COVID-19 UPDATE – 25th September
Dear Members, Colleagues and Friends,
The First Minister made a statement to Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 22 this week to set-out a tightening of coronavirus-related restrictions, in response to an increase in the rate of spread of the virus. The priorities mentioned were to save lives and protect health, keep schools open, restart as many non-coronavirus NHS services as possible, and protect jobs by keeping businesses open where possible.
The approach announced was more targeted than earlier in the year, but did not constitute a return to full lockdown. The steps announced will be reviewed in 3 weeks (it is unclear at this stage whether that will lead to a change to the next planned review point on 1 October).
The immediate impact of the announcement on indoor non- contact sports like table tennis is limited. There is no change therefore in the current TTS Return to Play Guidelines.
Given the rise in the rate of infection nationwide however TTS would like to emphasise to all members and clubs how vitally important it is to comply fully with our guidelines as you return to play.
Please remember: all clubs must appoint a Covid Officer who will be responsible for ensuring our guidelines and protocols are implemented and adhered to. We are also encouraging as many members as possible to take the sportscotland Covid Officer e-learning module and to download the Test and Protect App.
For your general information the key points announced on Tuesday were:
- Private gatherings
- People will not be allowed to visit other households indoors. This extends the current guidance in the West of Scotland across Scotland as a whole. The public are asked to abide by this from Wednesday Sept 23rd and will be placed into law from Friday.
- There are exceptions for extended households, non-cohabiting couples, informal childcare, trades people.
- It is still acceptable to meet outdoors, including in private gardens, keeping to the 6 people / 2 household guidance.
- When outdoors, under 12s do not count towards either the 6 people or 2 household limit.
- When outdoors, 12 to 18 year olds must keep to the limit of 6 people, but are exempted from the 2 household limit.
- Car sharing: People should not car share with those from outside their household.
- Hospitality curfew: Pubs, restaurants and bars are required to close at 10pm.
- Environmental health: Additional funding for local Environmental Health teams, allowing for greater capacity for inspections of businesses to enhance compliance and enforcement.
- Work from home: People should continue to work from home where possible. This message was reinforced today.
- FACTS: The main public health ‘FACTS’ messaging remains: Face coverings; Avoid crowded places; Clean your hands regularly; Two meters distance; Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.
- Self-isolating: A package of support will be made available for those who have to self-isolate, including a payment of £500 for those with low income (details to follow). No changes to ‘punishments’ for breaching self-isolation at this stage.
The First Minister also noted that those potential changes which had an indicative date of 5 October are now further delayed. As a reminder, the potential changes most relevant for sport and physical activity were:
- Indoor contact sport: Allowed to resume for adults and young people aged 12 and over, following relevant SGB guidance. (Currently only allowed for children under 12.)
- Sports stadia: Allowed to re-open for limited numbers. Planned test events will go ahead and further test events may take place before 5 October.
- Events: There will be further relaxation of restrictions on indoor and outdoor events, although this will not allow all events and particularly large events to take place.
We at TTS understand the current restrictions will be disappointing for many members but we must bear in mind we are in the midst of a public health emergency. TTS will continue to work with sportscotland, the Scottish Government and all partners across the sector as we develop our guidance and messaging.
Finally, a huge vote of thanks to everyone who has accepted the responsibility of taking on the role of Club Covid Officer and to the many who have now taken the Covid e-learning module. As a result of your commitment many of our members have been able to safely return to play.
Stay safe, remember FACTS and enjoy your game!
If you have any questions on the Return to Play Guidelines please contact:
Richard Yule: TTS Chief Operating Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
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