WHAT THEY MEAN FOR HOCKEY
In light of the government announcing the new Local Covid-19 Alert Levels, we can now update the situation for hockey. Over the past 24 hours a number of clarifications have been sought by NGBs and Sport England from government and this update incorporates the answers to those questions.
Firstly, and crucially, outdoor organised team sport continues to be seen as a low-risk activity for the transmission of Covid-19. The weight of evidence across sports - allied to the excellent work clubs have done establishing safer environments - demonstrates the confidence government has. From an England Hockey perspective, the visibility that clubs have given of reported cases and exploring the reasons behind them also demonstrates the low level of risk. We cannot link any cases to transmission on the field of play, and where transport has been shared and safer travel guidance followed there is also a low level of risk of transmission. The only examples of transmission or where larger groups of players have been required to self-isolate is where social distancing rules have not been maintained outside of play.
At all three of the new alert levels, outdoor hockey activity is allowed to continue:
At Level 1 (Medium) and Level 2 (High) of the new restrictions, hockey can continue but with further limitations to arrangements in indoor settings for clubs at Level 2 - linked to groups not being allowed to mix indoors.
Unfortunately, at Level 3 (Very High) alert level there will be some restrictions on hockey activity due to travel restrictions. People are advised not to travel into or out of areas that have a very high alert level, including for sport. Further limitations also exist at this level for indoor setting arrangements.
NB We are seeking clarification on an exemption to travel outside of a Level 3 area for disability sport, sport for educational purposes or supervised sport for under 18 activity. We will update on this as soon as we can.
Training and matches for clubs and players within the Level 3 (Very High) areas can continue. Obviously, some players may be not be able to leave or enter a Level 3 (Very High) area to play and in those examples we encourage other local clubs to support players who temporarily may not be able to access their normal club activity.
A quick guide to show how the new Covid Alert Level system impacts hockey in England. Please click here or on the photo to download the full version.
Covid Alert Levels
England Hockey has been meeting with representatives of clubs in the Tier 3 areas to discuss the circumstances and will communicate with England Hockey League clubs shortly.
This season was always going to require all involved in hockey to demonstrate the flexibility, resilience and spirit required to keep hockey going. We continue to be grateful to all the volunteers that are supporting activity and hope that the chance to get out and pick up your stick is appreciated by all involved. England Hockey also continues to request that leagues to show the flexibility and patience required to let games happen when they can, and support postponements if required.
England Hockey will continue to follow the permissions from government as the guide for when hockey activity is allowed. Ultimately, we want to ensure that clubs and players can come through this period as strongly as possible.