Moving forwards England Hockey will be providing answers to the most frequently asked questions from the past week, to help keep our hockey family up to date with the latest goings on surrounding the Return to Play, Covid-19 and any government updates.
Q: Does the new Government rule of 6 impact on hockey being played on the pitch?
A: No. Organised team sports with DCMS approval are exempt from the new rule of 6. This means that hockey can continue to take place under England Hockey’s Step 4/5 guidance. This is because social distancing rules are only broken whilst playing hockey where the risk of transmission is medically proven to be extremely low.
Q: How does the new Government rule of 6 impact hockey off the pitch?
A: Off the pitch participants must remain in socially distanced (2m) groups of no more than 6 people. Each group must be clearly separate from another and not mix. This includes whilst waiting to access the pitch, after you have finished your session/match and left the pitch or in the clubhouse pre or post the session/match.
Q: Can we have more than 6 people in the clubhouse? How is this managed?
A: Yes, in the same way that other hospitality venues can open with more than 6 people in attendance. Groups of no more than 6 must be clearly different, not mix and all must follow social distancing.
Q: We are in an area that has gone into a local lockdown. Can we still play hockey?
A: Each local lockdown is different and, so far, only the initial national lockdown and the subsequent Leicester lockdown has prevented hockey activity. The approval from government for organised outdoor sport means that there is strong medical evidence for the safety of hockey as long as social distancing is maintained outside of play. There is now a section about team sport included in each local lockdown guidance issued on the Government website here. Unless England Hockey advises otherwise you can assume hockey can continue to be played.
Q: How do NHS Staff declare the following? “I confirm that I am free of COVID-19 symptoms and that I have not been in contact with anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms”?
A: If health and social care staff are providing direct care to a patient or a resident with COVID-19 and are wearing the correct PPE in accordance with the current IPC guidance, they will not be considered as a contact for the purposes of contact tracing and isolation, and will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Therefore, they can now move to Step 4 and complete the participant agreement so long as they are wearing the correct PPE in line with the above.
Q: Someone at my school or workplace has been sent home because they have Covid symptoms. Does this mean I can no longer play hockey?
A: Not necessarily. You would only have to stop if you have been in ‘contact’ with the symptomatic person. Government guidance suggests that ‘contact’ is when you are within 2 metres of someone for 15 minutes or longer. If you have been in contact with someone as described above, you should then inform our Covid Officer and complete the required isolation or receive a negative test result.
Q: Where can we find other clubs Covid Officers details?
A: We have published a list of the clubs that have a Covid Officer which can be seen here. However, we will not be sharing Covid Officer contact details. Please liaise with your club and/or opposition contact when arranging matches to discuss contacting the Covid Officer if required. Contact should be made through the normal liaison between clubs – usually fixtures secretaries or captains/managers.
Q: How do we know what to expect at other venues and can another club ask to see our risk assessment?
A: We recommend that clubs liaise with each other to share the Covid protocols that have been put in place as well as letting opposition teams know about any hospitality or facility arrangements. This may include specific expectations for the opposition in terms of the processes and measures that need to be adhered to when on site. However, in England Hockey’s view there is no requirement to share full risk assessments between clubs.
Q: We cannot access onsite toilets. Are portable loos a viable alternative?
A: Government guidance suggests running water and liquid soap is a requirement for all toilets on multi-purpose sites. Some portable loos are available with running water but not all. You should check this before committing to bringing any on to your site.
To see England Hockeys full guidance surrounding Steps 4 and 5 of our Return To Play guidelines, please click here.