England Squash coronavirus statement
Current Government advice (last updated 23 June)
All squash activity in England currently remains suspended. Current Government guidance states "The public cannot: exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool." See Government FAQs. This means that all squash clubs and facilities should remain closed until further notice - this includes anyone wishing to engage in solo practice or members of the same household playing on a squash court.
Latest Government updates
17th June: the Government announces that grassroots and community sport could return at the beginning of July at the very earliest.
23rd June: the Government announces that indoor sports venues must remain closed until further notice.
England Squash updates (last updated 30 June)
England Squash continue to wait for further guidance from the UK Government in relation to the reopening of squash courts in England. England Squash continues to work closely with Sport England, and along with our representative body the Sport & Recreation Alliance, we are lobbying Government to provide further clarity and a clear timetable around the re-opening of indoor sports facilities. We are pleased the Government responded to our campaign on 23rd June with the Culture Secretary publicly indicating an aspiration to re-open facilities from mid-July. We believe that squash could adapt quickly to any Government guidelines and be in a position to return safely.
In the meantime, we must sit tight and keep our courts closed for the safety of our communities.
Return to play toolkit
We are busy finalising a toolkit for clubs and venues including a risk assessment template to facilitate safe play. Once we receive guidance from the Government to open all venues and have clarity from Sport England on any of the details, we will prepare and release our toolkit and resources to clubs, venues and coaches. Any premature response could lead to confusion amongst the squash community. It is a frustrating time for the community, but we must impress the need to follow Government guidelines only as and when they are available, not beforehand, for the safety of everyone.
We appreciate your patience at this time and will update you as soon as we hear anything. In the mean time, there are some areas that clubs and venues can start to think about such as access and court bookings - visit our FAQs page for more info.
England Squash statement (21 May)
It continues to be a frustrating time for clubs and players who are keen to return to playing squash. Current Government guidelines are clear that indoor sports clubs cannot reopen, and this includes squash clubs. We are all passionate about the sport and desperate to get back to playing, but we must all recognise that the return will take time and must be approached with both caution and care. In the meantime, we must all continue to follow the Government guidance.
Over recent weeks, we have been working closely with Sport England, the PSA and other squash nations to establish best practices and sensible measures that we can all take to ensure that clubs can open safely and that risks to players and staff are minimised. In preparation, we are developing a downloadable COVID-19 toolkit for clubs to support the return to squash, which will include items such as step-by-step guidance for reopening, safety posters and a pro forma risk assessment template. The toolkit will be released when the guidelines from Government are clear and it will be made available to all clubs.
For now, there are issues clubs could begin to discuss and plan for, including:
1. Leadership and management
Establish whether staff can safely return to work under Government guidelines and if there is a minimum number of staff required to open and run the club. Is there someone in your team that can take the lead regarding COVID-19 and what support can they be given? At what point is it financially viable for the club to open, remembering there is very likely to be reduced income from bookings and secondary spend.
2. Club access and environment
All clubs are unique so consider what changes are required to minimise risk at your facility including safe entry and exit of the club, and also how you could stop or limit use of the communal spaces. It is likely that any café/bar, changing facilities and showers will be closed at first, so what implications will this have? For instance, it will be necessary to ensure the club has sufficient cleaning and hygiene products and a more frequent cleaning schedule.
3. Court bookings
Review the court booking system to ensure that you can trace, contact and record who has been into the club and when. Consider your booking policy, as advance bookings are the safest way to regulate the number of people attending the club. Review how long is required between court bookings to allow for cleaning all common surfaces.
We all have a part to play in returning to squash safely. Members will need to adopt new habits such as taking spare towels and arriving to play ready in their kit, bringing their own water and even a small first aid kit, which might be unusual for them. How will you best communicate these changes with your members and keep them and your staff safe?
All England Squash updates
21.05.20: Return to squash statement: England Squash released the statement above in relation to the return to squash.
11.05.20: England Squash junior circuit: all England Squash junior circuit competitions are cancelled up to and including the 31st July 2020.
11.05.20: England Squash Inter Counties Championships: the Senior and Masters Inter Counties are cancelled for the 2019/20 season. We will be in touch with county associations and team managers with further information.
11.05.20: National Racketball/Squash 57 Championships and National Club Championships: the National Racketball/Squash 57 Championships and National Club Championships have been postponed (not cancelled) until further notice.
11.05.20: Squash clubs and facilities: squash clubs and facilities should remain closed following the Prime Minister's address to the nation on 10th May.
07.05.20: England Squash Junior Rankings: the England Squash Junior Rankings are suspended until further notice with player rankings reflecting their position as of 1st April rankings. Find out more.
03.04.20: Club affiliation: we have put a freeze on all membership and affiliation renewals during the time that the current Government measures are in place.
03.04.20: Membership: Coaches Club and direct members - all coaches and players who hold direct membership with England Squash will be given an extension to their membership in line with the period of the Government measures.
02.04.20: Premier Squash League: the 2019/20 Karakal Premier Squash League (PSL) has been cancelled. Find out more.
02.04.20: PSA World Tour events: the PSA have extended the suspension of the Tour until July due to COVID-19. Find out more.
01.04.20: Sport England news: Sport England have launched a new Community Emergency Fund to support sports clubs who are experiencing short term financial hardship with grants available of between £300 to £10,000. Find out more.
27.03.20: Coach DBS and Safeguarding requirements: We have updated our policies around DB and Safeguarding courses, based on discussions with Sport England and the CPSU. Please find updated information on our 'Safe Squash' web page.
26.03.20: England Squash coaching courses: All England Squash coaching courses have been postponed until 31st May
24.03.20: England Squash junior circuit: All junior sanctioned competitions are cancelled until 31 May. Competitions scheduled after this date will be reviewed in the coming weeks.
20.03.20: Squash Clubs: UK Government tells all leisure centres and gyms to close until further notice (see below)
17.03.20: England Squash coaching courses: All England Squash coaching courses have been postponed until 24th April.
16.03.20: Premier Squash League (PSL): All remaining PSL matches including the semi-finals, relegation and promotional play-offs and final are suspended.
16.03.20: England Squash statement: England Squash released the following statement to the squash community.
16.03.20: England Squash junior circuit: All sanctioned competitions are suspended until 24 April.
16.03.20: Masters Inter-County Championships: The event has been postponed subject to further review/reschedule.
16.03.20: England Squash Squads: All England Squash talent pathway and performance squad sessions are cancelled. This includes all Aspire, England Potential, England Development, England Academy and Senior England Squads.
13.03.20: Junior 5 Nations: The event has been cancelled due to withdrawal by participating nations.
13.03.20: National School Championships finals: Following a significant number of schools withdrawing, we are postponing this year’s finals (18-20th March) until further notice. We will be looking at rescheduling the finals whilst also taking into consideration the upcoming exam periods. All competing schools have been emailed.
13.03.20: PSA World Tour events: All PSA World Tour and PSA Challenger Tour events taking place up to and including the week commencing April 27 will not take place during this period. Full story.
General advice on COVID-19
- Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do
- UK Government - Department of Health advice updated daily at 2pm: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
- World Health Organisation YouTube video: https://youtu.be/mOV1aBVYKGA
- World Health Organisation situation report updates: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus