Local and regional lockdowns
The UK Government will implement local or regional lockdown restrictions from Wednesday 2 December that will affect squash clubs / venues and players. Please regularly check the Government guidance on local restrictions for up to date information on local restrictions.
Can school squash activity continue under new local lockdown restrictions?
Curriculum-based squash activity during school PE/games lessons where that is part of the club/venue’s normal provision can continue at the schools discretion. Schools are able to work with external coaches, clubs and organisations for curricular activities where they are satisfied that it is safe to do so.
Extra-curricular activiy (before and after school clubs) is only permitted where it is reasonably necessary to support parents to work, search for work, or undertake training or education, or where the provision is being used for the purposes of respite care.
Please refer to the Sport & Recreation Alliance website for further information.
Is my area currently under lockdown conditions?
To keep up to date with which areas are under local lockdown restrictions please visit the UK Government website.
Which squash activities are permitted within each tier of restrictions?
You can find the details on which activities are permitted here.
Can two children in a squash bubble still play full court squash in High and Very High areas?
Only if this is part of coach-led/supervised activity.
If I have children and adults in my squash bubble, are we exempt from the new restrictions?
No, if you have one or more adults in any squash bubble it must still be treated as if it were all-adult.
Can Educational Team players play full court squash?
Yes, but only if it is coach-led or supervised activity.
Can Educational Team players play full court squash with others who are not part of their club/team?
Yes, but they must be in a squash bubble, and only at a club in the Medium Alert tier.
Can I continue playing if I have time left on my court booking after playing best of five in my 'squash bubble'?
You can remain on court but should play 'Sides' or socially distanced practices. This is to reduce the amount of time players from different households spend taking part in full court squash where social distancing may be occasionally breached.
I play squash at multiple squash clubs/venues, can I belong to a bubble at each one?
No, you should only belong to one bubble at a time regardless of how many places you play at. You can switch bubbles after a 7 day break with agreement from you club/venue's COVID-19 officer.
Can I be a belong to a 'squash bubble' and a bubble in another sport at the same time?
Individuals should consider their personal responsibility in keeping themselves and others safe. The Government advice is 'the more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, try to limit the number of people you see – especially over short periods of time. The risk of transmission is also higher indoors, so you should take extra care to stay as safe as possible'.
We'd strongly advise people to consider the number of people from outside their household that they are mixing with.
Can I change to a different 'squash bubble'?
Players can only belong to one 'squash bubble' at any one time. However players are able to transfer to another bubble following a 7-day break from playing the full version of the game, and with the approval of their club’s COVID-19 Officer.
Can I continue to play with members of my own household and be a member of a separate 'squash bubble' with up to five others?
Yes, you can belong to a 'squash bubble' and continue to play with members of your own household.
Can I play with up to 5 others in my squash bubble and and continue to play with others who aren't?
When playing with someone from a different household who isn't in your squash bubble you must only take part in socially distanced practices and 'Sides'.
Can two players from different households (who aren't in a 'squash bubble') only play ‘sides’ and modified games from England Squash or can they play in any way as long as they remain socially distanced?
We recommend that all players adhere to the guidelines and only play the games and activities approved by England Squash. This is to help ensure that the infection risk is minimised and ensure that a safe social distance is maintained at all times.
Can members of the same household e.g four people play on court together?
No, you can only have two people on a court at any one time unless you are part of a coach led supervised actitivty.
Can you play at more than one venue?
Yes, so long as you follow each club/venue’s guidelines. You can only belong to one 'squash bubble' at time regardless of how many places you play
Any tips on ball hygiene and reducing the interference in play?
Whilst players must continue to adhere to our guidance around ball hygiene, here are some further tips to reduce the interference in play and to save time wiping and sanitising the ball:
• ensure you have multiple balls and you know who has touched which of them
• swap the server less often (e.g. at the end of each game, if possible)
• use natural stoppages in play
Can people travel between areas with different local alert levels to take part in sport and physical activity?
Does full court squash within a squash bubble count as formally organised activity?
Yes, providing your club has followed our steps on introducing squash bubbles, this counts as organised activity.
Has England Squash guidance been approved by Government?
Yes, each of our return to play phases has been agreed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Any future phases have to be agreed by the DCMS before we progress.
Can I play doubles squash?
A modified version of doubles squash is now permitted for members of the same household/support bubble living in medium and high tier areas. It is also permitted for members of the same squash bubble who are in medium tier areas.
Can people from the same household attend a session with a coach?
Yes, provided the people from the same household are socially distanced from the coach at all times. A maximum of 4 players are permitted on court at one time in coach led/ supervised activity.
Can a coach and up to four players be on court together?
Yes, a single coach can be on court with upto four players. However, we recommend that they spend as little time on court as is practical, and that social distancing is maintained at all times. We strongly recommend that coaches wear face coverings.
Should coaches wear face coverings?
We strongly recommend that coaches wear face coverings.
Can I coach bigger groups of children within their school bubbles?
Coaches can now coach up to 15 children in an 'out-of-school-setting'. Please see Government guidance to establish whether your qualify as an out of school setting provider.
For 'out-of-school-setting' squash sessions with young people, how many players are permitted on court at once?
Only four people are permitted on court at any one time.
How many people can I coach under current guidelines?
Coaches in a medium tier can now coach up to 6 players at a time but there must always be no more than four players per court at any one time.
As a coach can I play in a squash bubble and coach multiple bubbles and other players?
Yes, coaches can be part of a playing bubble and still coach to other bubbles and players. Coaches should consider the number of people they are coming into contact with, should remain socially distant at all times and limit the time spent on court with players. We also strongly recommend coaches wear face coverings.
I’m a coach and self employed. Can I get financial help?
The Government has set up the Self Employment Income Support Scheme; those self-employed can apply for taxable grants worth up to 80% of the average profits. Grants are paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. The scheme has been extended and you can find out more information here.
To apply you must meet the following criteria:
- Earn more than half of your total income from self-employment. This is based on your 2018/19 tax return and/or the average of your tax returns for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
- Your average annual trading profit must be less than £50,000. This is calculated from your 2018/19 tax return and/or the average of your tax returns for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
- More than half of your income in these periods must come from self-employment.
- You must have filed a tax return for 2018/19.
- You must continue trading in 2020/21 after the shutdown.
The full government rules on the self employed are set out here.
If you are a company director and pay yourself a salary or dividends you will not be covered by this scheme. You may be able to get support through the Job Retention Scheme.
Applications are being managed by HMRC and details on how to apply can be found here.
Other help available
- You can apply for a Business Interruption Loan. The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is open to self-employed people and offers access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to six years. The Government could also give you a 'business interruption payment' to cover the first 12 months of interest and fees on the loan. The scheme is now open for applications and is offered by all major banks.
- You can defer your income tax payments. If you have income tax payments due in July 2020 under the self-assessment system, you can defer them until January 2021.
- You can access universal credit in full. The Government has removed the 'minimum income floor' to the universal credit benefit and will be boosting the standard allowance from Monday 6 April – meaning a single person aged over 25 could get a standard monthly allowance of £409.89
All Government advice supporting businesses can be found here.
A useful source of advice and support that many of you will be familiar with is moneysavingexpert.com.
Can I claim on my Coaches Club insurance benefit?
No, the Coaches Club insurance benefit only covers you for loss of earnings as a result of personal injury.
My first aid training has expired. What should I do?
A number of coaches have received confirmation of cancellations to face to face first aid courses that were booked before the current COVID-19 measures. Certificated online basic first aid courses that last a minimum of three hours in duration, remain acceptable for England Squash purposes. We recommend coaches undertake the following course. Please email email@example.com if you have any further enquiries regarding first aid courses.
Will COVID-19 affect DBS checks?
My safeguarding qualification has expired. How do I renew it?
All NSPCC Time To Listen courses have been cancelled or postponed.
UK Coaching have created an online classroom version of their Safeguarding and Protecting Children course which is being delivered as an interactive webinar. There are a number of courses available throughout April and all coaches whose Safeguarding qualification expires during the period of Government measures should attend one of these virtual courses, which will be accepted by England Squash in place of a face to face course. Please note that other online courses (with no interaction with the tutor as in a webinar) will not be accepted by England Squash.
What advice do you have for keeping in touch with young people remotely?
The CPSU has provided some useful safeguarding guidance for sports clubs and coaches on keeping in touch with young people remotely whilst at home.
As many coaches continue to adapt to current circumstances through online delivery, our insurers Bluefin are offering the following guidance regarding any coaching or instruction that is undertaken remotely:
- At the start of the session, advise participants:
- that by participating they are doing so at their own risk;
- a suitable, non-slip floor space is required and any potential obstructions in the vicinity are removed before they participate;
- to avoid activities if they have, or suspect they may have any current health concerns, injuries, aches and pains;
- avoid the use of blades, weapons or sharp instruments of any description;
- avoid physical contact with other participants and where appropriate, adhere to social distancing guidelines;
- Ensure that sessions are conducted for the benefit of existing members/participants/contacts only who have demonstrated sufficient suitability to participate;
- Continue to only instruct activities in which you are qualified to do so;
- Record the session. Retaining the recording for a period of up to thirty-six (36) months may assist in any claim made against you.
What support are you offering for Coaches Club members?
As part of our ongoing commitment to support our members during this difficult time, we’ve extended the freeze on your membership renewal until 1 January 2021.
What does this mean for you?
- If your membership lapses before January, it will continue to be valid until 1 January.
- If your membership lapses after 1 January, you will receive an extension.
- No membership fees will be due until next year.
- Log in now to view your new expiry date.
- As before, all membership benefits remain available to you in your including insurance, Squash Perks and our popular video content.
We will continue to review our renewal policy over the coming months and keep you updated on any developments.
Who am I permitted to coach under the current local restrictions?
You can find the details on which activities are permitted here.
How can our club/venue or coach safely manage six players from different households?
A coach or club/venue can run a session for up to six players from different household indoors or outdoors. Those players must be spread across the courts so there’s no more than two players per court (up to four players for coach led / supervised activity). It is for the club/venue or coach to determine whether having six players at a session is possible whilst adhering to all the safety measures in the return to play guidance. You can choose to have fewer players of course.
How do we monitor and oversee our club/venue at all times?
Your club/venue will need to identify staff/volunteers/coaches/responsible members who will be at the club/venue and can ensure the relevant safety measures are adhered to.
This could mean reducing opening hours to open only when you can arrange for someone to be at the club or starting a rota system for those who are willing to take on this responsibility (responsible members). Clubs/venues should ensure that those who take on this role are fully aware of, and take responsibility for ensuring players are adhering to the guidelines. It is also important that clubs/venues inform all members of the safety measures they must adhere to and the disciplinary process for anyone who breaches the new guidelines/rules. Members should only be allowed to play once they have confirmed they have read and agree to these measures.
Can my club/venue open but choose to not follow the guidelines?
We strongly advise that if your club wishes to reopen from 25th July that they follow our guidance as it is based on the Government's guidance for leisure facilities. All squash clubs and venues have a duty of care to create the safest possible environment for players and the squash workforce. The Government guidance states: "As an employer or as an operator of sports or leisure facility, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers, volunteers, customers and users from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them". You can find further information in the 'Thinking about the risk' section.
What happens if someone breaks the rules at our club/venue?
In the interest of keeping other members and the wider community safe, we would advise that you take appropriate disciplinary action. This could mean suspension or cancellation of their membership. All members should be made aware of the consequences of not adhering to the club’s guidelines in advance of attending.
Why do we need to keep a record of who's been at our club/venue?
The Government is asking organisations of all types to keep a record of customer and visitor information, for a limited time period, for the purposes of a COVID-19 contact tracing scheme (known as Track and Trace). Clubs/venues participating in Track and Trace should understand their responsibilities in collecting and handling the data they collect for this purpose. Clubs/venues can find further details, along with guidance and resources on our main Data Protection guidance page.
I’m an affiliated club - do I need to start paying my club affiliation fees?
No, to continue to support our affiliated clubs and members, the suspension of membership and affiliation renewals has been extended to January 2021. We will continue to review this and provide further updates and information to clubs and members nearer the time.
Can we reopen changing rooms and showers?
Please see the latest Government guidance on the use of changing rooms and showers.
As a guide, the use of changing rooms and showering facilities should be avoided where possible (although these must be available for hand washing, and participants with disabilities or special needs). Where changing rooms and showers are open clubs/venues should reduce the need for these facilities by requiring members to attend the club/venue ready to play, implement an enhanced cleaning/hygiene regime, limit the number of members within this space at any one time to ensure social distancing.
Can players still socialise in the bar?
You will need to check your local guidance. The exemptions for organised sport and physical activity only relate to the actual activity and local rules should be followed regading bars and restuarants.
What support is there for clubs facing a loss of income as a result of club closures?
We appreciate the challenges clubs are currently facing, and there are potential routes to claim financial support - visit out funding support page for more details.
What will England Squash do to support clubs?
We launched a Bounce Back grants scheme to help clubs to get ready for the return to play.
We will continue to keep clubs informed of the latest UK Government developments and are in regular discussion with Sport England on how squash clubs can be supported. We've put together a range of support including webinars which you can see here. Our staff remain working and are contactable either via email, phone or social media.
Will there be any support towards my club's England Squash affiliation?
With no members on court, we know that many clubs will be considering how they make ends meet, and we are aware that affiliation to England Squash may be a factor in those conversations. Therefore, we have put a freeze on all membership and affiliation renewals until 1 January. The period for which we will extend the following will be in line with the Government measures. This means:
- Your club and its members will continue to be affiliated throughout this period.
- Clubs who have paid their affiliation renewal invoice since 1 March will receive discounted affiliation fees next year, pro-rata of the number of months that squash clubs must be closed.
- Clubs who are due to renew during the period of Government measures (or have lapsed since 1 March) will be given a ‘grace period’ so will remain affiliated. Renewal invoices will not be sent during this time. Once the current measures have been lifted, clubs will be invoiced for the number of months remaining in their affiliation year.
- For clubs that do not fall into these categories, we will offer a discount to their affiliation fees next year, pro-rata of the number of months that squash clubs must be closed.
If you receive an invoice during this period, please ignore it for the time being, we will be in touch with a revised invoice later in the year.
How can we support self-employed coaches?
We appreciate that squash coaches are largely self-employed. On 26th March, the UK Government announced their new package of support for those who are self-employed which can be found here. We are staying in touch with Sport England as they seek further clarity from the Government on support for sports coaches.
How can clubs stay connected with members?
Staying in touch with your members during this period is a great way to support them and keep them engaged. Check out our how-to-guide and available support.