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Back to Squash advice

Last updated: 16 December 2021


Latest advice and recommendations

Last updated: 16 December 2021


Plan B: advice and recommendations for clubs, venues and coaches

Last updated: 16 December 2021

Last week the Government announced 'Plan B' restrictions for England, which have now come into force in an effort to slow down the transmission of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Below is some information and guidance on the new rules and how they impact squash clubs and venues, which is aligned to Sport England’s COVID FAQs guidance released on 14th December.

Working from home
Whilst working from home is not mandatory under Plan B, the Government have said people should work from home if they can, which comes into effect on Monday 13th December. If you have any staff or volunteers who can work from home, we encourage you to make any necessary arrangements to facilitate a return to home working.

Update your risk assessment
Where it is not possible for staff or volunteers to work from home, they can continue to attend the squash club/venue in person and should consider taking lateral flow tests regularly to manage their own risk and the risk to others. You should ensure your COVID-19 risk assessment is up-to-date regardless of whether your staff or volunteers will be working from home or at the club/venue. The Government has published up-to-date Working Safely guidance on how employers can reduce the risks – you should consider this guidance when preparing your risk assessment and put in place suitable mitigations, for example increasing ventilation.

Wearing face coverings
The Government has further extended the legal requirement to wear a face covering in most public indoor venues which comes into effect from Friday 10th December. Whilst a face covering is not legally required in a sport/leisure facility at present, the Government advises that anyone entering an indoor setting should ‘still continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet’. There is however an exemption to wearing a mask when exercising.

Good hygiene protocols
Please encourage anyone entering the club/venue such as staff, volunteers, coaches and players to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and use hand sanitiser whilst they are at the venue.

We will continue to monitor Government guidance – for further updates, please keep an eye on our Back to Squash page or our social media: Twitter | Facebook.

For further Government guidance on Plan B, visit Gov.uk.


Step 4: advice and recommendations for clubs, venues and coaches

Last updated: 16 July 2021

With the UK moving to Step 4 of the COVID-19 Response – Spring ‘21 Roadmap on Monday 19 July, Sport England have confirmed that squash clubs and venues can reintroduce full court squash for adults and juniors with no additional COVID-19 restrictions.

However, it has been stressed by the UK Government that the COVID-19 virus is still prevalent, and that all members of society are expected to play their part in keeping one another as safe as possible whilst returning to more typical daily activities. Employers and organisations will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business, and are advised to maintain appropriate procedures (such as conducting risk assessments). We have consequently published a set of advice and recommendations for squash clubs/venues and coaches which can be downloaded below. Please note, further updates may be introduced at a later date.

Download Step 4 advice



Step 4: advice and recommendations for players

Updated: 16 July 2021

While we're all excited to get back on court without any restrictions, we also need to ensure we all stay safe. In line with UK Government guidance, we are encouraging players to consider the health and safety of themselves and others and continue to recommend the following:

  • wear a face covering when inside a club/venue mixing with others you do not usually mix with (except when playing)
  • use hand sanitiser where it is provided, and wash your hands before and after games
  • do not wipe your hands on the walls.

We appreciate some clubs, coaches and players may still wish to take a more cautious approach and we ask the community to be respectful and considerate of people’s wishes.


Risk assessment for clubs

Last updated: 16 July 2021

Clubs and venues remain obliged to ensure they have completed a thorough risk assessment and developed a robust and practical COVID-19 Secure Plan.

Download risk assessment template (Word)

If you have any further queries, please refer to our FAQs or contact our team


FAQs

Last updated: 16 July 2021

How many players am I allowed to coach on court from 19 July?

From Monday 19 July, limits on numbers inside a facility no longer apply and there is no restriction on the number of players (adults/juniors) you can coach on court. View our new Back to Squash recommendations.

I’m a coach and self employed. Can I get financial help?

The Government has set up the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS); those self-employed can apply for taxable grants worth up to 80% of the average profits. The SEISS grant has been extended up until September as follows:

  • The fourth grant will cover February until the end of April 2021, and will pay up to 80% of trading profits up to £7,500 in total. Claims for the fourth grant can be made from April.
  • The fifth grant amount covers a four-month period (May to September 2021) but this payment will be based upon loss of income. Claims for the fifth grant can be made in July.

See full details here.

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 coaching@englandsquash.com if you have any further enquiries regarding first aid courses.

Will COVID-19 affect DBS checks?

No specific changes have been made to the ways in which England Squash administers DBS checks. Please click here to apply for a DBS check or visit our DBS FAQs for further information.

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.

Find a UK Coaching Online Classroom course.

Should we continue with hygiene protocols?

During COVID-19, a number of enhanced hygiene protocols were put in place to reduce the risk of transmission before, during and in between coaching sessions, some of which continue to be good practice to keep a high standard of hygiene. Consider continuing to implement these protocols, including:

  • Asking players to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitiser on entry, exit, and in between sessions.
  • Cleaning or quarantining shared equipment in between sessions where possible.
  • Contact surfaces are cleaned and court ventilated where possible.

Can we reopen our changing rooms?

Yes, players can return to using the changing rooms but we recommend that you limit the number of people using these facilities at one time in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

Clubs should also have a regular cleaning schedule for changing rooms. It is recommended that you encourage the wearing of face coverings where groups of different visitors mix in close proximity, and/or where there are limited ventilation options.

Does my club/venue have to implement the new Back to Squash recommendations from Monday 19 July when restrictions lift?

Employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business and you should consider your own health and safety and that of your workforce at all times. Aligned to the new Government guidance for businesses and venues from 19 July, our key recommendations are that you update your club’s risk assessment, continue with hygiene protocols and provide adequate ventilation.

Furthermore, our latest insight (conducted in July 2021) reveals that many players are yet to return to their club/venue with some continuing to feel uncomfortable in indoors settings.

Therefore, it’s important to give players the confidence that they can return to play safely at their club/venue. Maintaining a degree of safety measures is likely to be a significant factor in building player confidence.

View our new Back to Squash recommendations.

Is there any Government guidance on how we operate our facility from 19 July?

The Government advice for businesses and venues from 19 July is that all businesses should follow the principles set out in the Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance from Step 4 which sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:

  • conducting a risk assessment for all activities, which should include COVID-19 risks;
  • cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly;
  • identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow;
  • ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue;
  • communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place.

Employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business.

Do people still have to wear a face covering in our club/venue?

It is no longer a legal requirement for people to wear a face covering when inside public spaces. However, clubs where groups of different visitors mix in close proximity, and/or where there are limited ventilation options, are encouraged to continue to ask visitors to wear a face covering – in line with Government advice. This should not be extended to on court activity.

Legally, does our club/venue we need to continue to use the NHS Test & Trace programme?

While it is no longer a legal requirement for venues/facilities to use the NHS Test & Trace programme, or to capture information on visitors, the Government recommends that clubs continue to display an NHS Test & Trace QR code whilst the scheme is in place. Clubs may decide whether they wish to ask visitors to continue to use this.

What support is there for clubs facing a loss of income as a result of club closures?

The UK Government have announced a £4.6 billion support package for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Find out more.


Poster and video downloads

Last updated: 19 July 2021

Play safe, stay safe

Download


Bounce Back

Last updated: 19 July 2021

The Bounce Back campaign aims to bring the squash community in England together during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will provide opportunities, guidance and resources to clubs and venues to help them re-engage the one million people who play squash in England.

View our Bounce Back campaign page for more.