The England and Wales Cricket Board has issued guidelines for the players and clubs on the steps they should take to remain safe while undertaking exercise in an outdoor cricket club environment. These guidelines currently apply to England only. Lockdown restrictions remain in place in Wales with a review due to take place on 28 May 2020.
The said guidelines are produced in line with the UK Government guidance on public spaces, outdoor activity and exercise published on 11 May 2020. Earlier the UK government had directed that the team sports should not be played outside of a household. ECB maintains the position that all recreational cricket remains suspended until further notice, with the sole exception of the use of outdoor cricket facilities (nets and pitches) for the purpose of undertaking exercise as set out in our detailed guidance document.
ECB in a statement on their official website said that, “Our primary and ongoing goal is to protect the health of everyone in and around the game. The adjusted lockdown restrictions provide an opportunity for the use of outdoor cricket facilities (nets and pitches) for the purpose of undertaking exercise”.
Summary of guidelines for outdoor cricket facilities use
- You can exercise outdoors on your own, with members of your household or with one other person from outside your household while keeping two metres apart at all times. You must only exercise in groups of no more than two people, unless you are exercising exclusively with members of your household.
- Social distancing of at least two metres must be maintained at all times (unless all participants are members of the same household).
- Only one-to-one coaching is permitted per session.
- Nets should be used on an ‘every other’ basis, leaving one net free between nets.
- Clubhouses can be reopened in a limited way for operational reasons (e.g. for access to first aid equipment) or for toilet access (see below) but all communal areas including bar, changing rooms etc are to remain closed for general use.
- Toilet facilities can be opened if the venue wishes, but particular care should be taken by those using them and those cleaning them. Where they are open, venues must ensure soap and water is provided.
- No indoor activity at all.
- We recommend using your own equipment if possible. If equipment is being shared, please follow UK Government’s guidance on the sharing of equipment.
- No saliva or sweat should come into contact with the ball at any time.
- Wash hands at home before and after using the outdoor facilities. Bring your own hand sanitiser where possible.
ECB is clear that outdoor facilities should only reopen if those responsible for them are ready to do so and they can do so safely, following public health guidance: no club should reopen their outdoor facilities if they feel unable to meet the requirements.
For clubs, you will need to have the following in place:
- Properly maintained facilities.
- A booking system for outdoor space or other means to manage access and demand.
- The capability to advise individuals when booking to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and in turn to advise individuals when booking that – in line with current Government guidance – if they are symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if they are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, they should remain at home and follow Government guidance.
- A sanitation procedure between use/bookings.
- A representative of the club on site during the hours that the outdoor facilities are open for use.
- Closed signs should be displayed when facilities are not open (including where a club does not wish to or is not ready to reopen) to deter use by general public particularly where there is open access.
- Updated signage and access points.
For individuals, you will need to:
- Seek confirmation from the club that it has reopened and make a booking.
- Check for symptoms of COVID-19. In line with current Government guidance, if you are symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, you should remain at home and follow Government guidance.
- Avoid public transport if at all possible.
ECB has provided detailed guidance on the preparation and administration of outdoor facilities for clubs, and guidelines for participation for individuals. The situation is evolving constantly, and we will continue to update our guidance as more information becomes available.