New Covid-19 Guidance for Clubs

Announcements

Changes to Covid-19 guidance for clubs

There have recently been significant updates released on social gatherings in England and Scotland. We have amended our recommendations for clubs in light of this - please read this document carefully, and make full use of all the resources on our new COVID website page!

QuidditchUK’s guidance treats quidditch the same as gatherings of the general public, and not sport-specific guidance. This is explained in the section about friendlies and contact below.

All clubs need to submit a risk assessment to QuidditchUK at secretary@quidditchuk.org no fewer than five days before training. This applies for trainings from 26th September. One risk assessment will qualify you to train indefinitely until there are significant changes in the UK governments' approaches to Covid-19.

England and Scotland

QuidditchUK’s training guidance for England was already based on the principle of groups no larger than six. This is because, when our guidance was released, the law stipulated that two households could meet in groups of up to 30, while three or more households were limited to groups of six. The law has now changed that all groups must be of no more than six people. For this reason, English clubs can continue training. A table summarising the recommendations for clubs can be found below.

In Scotland, social gatherings are limited to groups of no more than six from two households. For this reason, all advice for Scottish clubs has been amended to reflect this. We understand that, for many clubs, meeting in groups of up to six from two households may mean that training cannot happen. Unfortunately, this is the law in Scotland and clubs should be careful to obey it.

Wales

Welsh guidance around public gatherings outdoors has not changed, and so our recommendations for Welsh clubs remain the same. Clubs can train in groups of up to 30 people.

Summary of recommendations

There may be changes in these recommendations at short notice. This is due to the UK government’s approach to Covid-19, whereby changes to guidance and the law are made with little warning. All significant changes will be reported on social media and by emailing clubs directly. Please keep up to date with QuidditchUK’s stance and the broader legal context in the days leading up to a training or match.

How to train with groups of six people

Lots of clubs have been doing amazing and creative work in training effectively with social distancing and small groups - thank you for everything you’ve done so far! Due to increased focus of the English and Scottish governments on sticking to groups of six, and the increased power of the police to enforce this, clubs should strictly obey training recommendations as written. Clubs should be particularly careful about training in groups of six, by following this guidance:

  • Consider staggered training (e.g. one group of six from 1pm-2pm; a second group from 2pm-3pm);
  • Consider distributed training (e.g. one group training in Park A and another training in Park B);
  • Personal items should not be placed in one central location, but kept next to where each group is training;
  • Non-playing coaches should not travel between groups, unless the groups are of five or fewer.

Overall, it should be clear to a bystander that the groups are not interacting with each other. This is because the changed rules come with increased police power to intervene in groups that they believe are breaking the law about group gatherings. If the police believe that your club is breaching this law, you could be fined. Your training should be structured to ensure and demonstrate compliance with the law.

Player recommendations

  • We recommend that players train with the team that requires the least travel, even if this is not their competitive team. For example, a player who currently lives in Bath but plays for Oxford Mammoths should train with Bristol Quidditch Club.
  • Players should not attend trainings of multiple teams within 14 days. For example, a player who trains with Manchester Quidditch Club on 1st October should not attend trainings with any other club until 15th October. This is to reduce the chance of infection across clubs.
  • Coaches should not travel between groups to dispense advice, unless the groups are smaller than five people. Leaders of each group should be identified and should not move between groups.
  • If the university associated with a university club releases recommendations which are inconsistent with QuidditchUK’s guidance, follow the recommendations from the university.

You can find all the sources for the legislation and recommendations in the bibliography of the main guidance document.

When can we start training contact or having friendlies?

QuidditchUK is in the process of seeking permission from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to have a Covid-19 action plan submitted. If we successfully submit an action plan which is approved, then we may be able to permit larger gatherings, friendly fixtures, or contact training. However, this may be contingent on recognition as a Sport or Governing Body by Sport England, Sport Scotland, or Sport Wales. If our application for specific exemption is not approved, then we must continue to abide by guidance for gatherings of the general public. This is outside of the control of QuidditchUK.

Roadmap

Based on the amazing work done by Quidditch Australia, QuidditchUK has developed a roadmap which shows you how we will return to playing quidditch. This may change with updated government advice, or if we are approved to submit an action plan to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Credit goes to Quidditch Australia for the idea and template.

These recommendations are matched to the national and political context. We will consider the following aspects of the national context in making a decision to move between stages:

  • National infection rate
  • Government guidance on outdoor spaces
  • Government legislation on size of gatherings
  • Government advice on sport which is applicable to QuidditchUK
  • Number of local lockdowns

It is at QuidditchUK’s discretion to determine how we move between stages. It is possible for different countries to be at different stages: for example, Wales could be at Stage 3 while England is at Stage 1. Guidance applies to the country where a player or club is travelling from, meaning that in this example English teams could not travel to Wales to benefit from laxer regulations.

Track and Trace

We are providing a template of a form which can be used for Track and Trace within your club, which you can find under our COVID tab. This is not required for training, but we feel that it will be a useful resource for clubs in case a player becomes symptomatic. If a player exhibits Covid-19 symptoms in the 14 days after training, you do not need to tell QuidditchUK but you should inform everyone who attended the training.

Abby Whiteley

By Abby Whiteley
September 16, 2020

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