Following the Prime Minister’s address on Sunday and the further LTA and government guidance published today, we will be opening our club up to members this Wednesday (13 May). As before, we will be enforcing strict social distancing measures, as outlined below, and will not be running club socials or tournaments until otherwise advised.
We are delighted to be able to open again and we are committed to ensuring the safety of our members. We need members to please respect and follow our guidelines and advise us of any concerns.
Members from Wednesday can play tennis (singles only or doubles with people from the same household) at a safe distance from others, provided players are under 70 years of age, do not have underlying health conditions and are not pregnant.
In line with current LTA advice (version 1), if you do decide to play:
- Pre book your court online. Allow a buffer period between court bookings to allow players to leave before next players arrive.
- Keep in small groups, with a maximum of 2 players, unless you are from the same household.
- Play is limited to singles only in line with social distancing. The only exception for doubles is if playing partners are from the same household.
- Avoid touching your face and try not to touch any surfaces.
- Keep a safe distance of 2 metres between each other and consider wearing gloves or using your personal marked tennis balls when serving.
- Players are advised not to change ends during play.
- Ensure that there is no physical contact at all between players.
- Play should take place during daylight hours. Floodlights should not to be used until further notice.
- No other unnecessary extra-curricular or social activity should take place. In practice, this means that the clubhouse should only be used for essential activities (a maximum of 10 minutes per person). Essential activities include hand washing, accessing toilet facilities, accessing first aid equipment, disinfectant and purchasing new balls.
- All players and coaches, including juniors, should wash hands before and after a tennis session (or use an alcohol gel).
- Clean and wipe down equipment, including rackets, cones and tennis balls, which can be sprayed with disinfectant.
- Do not allow racket sharing or use of communal rackets.
- Consider using new balls, where possible, and consider using a small number of balls for a lesson, so fresh balls can be used for each session. We will put new cans of balls on the bar with an “honesty book” for members to write down how many cans they have taken (£5 per can of balls). We will take payment at a later date.
- Adaptations to drills will be needed, furthermore, it is recommended that only coaches touch the balls and players avoid touching the balls.
- Once play has finished players should leave the club promptly.
- If a player becomes unwell after playing they should first contact their GP and then inform the club.
The LTA’s advice is currently to close all social spaces at venues and we will be closing the changing rooms on the first floor of the clubhouse.
We believe, however, that members will need brief access to the clubhouse for hand washing, the toilet, drinking water, first aid as well as grabbing wipes for rackets. We are therefore making access to the clubhouse strictly prohibited for any other reason and limiting the time spent in there to a maximum of 10 minutes per person.
We will be reviewing our guidance constantly, in line with changing advice on the LTA website and with current and evolving Government advice, and updating WGTC’s website accordingly.
Be aware that this advice may change at very short notice and so should be checked ahead of every session. Please do stay safe and support each other, as much as possible, in these continuing difficult and unprecedented times.
I look forward to seeing many of you soon, at a distance!
Jon Elwes, Chairman