THE FA has provided an update on grassroots football in advance of step two of the Government’s Covid-19 roadmap.
The Government has confirmed that, on Monday 12th April, we will enter Step Two of the roadmap. The FA’s guidance has, therefore, been updated to reflect the changes to national restrictions. The key changes to note are in relation to spectators, the use of changing rooms and outdoor hospitality.
Please note that this updated guidance comes into effect on Monday 12th April and, until then, all participants should follow The FA’s guidance for step one which can be found at www.essexfa.com, apart from the updated position on spectators (below), which the Government confirmed yesterday (Wednesday), and is effective immediately. You can read the Government guidance at www.essexfa.com.
As organised sport can resume, all participants may travel to games but should avoid travel at the busiest times and routes, as well as minimising any unnecessary journeys where possible. All participants must follow the Government’s guidance on safer travel.
Participants should note that this guidance will be updated as we move through the different steps of the Government’s roadmap. All participants should, therefore, regularly review this guidance to make sure they are following up-to-date information.
Changing rooms can be used as part of step two of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. However, participants should minimise their use of changing facilities where possible. Toilets will be allowed to open, 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after training and/or matches.
On 7th April, the Government updated its guidance in relation to spectators, which can be found at www.essexfa.com. This confirms that, at step two and step one b, spectators are not permitted to attend sporting events taking place on private land, other than adults needed to supervise under 18s who they have a responsibility for or providing care or assistance to a person with disabilities.
They should maintain social distance and not mix with other households. This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport which is taking place in a public space (e.g. a park) at step one b or step two, in groups of up to six people, or two households.
However, sporting events which are intended to attract spectators (including ticketed football matches), or events which are likely to attract a significant number of spectators (e.g. matches which would attract a large crowd) should not take place in a public space, or on private land, until step three.
Where clubs and facilities can accommodate this safely, parents and carers are permitted to be present at football activities, although they must observe the relevant Government Covid-19 guidance, including those on gathering limits for spectators.
As part of step two of the Government’s roadmap, indoor football for under 18s can take place in-line with Department for Education and Out of School Setting guidance. All participants should read and follow this guidance for all indoor football activities.
Disabled people can take part in organised outdoor and indoor football without being subject to social contact limits.
Indoor football for adults is not currently allowed. This is planned to return no earlier than Monday 17th May for adults, as part of step three of the Government’s roadmap.
As part of step two of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, outdoor hospitality at grassroots football is permitted. All participants must follow Government guidance on hospitality settings and the specific advice for sport facility operators available on the Government’s website.
People using clubhouses and hospitality facilities must adhere to legal gathering limits and wider Government guidance. Please note that, while outdoor hospitality is permitted, spectators are not allowed at games unless on public land.
This guidance applies to all youth and adult football and Futsal, including all formats of the game. If there are any further updates from the Government, The FA will communicate these in due course and will continue to update their guidance as we move through the different steps of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Government’s latest guidance on Covid-19 and respective bespoke guidance documents from The FA. Any incidents of non-compliance should be reported to the local County Football Association.