Tennis

Release from lock-down (Tennis)

Updated: 10 May 2021 Updated grid and guidance
Published: 23 Feb 2021

Real Tennis singles and doubles may commence from Monday 17th May; doubles should be prepared to adhere to social distancing measures between partners from different households


The Government has announced the move to Step 3 on Monday 17th May. The summary grid of permitted Real Tennis activity has been updated to provide details of the restrictions that will apply for this stage of the roadmap. Latest version 8 May.

The good news is that both singles and doubles Tennis will be permitted. At present you should assume there will be continued restrictions on social distancing which may restrict players to social doubles only; however, the T&RA is seeking further clarity before the 17th.

Away from the court the rule of six or two households will be able to mix indoors - please bear this in mind when you are moving around the club house and remain sensitive to local restrictions.

The Prime Minister announced that there will be a change to close contact rules, enabling the public to make informed personal decisions. Again, the T&RA will work with Sport England to fully understand the implications for Tennis. Further guidance will be promulgated shortly.

The T&RA has reviewed its Playsafe Guidelines for Step 3 which have been updated for the post-lockdown period. Latest version 10th May.

The T&RA is deeply disappointed that the Government has decided that socially distanced individual sports such as Real Tennis is unable to resume indoors for adults from different households under the Step 2 restrictions. Individuals will be permitted to circulate in proximity in shops and other indoor locations, however they will not be able to play singles Tennis.

Current rules under step 2 are in force for under 18s, which remain a special case. However, they cannot turn up at a club, book a court and play amongst themselves. They could only do so within the household only - junior exemption is only for organised activity. Further guidance is published below for Out-of-School-Setting (OOSS).

The T&RA remains committed to the education of our sport ministers at DCMS, emphasizing the illogicality of some of the government decision making. We have maintained the position that is important that Tennis Clubs can reopen as soon as it is safe for them to do so. We are aware that many clubs have suffered real financial challenges so it is vital that we protect these community assets.

*Step 4 may commence on 21st June, subject to the UK’s fulfilment of the government’s four tests, around vaccination deployment and impact, infection rates and NHS hospitalisations, and status of any new variants of the disease. Currently we appear to be on course to fulfill these requirements but the situation may change.

Real Tennis in schools

The Government’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions in England confirmed that schools could reopen from 8 March, and that school sport resumed     from this date. Activities such as Tennis which encourage genuine distancing but help to keep children physically active are highly encouraged

The Department for Education has published guidance to support the resumption of physical activity in schools, and professionals should be aware of the following points:

  • Each school has the flexibility to decide how sport and physical activity will be provided
  • Pupils should be kept in consistent groups, with equipment cleaned between use by individual groups
  • While outdoor sports should be prioritised, large indoor spaces can be used
  • Competition between different schools should not take place until wider grassroots sport for under 18s is permitted

Play Safe Guidelines v10.2 (10 May) Step Activity Grid (8 May) Guidance for Clubs Out of School Setting


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