and advise attendees to read the Government’s guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Communicate with your customers clearly and regularly, making them aware in advance of the measures you are putting in place for your sessions, and guidelines they should follow when attending

  • Ensure participants know ahead in advance which coach & court to report to

     

SUPERVISION & SPECTATING

  • Spectating is not permitted

  • Guardian (non-participant) or carer attendance is permitted and is not

    counted as part of maximum group sizes, but should be off court and limited to one per child where possible, with social distancing observed while watching the session

SECTION 2: PERMITTED TENNIS ACTIVITY

This section details permitted tennis activity from 29 March 2021 under Step 1 (Phase 2) of the Government’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

Further detail on provisional permitted activity under Steps 2, 3 and 4 of the roadmap is provided in Section 4 of this document. An overview of this information is also provided in our summary grid:

OUTDOOR TENNIS

INFORMAL SOCIAL PLAY

  • Both singles play and doubles play is permitted with people from outside of your household, as long as you remain 2 metres apart as far as possible – meaning that four people from different households can play doubles

  • For informal social play, group size is limited to a maximum of six people (or two households) by law. This means you can play tennis providing you only meet up with no more than 5 other people from different households and observe social distancing guidelines.

  • People should not go to a tennis venue socially in groups of more than six

  • A group made up of two households can include more than six people, but

    only where all members of the group are from the same two households (or

    support/childcare bubbles, where eligible)

  • Social distancing must be maintained between people who do not live

    together or share a support bubble

  • For padel, doubles play is also permitted but extra care is advised and it

    should only be done so where players are confident they can maintain 2 metres apart

     

1:1 COACHING

Permitted in line with the LTA’s Covid-19 Secure guidance for coaching activity

 

ORGANISED GROUP ACTIVITY

  • Organised outdoor tennis activity for larger groups, including coached sessions, club nights and competitions is exempt from legal gathering limits and so is permitted by the Government as an exception to the limit of six, provided that venues, coaching providers and event organisers follow LTA COVID-19 secure guidelines

  • In all cases the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and complete an activity action plan (see Section 1), and take all reasonable steps to limit transmission of the coronavirus by reference to that risk assessment and all relevant LTA COVID-19 Secure guidance.

  • Organised group activity is defined as being activity formally organised by a national governing body, club, qualified instructor/coach, club, business or charity and follows the LTA’s sport-specific guidance for tennis. Further details are provided on the Government website

  • If the sport is not organised by one of these groups (for example, some friends getting together to play) or the LTA’s guidance is not being followed (for example, no risk assessment has been done or recommended measures being ignored), this is considered by the Government to be informal or self- organised sport and so it not exempt from the rule of six

  • For adults, there is no upper limit for formally organised sport group activity and the venue/coach should set this, carefully considering the maximum capacity that they can operate at safely for that specific activity within their environment. All venues should produce detailed risk assessments and activity action plans taking into account these factors

  • For children, organised coached sessions should be limited to groups of no more than 15 children (plus coach(es)/assistants), in line with guidance from the Department of Education on out of school settings. Parent and child groups can also take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under 5 do not count towards the attendee limit)

  • Coaching activity such as Holiday Camps that have two or more groups are permitted as long as the groups are kept completely separate and the sessions are delivered independently of each other. Clear instructions should be provided to participants in advance so that they know which coach and which court to report to, if there are two or more groups

  • Participants should adhere to social distancing with those from another household when not actively participating

  • The exemption to permit large group numbers for sport only applies to the activity itself. Social interaction among group participants before and after any group tennis activity should only take place outdoors, and in separate and distinct groups consisting of up to six people or two households in line with the social contact limits, while maintaining social distancing at all times

  • If an organiser is not able to ensure this (including when arriving at or leaving activity or socialising) then such events should not take place. Failure to adhere to this could result in the exemption for larger numbers for group sport being removed.

  • Attendees should avoid social interaction with anyone outside the group they are with, even if they see other people they know, at all times during their visit

     

COMPETITIONS

  • Singles & doubles competitions are permitted for both juniors and adults

  • LTA approved competitions, team competitions (such as Club/County

    Fixtures) and recreational competition can be played as long as they adhere

    to the LTA’s Return to Competition guidance

  • There is no set limit for draw size for either adults or children – what is a safe

    and appropriate draw size should be determined by the organiser as a result of the risk assessment and event delivery plan / activity action plan, and depending on the COVID-19 secure capacity of the venue

  • Off-court, individuals should limit their social interaction with others and not socialise in groups of more than six

  • More detailed guidance on the ‘Return to Competition’ for officials and competition organisers can be read at lta.org.uk/coronavirus

CHILDREN / U18s

  • The definition of Under 18s for the purposes of this exemption includes young people who were 17 at the start of the academic year, even if they have turned 18 since then (i.e. all those aged under 18 on 31 August 2020)

  •  Indoor sport and physical activity for children is permitted, but only where this is part of wraparound childcare which specifically enables parents or carers to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group

  • Indoor sport and physical activity for vulnerable children is permitted, regardless of whether this is part of wraparound care

  • Further detail is provided in Sport England’s FAQs

SECTION 3: PROVISIONAL TENNIS ACTIVITY ROADMAP

STEPS 2, 3 & 4

  • The Government’s roadmap is based on four steps. To assist tennis coaches, venues, and officials in preparations, we have summarised below the key relevant aspects of the easing of restrictions for each future step, outlining what is known to date

  • Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests around vaccination deployment and impact, infection rates and NHS hospitalisations, and status of any new variants of the disease. They will then announce one week in advance whether restrictions will be eased as planned.

  • Our summary grid provides a provisional overview of what each of the steps mean for tennis activity. The grid and this section of this document will be updated with further detail ahead of moving to the next step of the roadmap

  • Where children’s sport is referred to, this relates to activity for people aged under 18 on 31 August 2020. Adult sport refers to activity for anyone aged 18 or over on 31 August 2020

    STEP 2: No earlier than 12 April

  • Indoor leisure facilities permitted to open for individual/household use (including 1:1 coaching)

  • Indoor children’s sport resumes for larger groups, including group coaching and competitions

  • Hospitality venues including pubs reopen outdoors only, subject to social contact restrictions (rule of 6)

  • Guidance to minimise domestic travel where possible remains STEP 3: No earlier than 17 May

  • Social contact restrictions relaxed to maximum 30 people outdoors (formally organised sport already exempt from this outdoors from 29 March)

  • Rule of 6 or two households indoors

  • Organised indoor ‘adult group sports and exercise classes’ resume (subject

    to taking place with ‘rule of 6’ bubbles)

  • Large events permitted within the following capacity limits subject to strict

    Government guidance

  • Hospitality resumes indoors

  • Domestic overnight stays in hotels, hostels and B&Bs permitted line with

    social contact restriction

  • Possible restart of international travel (subject to review)

    STEP 4: No earlier than 21 June

  • Removal of limits on social contact

  • Enable large events above Step 3 capacity restrictions, subject to the

    outcome of the scientific Events Research programme, and potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection, subject to further evaluation

SECTION 4: DISABILITY TENNIS

To support the resumption of the LTA’s Open Court disability tennis programme, we have produced additional tennis specific guidance for coaches running inclusive and disability-specific activity.

Further, detailed information on providing disability tennis activity during the coronavirus pandemic is available in our dedicated guidance document for Open Court venues.

COACHING DISABILITY TENNIS

  • Although activity levels were at a record high prior to COVID-19, participation of disabled people in sport has been greatly impacted by coronavirus – venues hosting inclusive and disability-specific tennis activity is therefore particularly encouraged

  • Be aware that disabled people as a group have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and so there may be increased concern and anxiety about returning to play. Venues should consider speaking to disabled players yet to return and finding out how people are, as well as discuss what their intention is for returning to tennis

  • Prior to the most recent lockdown, LTA survey data showed that while an increasing number of disabled people were returning to the court and were excited and happy to return to tennis, a large proportion said they were playing less than they have been in the past. Nearly half felt uncertain or negative around their own safety and anxious about returning

  • Coaches should ensure details of how they will run sessions are updated and clear for disabled people, and involve them in the solutions to ensure the session is COVID safe, for everyone

  • Communication is crucial, and coaches should continue to promote the hygiene and coronavirus safety measures you have in place to help reassure disabled players about their return

    WHEELCHAIR TENNIS

    A player/coach using a tennis wheelchair for activity should ideally:

    • -  Be able to transfer yourself from your day chair into a tennis wheelchair

    • -  Have support from a person from your household or bubble that can

      transfer you from a day chair into a tennis wheelchair. This person should remain available throughout the session in case of an emergency or toilet break, if required support is needed

  • While social distancing should be maintained where possible, in
    some circumstances people will need physical assistance from someone outside their household/bubble to be active. It’s important players discuss this with the provider so they can consider your needs and preferences

  • Tennis wheelchairs owned by the venue should be sanitised pre and post activity by a nominated member of staff, using appropriate PPE

  • A person accessing a sports wheelchair owned by the venue should only use the tennis wheelchair that has been assigned to them, no swapping of wheelchairs mid-session should be allowed

VISUALLY IMPAIRED TENNIS

If verbal guiding is not appropriate, and the player doesn’t have appropriate support from someone from their household/bubble, then guiding people with sight loss for coached sessions can take place as long as both the guide and visually impaired player follow the mitigations outlined below:

  • -  Both people to wash hands / sanitise immediately before and after guiding

  • -  Both people wear a face covering

  • -  Use a tennis racket as a guiding aid, between the player and the guider.

    Player to hold grip end of the racket; guider to use head end of the racket

  • -  Volunteers that are supporting players with sight loss should stay with the

    assigned player for the duration of the activity. Volunteers should not mix with other players to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus

LTA Guidance for Players

SECTION 1: BEFORE & AFTER PLAY

STAY UP TO DATE

  •   Government information around coronavirus restrictions is available here

  •   Be aware guidance can change – ensure you have checked the latest update

    on the LTA’s dedicated coronavirus information page

  •   These guidelines relate to Step 1 (Phase 2) of the Government roadmap –

    although provisional dates for moving to future steps of the roadmap have been set, be aware these are subject to review and confirmation one week in advance

    WHO CAN PLAY

  •   Permitted activity and group limits are outlined under ‘Tennis Activity’ in Section 3 of these guidelines

  •   Before leaving home to play tennis, all participants should undergo a self-assessment symptom check for any COVID-19 symptoms using the information on the NHS website, specifically:

    • -  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 or are living in a household with someone else who has a possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection you must remain at home and not go out to play tennis, following NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation

  •   If you are required to self-isolate for any other reason then you should also not exercise outside your own home or garden and should not exercise with others. This includes if you have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you are a close contact of a known COVID-19 case. In any such instance, you should not leave your home to play tennis

  •   If you live with someone who is a contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result has been asked to self-isolate but they themselves do not have symptoms, then you yourself do not need to self- isolate and can continue to take part in tennis activity. However, you should take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing, handwashing and respiratory hygiene. Further information is available on the Government website

  •   People with health conditions that put them at increased risk should consider the risks of participating in group activities.

GUIDANCE FOR TENNIS PLAYERS IN ENGLAND

      

LTA.ORG.UK/CORONAVIRUS

BEFORE LEAVING HOME & AFTER YOU RETURN

  •   Download the NHS Covid-19 Test & Trace app so you can scan in at a venue should they have a QR code on disaply

  •   Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home to go to the court (use an alcohol gel if washing hands is not possible)

  •   Arrive at the venue changed and ready to play, and shower at home (changing facilities will be closed, although there is an exemption in place to allow use of changing facilities by disabled people)

  •   If you have special needs, you may wish to speak to the venue or activity organiser in advance to ensure your needs are accommodated and appropriate facilities are open

    COURT BOOKINGS

  •   Where the facility allows, ensure you have booked a court in advance and make payment online

  •   Play can only take place on outdoor courts

  •   Indoor sport and physical activity is not permitted and so indoor courts and

    bubble courts should be closed (except for specific groups – see Section 3 –

    Permitted Tennis Activity)

  •   The LTA’s online booking platform, LTA Rally, has courts that can be booked

    in over 300 parks and clubs nationwide – visit www.lta.org.uk/rally

  •   Please note that to support NHS Test and Trace, venues and coaches may

    display a QR code or need to take additional details from you when booking so that they have appropriate temporary records in place to assist this service

    EQUIPMENT

  •   Take hand sanitizer with you

  •   Use your own equipment where possible. Equipment such as rackets can be

    shared, but where this happens ensure thorough cleaning before and after

    use. Players should not share items such as towels.

  •   Only take the minimum amount of equipment with you that you need to play

  •   Clean and wipe down your equipment, including racquets and water bottles

    before and after use

  •   Bring your own, full water bottle, and do not share food or drink with others

  •   Ensure you take all your belongings with you at the end of the session and do

    not leave anything on court

    TRAVELLING TO AND FROM THE COURT

  •   Travel to take part in recreational tennis activity is permitted, but you should minimise travel wherever possible

  •   You should not stay away from home overnight for sport and physical activity

  •   You can help control COVID-19 and travel safely by walking and cycling, if

    you can, or driving

  •   [UPDATED] Car sharing is not allowed, and for other means of transport you

    should avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or support

    bubble unless you can practise social distancing

  •   For further information, safer travel guidance is provided on the Government

    website

  •   Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be there

  •   Use alcohol gel after touching any court gates, fences, benches, etc, and

    avoid doing so where possible

GUIDANCE FOR TENNIS PLAYERS IN ENGLAND

  

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  •   Allow others to leave before you enter the court - if you need to wait then do so away from the courts and clear of the gates

  •   Ensure you leave the court before the end of your allotted time so that it is empty for the next players

  •   Avoid congregating on or around the court after playing to allow access for others

    USING VENUE FACILITIES

  •   Be aware that onsite toilet facilities may not be open. Where they are open, players are advised to take particular care when using them and clean hands thoroughly after use

  •   Changing rooms should not be used, other than for participants with disabilities or special needs (any participants using them must maintain social distancing wherever possible, and minimise the time they spend in the changing area)

  •   If takeaway catering facilities are open at the venue, respect social distancing whilst queuing for food and drink

    FACE COVERINGS

 Where access to indoor facilities is permitted (e.g. as part of the exemption for organised disability sport, or as a throughway to access outdoor courts) visitors are encouraged to wear masks in enclosed indoor public areas when not engaging in sport and physical activity where possible and practical

SOCIAL CONTACT LIMITS

  •   Players should be aware that while there are exemptions in place to permit organised outdoor group tennis activity in numbers greater than the permitted social contact limit (Rule of six), this exemption only applies to the actual physical activity itself and not any socialising before, after or around the activity

  •   Participants should therefore ensure they adhere to the rule of six before the activity starts and after it ends, and during any breaks in play

GUIDANCE FOR TENNIS PLAYERS IN ENGLAND

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SECTION 2: DURING PLAY

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING

Other than where players are from the same household or part of a support bubble, you should:

  •   Stay at least two metres away from others you do not live with or are in a support bubble with (including during play as far as possible, when taking breaks and before and after play)

  •   Do not make physical contact with other players (such as shaking hands or high five)

  •   Avoid chasing the ball down to another court if other players are using it

  •   For doubles, consider agreeing in advance which player will take the shot if a

    ball travels to the centre of the court

  •   Limit your interactions with anyone outside of the group you are attending the

    venue with (e.g. players on another court or in a different coaching group)

  •   For coached sessions, pay careful attention to the instructions of the coach

  •   See the Government’s advice on social distancing for more info

    HYGIENE

  •   Hand hygiene is imperative – hand sanitise at intervals if you have to touch communal surfaces and clean your hands before play and immediately after finishing (use alcohol gel if required)

  •   If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve

  •   Avoid touching your face

  •   See the Government’s advice on the basics of good hygiene for more info

    EQUIPMENT & FACILITIES

  •   There is no requirement for players 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). It is recommended that the focus be put on other preventative measures such as maintaining hand hygiene.

  •   Players should still avoid using their hands to pick up tennis balls from other courts where possible – use your racquet/foot to return them as those players may have made a personal decision to use their own marked tennis balls

  •   Avoid using other equipment such as courtside benches, net handles or court sweepers where possible

  •   When playing padel, try to avoid touching the court walls

    SUPERVISION & SPECTATING

  •   Spectating is not permitted

  •   Where attendance of a parent/guardian (non-participant) is required, or a

    carer for a disabled player, it is permitted but should be off court and limited to one per player where possible

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LTA.ORG.UK/CORONAVIRUS

SECTION 3: PERMITTED TENNIS ACTIVITY

This section details permitted tennis activity from 29 March 2021 under Step 1 (Phase 2) of the Government’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

Further detail on provisional permitted activity under Steps 2, 3 and 4 of the roadmap is provided in Section 4 of this document. An overview of this information is also provided in our summary grid:

 VIEW SUMMARY GRID: Permitted Tennis Activity STEP 1: FROM 29 MARCH

OUTDOOR TENNIS

INFORMAL SOCIAL PLAY

  •   Both singles play and doubles play is permitted with people from outside of your household, as long as you remain 2 metres apart as far as possible – meaning that four people from different households can play doubles

  •   For informal social play, group size is limited to a maximum of six people (or two households) by law. This means you can play tennis providing you only meet up with no more than 5 other people from different households and observe social distancing guidelines.

  •   People should not go to a tennis venue socially in groups of more than six

  •   A group made up of two households can include more than six people, but

    only where all members of the group are from the same two households (or

    support/childcare bubbles, where eligible)

  •   Social distancing must be maintained between people who do not live

    together or share a support bubble

  •   For padel, doubles play is also permitted but extra care is advised and it

    should only be done so where players are confident they can maintain 2 metres apart

    1:1 COACHING

     Permitted in line with the LTA’s Covid-19 Secure guidance for coaching activity

    ORGANISED GROUP ACTIVITY

  •   Organised outdoor tennis activity for larger groups, including coached sessions, club nights and competitions is exempt from legal gathering limits and so is permitted by the Government as an exception to the limit of six, provided that venues, coaching providers and event organisers follow LTA COVID-19 secure guidelines

  •   In order to be able to deliver activity for larger groups under this exception the organiser will have conducted a risk assessment and have taken reasonable steps to limit transmission of the coronavirus and deliver the activity for you safely

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  •   Organised group activity is defined as being activity formally organised by a national governing body, club, qualified instructor/coach, club, business or charity and follows the LTA’s sport-specific guidance for tennis

  •   If the sport is not organised by one of these groups (for example, some friends getting together to play) or the LTA’s guidance is not being followed (for example, no risk assessment has been done or recommended measures being ignored), this is considered by the Government to be informal or self- organised sport and so it not exempt from the rule of six

  •   For adults, the venue/coach will decide the safe and appropriate group size limit depending on their environment and risk assessment for that activity, but group activity should be in line with the LTA’s advised court limits of a maximum of 12 people per court

  •   For children, organised coached sessions should be limited to groups of no more than 15 children (plus coach(es)), in line with guidance from the Department of Education on out of school settings. Parent and child groups can also take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under 5 do not count towards the attendee limit)

  •   Participants should adhere to social distancing with those from another household when not actively participating

  •   The exemption to permit large group numbers for sport only applies to the activity itself. Social interaction among group participants before and after any group tennis activity should only take place outdoors, and in separate and distinct groups consisting of up to six people or two households in line with the social contact limits, while maintaining social distancing at all times

  •   If an organiser is not able to ensure this (including when arriving at or leaving activity or socialising) then such events should not take place. Failure to adhere to this could result in the exemption for larger numbers for group sport being removed.

  •   Attendees should avoid social interaction with anyone outside the group they are with, even if they see other people they know, at all times during their visit

    COMPETITIONS

  •   Singles & doubles competitions are permitted for both juniors and adults

  •   LTA approved competitions, team competitions (such as Club/County

    Fixtures) and recreational competition can be played as long as they adhere

    to the LTA’s Return to Competition guidance

  •   Draw sizes will be determined by the event organisers in line with their risk

    assessment and event delivery plan as per what is safe and appropriate for

    the event and the COVID-19 secure capacity of the venue

  •   Off-court, individuals should limit their social interaction with others and not

    socialise in groups of more than six

    INDOOR TENNIS

    INFORMAL SOCIAL PLAY

     Not permitted

    1:1 COACHING

     Not permitted
     Exemptions in place for specific groups

GUIDANCE FOR TENNIS PLAYERS IN ENGLAND

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ORGANISED GROUP ACTIVITY

 Not permitted
 Exemptions in place for specific groups

COMPETITIONS

 Not permitted
 Exemption in place for competitions for disabled people

INDOOR SPORT – EXEMPTIONS

DISABLED PEOPLE

  •   The exemption has been put in place by the Government as recognition that disabled people face more barriers to taking part in sport and physical activity, so it's vital as much as possible is done to keep these opportunities accessible – not allowing organised indoor sport for them in this way would have a disproportionate impact on disabled people

  •   The indoor exemption is for formally organised activity for disabled people only (includes organised group activity and one to one coaching)

  •   Non-disabled people are not permitted to participate indoors under this exemption, except where necessary to enable the activity to take place (such as a carer or coach helping the disabled person to exercise)

  •   There is no limit on the group numbers for this activity – this should be set by the venue/coach in depending on what is safe and appropriate for their environment and the activity, in line with the risk assessment for that activity

  •   Further detail is provided in Sport England’s FAQs, and additional information on disability tennis provision is provided in Section 5 of this document

    SPORT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES

  •   Indoor facilities can be used by schools and post-16 education and training providers (such as colleges and universities), for organised sport or individual fitness activities related to their curriculum. This could include running an indoor tennis for a school group, or a sport science student training for their sport in a gym. This exemption also applies to pupils in home education

  •   Indoor organised sport is permitted where part of formal education, and can take place indoors if necessary, but outdoor provision should be prioritised

  •   Indoor sport for under-18s can also take place at school as part of educational provision, or as part of wraparound care (see below)

  •   Further detail is provided in Sport England’s FAQs

    CHILDREN / U18s

  •   The definition of Under 18s for the purposes of this exemption includes young people who were 17 at the start of the academic year, even if they have turned 18 since then (i.e. all those aged under 18 on 31 August 2020)

  •   Indoor sport and physical activity for children is permitted, but only where this is part of wraparound childcare which specifically enables parents or carers to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group.

  •   Indoor sport and physical activity for vulnerable children is permitted, regardless of whether this is part of wraparound care

  •   Further detail is provided in Sport England’s FAQs

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SECTION 4: PROVISIONAL TENNIS ACTIVITY ROADMAP

STEPS 2, 3 & 4

  •   The Government’s roadmap is based on four steps. Whave summarised below the key relevant aspects of the easing of restrictions for each future step, outlining what is known to date

  •   Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests around vaccination deployment and impact, infection rates and NHS hospitalisations, and status of any new variants of the disease. They will then announce one week in advance whether restrictions will be eased as planned.

  •   Our summary grid provides a provisional overview of what each of the steps mean for tennis activity. The grid and this section of this document will be updated with further detail ahead of moving to the next step of the roadmap

  •   Where children’s sport is referred to, this relates to activity for people aged under 18 on 31 August 2020. Adult sport refers to activity for anyone aged 18 or over on 31 August 2020

    STEP 2: No earlier than 12 April

  •   Indoor leisure facilities permitted to open for individual/household use (including 1:1 coaching)

  •   Indoor children’s sport resumes for larger groups, including group coaching and competitions

  •   Hospitality venues including pubs reopen outdoors only, subject to social contact restrictions (rule of 6)

  •   Guidance to minimise domestic travel where possible remains STEP 3: No earlier than 17 May

  •   Social contact restrictions relaxed to maximum 30 people outdoors (formally organised sport already exempt from this outdoors from 29 March)

  •   Rule of 6 or two households indoors

  •   Organised indoor ‘adult group sports and exercise classes’ resume (subject

    to taking place with ‘rule of 6’ bubbles)

  •   Large events permitted within the following capacity limits subject to strict

    Government guidance

  •   Hospitality resumes indoors

  •   Domestic overnight stays in hotels, hostels and B&Bs permitted line with

    social contact restriction

  •   Possible restart of international travel (subject to review)

    STEP 4: No earlier than 21 June

  •   Removal of limits on social contact

  •   Enable large events above Step 3 capacity restrictions, subject to the

    outcome of the scientific Events Research programme, and potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection, subject to further evaluation

GUIDANCE FOR TENNIS PLAYERS IN ENGLAND

LTA.ORG.UK/CORONAVIRUS

SECTION 5: ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR DISABILITY TENNIS

To support the resumption of the LTA’s Open Court disability tennis programme, we have produced additional tennis specific guidance for inclusive and disability-specific activity.

Further, detailed information on providing disability tennis activity during the coronavirus pandemic is available in our dedicated guidance document for Open Court venues.

WHEELCHAIR TENNIS

  •   A player/coach using a tennis wheelchair for activity should ideally:

    • -  Be able to transfer yourself from your day chair into a tennis wheelchair

    • -  Have support from a person from your household or bubble that can

      transfer you from a day chair into a tennis wheelchair. This person should remain available throughout the session in case of an emergency or toilet break, if required support is needed

  •   While social distancing should be maintained where possible, in
    some circumstances people will need physical assistance from someone outside their household/bubble to be active. It’s important players discuss this with the provider so they can consider your needs and preferences

  •   Tennis wheelchairs owned by the venue should be sanitised pre and post activity

  •   If you are accessing a sports wheelchair owned by the venue you should only use the tennis wheelchair that has been assigned to you, no swapping of wheelchairs mid-session should be allowed

    VISUALLY IMPAIRED TENNIS

  •   If verbal guiding is not appropriate, and you doesn’t have appropriate support from someone from their household/bubble, then guiding people with sight loss for tennis activity can take place as long as both the guide and visually impaired player follow the mitigations outlined below:

    • -  Both people to wash hands or sanitise immediately before & after guiding

    • -  Both people wear a face covering

    • -  Use a tennis racket as a guiding aid, between the player and the guider.

      Player to hold grip end of the racket; guider to use head end of the racket

    • -  Volunteers that are supporting players with sight loss should stay with the

      assigned player for the duration of the activity. Volunteers should not mix

      with other players to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus

  •   If you cannot travel on your own, it is advised you should be accompanied by someone from your household or bubble. Outside of the activity itself the law in relation to the ‘rule of six’ still applies, and so players that normally meet at

    a centralised point to travel to the venue with other players should ensure you do not meet in a group of larger than six people

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