Relaxation of Covid Restrictions from May 17th 2021
As part of the gradual opening up of the UK national lockdown, certain restrictions affecting amateur cricket were relaxed on 17th May 2021. For full details see:
This means that, while on-field restrictions are unchanged, the provision of cricket teas and the use of bars and changing facilities becomes possible under certain conditions. These arrangements will be in place until the next potential point of further easing (June 21st, 2021).
Having looked at the above conditions, the executive committee of the SDL felt it would be useful to offer some league-specific advice. This advice will be reviewed in light of possible further opening up from June 21st, and any revised advice from us will apply from the first game of the second half of the season (10/7/2021). A key consideration is that the guidance above stresses the need for clubs to go at their own pace in opening up; and it says that clubs should feel no obligation to open up now, or in the future, when they feel unable to do so in a safe and compliant fashion.
The SDL executive committee feels that the restrictions affecting the provision of teas are such that most clubs will not feel able to provide teas in a compliant fashion. After some deliberation, we believe that the default position in our league should be that the away team should NOT expect to be offered a tea for the first half of the SDL 2021 season. All players should thus continue to bring their own food and drink to matches.
If any home club wishes to provide tea before the 10th July at their home games they must, of course, do so in full compliance with the rules in force at that time. They are advised to consult with the away team in advance of match day to find out if they are likely to want to take up the offer of tea. When this has been done, they may charge an agreed fee to the away team.
For the second half of the season, as noted, we will offer further guidance, including on the payment for teas.
From May 17th alcohol can be served indoors in pubs and bars, but the rules (see above, and extract below) once again are quite restrictive:
- Customers can be served in groups of up to 6 or 2 households indoors, or in groups of up to 30 outdoors.
- If your venue serves alcohol, table service will be required. Even if no alcohol is ordered, this means customers must order, be served and eat/drink while seated (indoors or outdoors).
- If your venue does not serve alcohol, customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter. But they must consume food and drink while seated at a table.
Once again clubs are responsible, from 17th May 2021, for fully complying with the rules. Given the difficulty in achieving compliance in most cricket clubhouses, we expect that most clubs will prefer to (continue to) serve alcohol and bar snacks to home and opposition players outside their clubhouse, e.g. served through a doorway, window or serving hatch and consumed at an outdoors table.
Changing Rooms and Showers
Once again, from May 17th, changing rooms and showers can be opened where it is safe to do so and in compliance with government guidance for sports facilities. As with teas, and food and drink above, the conditions for their use remain quite restricted. It is notable that the guidelines above state:
“No venue is obliged to provide changing and showering facilities and should not open changing rooms where it is not safe to do so (other than to disabled persons or to those needing it for safeguarding purposes, where such provision can be made available safely). It will require time to complete the necessary preparations and venues should only do this at their pace.”
As most clubs in our league have quite small changing rooms and showers it seems very unlikely that most clubs will be able to open up these facilities, nor we believe will many wish to do so at this stage. Our default advice to players from both home and away sides is that they should not expect to be able to change or shower at cricket matches for the time being and continue the practices that have been in force during last season and at the start of the current season.
In addition to this advice from the SDL Executive Committee, your respective club committees may also wish to add advice (and make preparations) relating to all the issues raised above.
Let’s look forward to a safe and enjoyable season, assuming the weather improves.
Surrey Downs League Executive Committee 18th May, 2021