SUFFOLK FA have issued an update regarding the use of changing rooms and showers and for hospitality arrangements as ‘non-elite’ football returns.
Chief Executive Richard Neal contacted clubs in response to questions raised following the latest COVID-19 guidance issued by The FA on Wednesday.
Changing rooms and showers
Following the release of the latest FA guidance, we appreciate there has been some confusion over the use of changing rooms and showers. The below implementation of the DCMS and FA guidance documents has been agreed by Local Authorities.
- Best practice remains for participants to arrive and leave in match kit, or at least as much match kit as possible to minimise need for and time within changing rooms, and shower at home after the game.
- Changing rooms and showers should only be used if absolutely essential, following agreement with the host facility, a review of cleaning requirements, and a full update of the Covid-19 risk assessment. Risk assessments should continue to be communicated to all match participants.
If changing rooms and showers are to be available
- The host facility should undertake enhanced cleaning to maintain hygiene standards and reduce the risk of transmission, especially where multiple teams are using the changing rooms across a day, weekend and week.
- Hand sanitiser at least should be made available in all changing rooms and participants encouraged to follow positive hygiene standards.
- Social distancing must be observed if using changing rooms and showers. This will mean a limited number of people using the changing room and shower area at any one time, and possible need to control access to changing rooms to maintain social distancing – to be determined during the hosts risk assessment process. The host facility may choose to identify the areas in which people can change by using signs or temporary bench/floor markings.
- Where possible and appropriate, changing rooms should be well ventilated.
- Face coverings should be worn in changing rooms at all times except whilst showering.
- Pre-match, half-time, and post-match team talks to be held outside to allow for social distancing.
- Changing rooms can be used to securely store bags during the game.
- The home team will be responsible for the successful implementation of the above.
Please adhere to the following rules regarding the provision of food and drink, again provided with the agreement with Local Authorities:
a) If alcohol is served it must be ordered, served and consumed whilst seated following all the other rules on not mixing households indoors and no more than a group of 6 socially distanced outdoors if not from the same household. Alcohol can only be served as part of a table meal and the meal must be as might be expected to be served as breakfast, the main midday or main evening meal, or as a main course at such a meal.
b) If the business does not serve alcohol they can sell food and drink as usual, following all the other rules on not mixing households indoors and no more than a group of 6 socially distanced outdoors if not from the same household, so long as the food and drink is consumed whilst seated.
c) For the food or drink to be considered as ‘takeaway’ it would need to be taken off the premises to be consumed i.e. not around the pitch, in the car park etc.
We continue to encourage clubs to contact their local authority to discuss and agree any hospitality arrangements specific to your club setting and facilities.
Financial assistance through your LA
We are exploring whether the government support for ‘wet bars’ forced to close because of the restrictions as announced earlier this week will be available to sports/social/community clubs. In the meantime please look into any financial support available through your Local Authority.
Support through Suffolk FA continues to be available to those in need. And we continue to await the detail of the Sport Winter Survival Package (applicable to specific clubs only).