An Update on Grassroots Football
The Government has confirmed that on Monday 12 April we will enter step two of the roadmap. Our guidance has therefore been updated to reflect the changes to national restrictions. The key changes to note are in relation to spectators, use of changing rooms and outdoor hospitality.
Please note that this updated guidance comes into effect on Monday 12 April and until then all participants should follow The FA’s guidance for step one which can be found here apart from the updated position on spectators (below) which the Government confirmed yesterday and is effective immediately. You can read the Government guidance here.
As organised sport can resume, all participants may travel to games but should avoid travel at the busiest times and routes, as well as minimising any unnecessary journeys where possible. All participants must follow the Government’s guidance on safer travel. Participants should note that this guidance will be updated as we move through the different steps of the Government’s roadmap. All participants should therefore regularly review this guidance to make sure they are following up to date information.
Changing rooms can be used as part of step two of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. However, participants should minimise their use of changing facilities where possible. Toilets will be allowed to open, 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after training and/or matches.
Changing rooms are an area of increased transmission risk. When you do re-open your changing rooms, you must take additional measures to reduce the risk of transmission and minimise social contact. This includes:
- You must also take all necessary precautions to ensure appropriate distancing can be maintained within the changing room – e.g. tape markings on changing benches, toilets and sinks to separate spaces with safe distances.
- Encourage all users to minimise the time they spend in the changing area.
- Introducing enhanced cleaning of all facilities regularly throughout during the day and at the end of the day.
- Providing cleaning materials and hand sanitiser for customer use at touch points.
- Providing additional signposting in these areas to maintain social distancing and adhere to the relevant gathering limit.
- Supervision checks should be made to ensure compliance with your rules.
- Access must be maintained where safety and safeguarding measures require their use, e.g. supporting customers with disabilities, allowing children to change clothes.
Above all, when you do choose to re-open your changing rooms, all considerations and mitigations must be in line with current Government guidance and be captured within your risk assessment and compliance must be monitored on an ongoing basis.
On 7 April the Government updated its guidance in relation to spectators, which can be found here. This confirms that at step two and step one b, spectators are not permitted to attend sporting events taking place on private land, other than adults needed to supervise under-18s that they have a responsibility for or providing care or assistance to a person with disabilities. They should maintain social distance and not mix with other households. This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space, e.g. a park, at step one b or step two, in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households. However, sporting events that are intended to attract spectators (including ticketed football matches), or events that are likely to attract a significant number of spectators (e.g. matches that would attract a large crowd) should not take place in a public space, or on private land, until step three.
Where clubs and facilities can accommodate this safely, parents and carers are permitted to be present at football activities, although they must observe the relevant Government Covid-19 guidance, including those on gathering limits for spectators.
As part of step two of the Government’s roadmap, indoor football for under 18s can take place in line with Department for Education and Out of School Setting guidance. All participants should read and follow this guidance for all indoor football activities.
Disabled people can take part in organised outdoor and indoor football without being subject to social contact limits.
Indoor football for adults is not currently allowed. This is planned to return no earlier than Monday 17 May for adults, as part of step three of the Government’s roadmap.
As part of step two of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, outdoor hospitality at grassroots football is permitted. All participants must follow government guidance on hospitality settings and the specific advice for sport facility operators available on the government’s website. People using clubhouses and hospitality facilities must adhere to legal gathering limits and wider government guidance. Please note that while outdoor hospitality is permitted, spectators are not allowed at games unless on public land.
This guidance applies to all youth and adult football and futsal, including all formats of the game. If there are any further updates from the Government, we will communicate these in due course and we will continue to update our guidance as we move through the different steps of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Government's latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke guidance documents from The FA. Any incidents of non-compliance should be reported to Gloucestershire FA.
Head to our dedicated COVID-19 page to find the latest guidance and key information.
take a look at the updated grassroots football guidance documents
THE GUIDANCE COMES INTO EFFECT FROM MONDAY 12 APRIL 2021