In response to the rising R Rate, the UK Government announced that social gatherings in England would return to being limited to 6 people whether inside or outside (except for individual households/support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together). Recreational team sport activity that has measures in place to minimise transmission risk, was listed as an exception to this new guidance, which comes into legal effect from Monday 14 September. This means that organised cricket activity including club training, matches (league and friendly) and training courses (e.g. coaching and officiating) can continue with the current transmission prevention measures in place.
However, social and informal cricket activity for groups of more than 6 people is not permitted. The cricket community has consistently followed the UK Government’s guidance this summer and been privileged to have the opportunity to lead in the return of recreational team sport. As we approach the end of the season and look to celebrate what has been an “against all odds” summer, cricket must continue to conduct itself in a way that we can all be proud of, and support the virus control measures across England and Wales.
All clubs should encourage and take steps to ensure that everyone coming to the ground observes the following key behaviours:
- HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
- FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.
There are changes to the way clubhouses should operate and in particular where the clubhouse provides a food and beverage (including bar) service. These include:
- Familiarise yourself with the updated Government guidance for Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services here.
- From 18 September, it is a legal requirement to implement and maintain a compliant record keeping system to record contact details of all attendees for use in the NHS Test and Trace system with a risk of fines if you do not. These records should be kept for a period of 21 days. You must also keep records of staff working patterns for a period of 21 days to assist NHS Test and Trace with containing clusters or outbreaks. See the government guidance here.
- From Monday 14 September, individuals in England must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes and this limit will be enforceable in law. Hospitality venues (such as cricket clubs offering food and beverage, including takeaway), can still host more than 6 people in total provided they follow COVID-19 secure guidelines, but each individual group must not mix or form larger groups. In practical terms this means socially distanced tables of a maximum of 6 people (except for individual households/ support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together) – clubs should re-assess their venue capacities, layouts and circulation routes to maintain social distancing in accordance with the new ‘Rule of Six’. Clubs that are found to operate in a way that increases the risk of transmission (for example by facilitating indoor gatherings between multiple households) can be closed by Local Authorities.
- Clubs should review any revised arrangements and layouts with the terms of their premises licence / certificate and consult with their licensing authority where necessary.
- The number of people permitted to gather in indoor and outdoor spaces could vary with local restrictions. Clubs should consult their local guidance for further clarification on the number of people permitted to gather at their ground.
In Wales, from Monday 14 September the number of people who can meet indoors at any one time will be limited to 6. All 6 people must belong to the same extended household group. There will be no change to current rules allowing up to four households to form an exclusive extended household in Wales, and no change to the rules on meeting outdoors. There will also be no change to the current rules for playing recreational cricket outdoors, except in the county of Caerphilly where local lockdown restrictions remain in place.