Last update: 16 October 2020 - Version 4
England Squash has published full guidance for clubs, venues and coaches for the return to play. This guidance is based on the latest UK Government guidelines for leisure facilities and has been produced in collaboration with partners and other governing bodies from across the sector.
Please download and use the most up-to-date version below (Version 4, released on 16/10/2020) rather than previous versions. We expect that there will be further amendments and updates to our guidance in the weeks ahead and advise that you check back regularly to ensure you are viewing the latest version. Significant updates will be communicated by email and social media.
In order to reopen, clubs and venues are obliged to ensure that they have completed a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment:
We also advise that clubs have developed a robust and practical ‘COVID-19 Secure Plan’ which can be found in the guidance.
Our court cleaning guidance (last updated 23/07/20) provides practical advice and support measures to help clubs/venues keep their members and workforce as safe as possible.
COVID Alert Levels
Clubs / venues should take responsibility for adhering to any local restrictions imposed by the UK Government. Below are the permitted ways to play within the COVID Alert Levels which came into force 14 October. Please regularly check the Government guidance for the most recent updates on local restrictions.
Important note: under current Government guidance you are not allowed to play full court squash, 'Sides' or Socially Distanced practices with players from different households if your club is in either a tier 2 or 3 area (High or Very High).
|Local COVID alert level|
|Permitted Activity||Medium||High||Very High|
|Single player (solo) practices
|Same household or support bubble – match play/full squash game||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Players from different households (not in a squash bubble or support bubble) – modified version of squash, ‘Sides’ or Socially distanced practices (see below)
|Players from different households* in a squash bubble – modified version of squash, ‘Sides’ or Socially Distanced practices (see below)||Yes||No
|One-to-one coaching with adults using socially distanced practices||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Players from educational teams or with disabilities** (exempt from squash bubble rules) – modified version of full-court squash (see below)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Up to 6 adults* from different households – coach-led/supervised activity||Yes||No||No|
|Up to 15 children from different households (at OOSS clubs/venues) – coach-led/supervised activity. Children are classed as being 18 years and under.
Under current Government guidance you are not allowed to play full court squash, 'Sides' or Socially Distanced practices with players from different households if your club is in either a tier 2 or 3 area (High or Very High).
*If you mix adult and children in a group or bubble, that group must follow the guidelines for adult play. Children are classed as being 18 years and under.
**Please refer to the full guidelines document for details of the exemptions
This advice is subject to change as new local measures are implemented. Please regularly check the Government guidance for the most recent updates on local restrictions and contact us with any questions.
Last update: 2 September 2020
From Tuesday 1 September squash clubs and venues in England are able to move to Phase 2 in our return to play plan, allowing players to form ‘squash bubbles’ and play full-court squash, although modifications and additional hygiene measures will be required.
What is a squash bubble?
A bubble consists of a maximum of six players. Players can only be part of one bubble at a time.
Players within the bubble can play full-court matches but with the following modifications and hygiene measures;
- Only two players on court at one time.
- Play best of three games.
- Play first to 11 points, sudden-death at 10-all.
- Use ‘Sides’ as a way to maintain social distancing throughout the warm-up.
- During each game, when the first player reaches six points, both players should wipe away excessive sweat, sanitise their hands and the ball. Repeat between games.
- The same player to serve / touch the ball during each half of a game, and at the halfway point, switch servers.
- Protective eyewear or visors are strongly recommended at all times.
- Players must not wipe their hands on the court walls.
- Players are not allowed to shout or raise their voice.
The club/venue must maintain all current processes around social distancing and the maximum number of people allowed in your club at any one time, as well as your already enhanced hygiene and cleaning processes.
How to introduce squash bubbles at your club/venue
- We strongly recommend that you review the risk assessment that you undertook when re-opening your club, and update it in line with any changes of circumstances and the introduction of squash bubbles.
- The club/venue’s COVID-19 officer must take responsibility for managing squash bubbles.
- Establish and communicate the process for players to sign up to, or be allocated to, a bubble.
- Maintain an up to date list of players (including relevant contact details) in each bubble and ensure players are only part of one bubble at a time (I.e. they cannot play across multiple bubbles).
- Ensure you get players’ written agreement confirming that they will follow the England Squash bubble guidance.
- If a player wishes to switch bubbles, they must take a 7-day break from playing the full version of the game before joining a different bubble. ‘Sides’ or socially distanced practices can be played during this 7-day break.
- Ensure you have express permission from the parent/guardian of any minor before they can join a squash bubble.
What if a player in a bubble develops COVID-19 symptoms?
- Follow the England Squash guidance and your club’s protocol for members/players with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Players from the bubble that have been in contact with the symptomatic player within the seven days prior must self-isolate and undertake tests as per Government guidelines, even if they exhibit no symptoms themselves, until it has been determined whether or not the symptomatic player has tested positive or negative.
- Players within the bubble can resume play if the COVID-19 test proves negative.
Example activities that can take place with squash bubbles
- Box leagues - Players within a bubble can play full-court matches in a box league. Players can switch bubbles after seven days of socially distant squash, meaning players can move into different box leagues.
- Group coaching – coaching full-court play with players from the same bubble, with up to six players across three courts. (Further guidance for coaches to follow.)
- Casual / pay and play –players from within a squash bubble can play full-court matches
- Social distancing must be maintained off-court even within a squash bubble.
- Coaches must maintain social distancing from members/players at all times, and we strongly recommend wearing a face covering (unless undertaking strenuous physical exercise).