COVID-19 December Tiers

Updated Dec 27, 2020 (New Tiers)
Published Dec 03, 2020
Lockdown measures announced

T&RA Update 18th December

The new rules for tier 4 are:

  • People are advised not to enter tier 4 areas and residents in tier must not stay overnight away from home
  • You should work from home. Where you cannot, you are still able to travel to work
  • Indoor leisure such as gyms and swimming pools will be shut
  • One person can meet with one person from another household outdoors
  • Support bubbles and childcare bubbles are exempt from the rules, and people are allowed outdoors for unlimited exercise
  • The rules will be in place for two weeks and then will be reviewed
  • The introduction of tier 4 and severe restrictions around Christmas come amid soaring coronavirus cases, particularly in London and south-east England where a new Covid variant has been identified

Travel for Tennis participation in Tier 3 areas is probably causing the most contention.

You should not travel into a Tier 3 very high alert area from any other area for lessons, solo practice or family bubble Tennis but these activities are permitted if you live within the local Tier 3 area. At all time travel must be kept to a minimum.

The exception to this is for Under 18 organized activity, where travel is permitted.

This is consistent with what is published on the T&RA and the LTA activity grids – travel within a Tier 3 area is OK but not into (or out of) the area.

Further clarification from Sport England Q&A:

Can people travel to take part in sport and physical activity?

Very high (tier 3): People are advised not to travel in or out of very high alert level areas, including for sport, unless this is necessary to enable individual exercise or to exercise for people from the same household or support bubble. This doesn't apply to travel where it’s necessary to enable disability sport, sport for educational purposes, elite sport or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s to take place.

What travel is permitted in tier 3 areas? Can I travel to go to my league/match/gym/golf course?

No. You shouldn’t travel into or out of tier 3 areas to take part in sporting activities or access sport facilities. Travel into or out of tier 3 areas is only permitted to enable individual exercise (or exercise for people from the same household or support bubble), such as accessing a green space for a run or cycle. Where this is necessary (for example to access a green space for a run or cycle), you should only travel a short distance and stay as local as possible.

T&RA Statement 3rd December

Separate statements have been made under Tennis news and Rackets news respectively, where you will find a summary of what you can and can't do, depending on whether you have emerged into Tier 2 or Tier 3. The sad part is we have generally found ourselves in at least one Tier higher that we were before lockdown - some two Tiers worse!

During Lockdown, the T&RA has been canvassing hard to moderate the former legislation, supported by many of its members who have written to their MPs. The T&RA has pushed the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) directly, and more effectively in co-operation with Sport England, the LTA and England Squash. The results have been positive, although remarkably NOT written into the legislation - they have been agreed as relaxations by the government. In summary these are:

In medium (tier 1) areas (ONE DAY), adult indoor team sports can take place following the ‘rule of six’. This means that a maximum of six people can be involved in a game or match. However, for other activity like training sessions or running drills, a larger number of people can take part, provided they’re organised into groups of up to six that don’t mix. Participants must not mix before, during or after the activity.

In high alert (tier 2) areas (MOST OF US), adults can only take part in indoor activity if it’s possible for people to avoid mixing with people they don’t live with (or share a support bubble with).

For example, this means that a person can play singles Tennis against someone from another household, as they can remain separate and distinct from each other at all times and avoid physical contact and proximity. However, they could not partner someone from another household to play doubles, as they wouldn’t be able to avoid physical contact and proximity (whether deliberate or inadvertent) from their partner at all times. People from the same household or support bubble would be able to play together in any number.

In very high alert (tier 3) areas (SOME OF US), adults can only play indoor team sport with members of their household or support bubble.

This is progress for Tennis due to the spatial separation of the two players from separate households in singles, although I'm afraid the same logic does not hold for doubles as separation cannot be guaranteed. Doubles can be played if each pair is comprised of members of the same household (in the same pair). Rackets is in a similar position to before lockdown as the spatial argument won't wash.

The other piece of good news is that under 18s can continue to play both sports; great news for the schools in both Tennis and Rackets.

All clubs should be open, subject to their own COVID secure measures, as some form of both Tennis and Rackets is available depending on your Tier status.