The England and Wales Cricket Board has released guidelines to players and clubs on steps to take to stay safe when exercising in an outdoor cricket club environment.
Following government guidance on outdoor activity and exercise in public spaces during the coronavirus pandemic in ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’, the ECB produced guidance to help clubs understand best practice.
All recreational cricket remains indefinitely suspended, but use of outdoor facilities such as nets and pitches is being allowed.
An ECB statement said: “Our primary and ongoing goal is to protect the health of everyone in and around the game.
“Adjusted lockdown restrictions provide an opportunity for the use of outdoor cricket facilities for the purpose of undertaking exercise.”
Under the guidelines, people can exercise outdoors alone, with members of their own household or one person from another household while staying two metres apart.
Only one-to-one coaching is permitted per session and nets should be used on an ‘every other’ basis with one free net inbetween, while clubhouses can open for operational reasons such as access to first aid equipment or for toilet access, but changing room and bar areas must stay closed for general use.
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Toilet facilities can be opened if the venue wishes, but care should be take by those using and cleaning them with soap and water provided.
No indoor activity is permitted and use of own equipment is recommended with government advice to be followed if using shared equipment.
No saliva or sweat should come into contact with the ball at any tie and hansd should be washed at home before and after using any outdoor facilities, with individual hand sanitiser used where possible.
The statement added: “The ECB is clear that outdoor facilities should only reopen if those responsible for them are ready to do so and they can do so safely following public heath guidance.
“No club should reopen their outdoor facilities if they feel unable to meet the requirements.”
Clubs will need to have properly maintained facilities; a booking system for outdoor space or means to manage access and demand; capability to advise individuals to check for Covid-19 symptoms; a sanitation procedure between use; a club representative on site during the hours facilities are used; closed signs displayed when facilities are not open to deter use by general public where there is open access; update signage and access points.
Individuals should seek confirmation from the club that it had reopened and make a booking; check for Covid-19 symptoms in line with current government guidance and remain at home if symptomatic of living in a household with a possible infection; avoid public transport where possible.
“The situation is evolving constantly and we will continue to update our guidance as more information becomes available,” continued the ECB statement.
“Further advice is available at the gov.uk and Sport England websites. Please regularly check these sites and updated ECB guidance as this policy position is likely to change over time and could also become more regionalised and localised as time progresses.”