Return to squash
statement 21 May 2020
It continues to be a frustrating time for clubs and players who are keen to
return to playing squash. Current Government guidelines are clear that
indoor sports clubs cannot reopen, and this includes squash clubs. We are
all passionate about the sport and desperate to get back to playing, but we
must all recognise that the return will take time and must be approached
with both caution and care. In the meantime, we must all continue to follow
the Government guidance.
Over recent weeks, we have been working closely with Sport England, the PSA
and other squash nations to establish best practices and sensible measures
that we can all take to ensure that clubs can open safely and that risks to
players and staff are minimised. In preparation, we are developing a
downloadable COVID-19 toolkit for clubs to support the return to squash,
which will include items such as step-by-step guidance for reopening,
safety posters and a pro forma risk assessment template. The toolkit will
be released when the guidelines from Government are clear and it will be
made available to all clubs.
For now, there are issues clubs could begin to discuss and plan for,
1. Leadership and
Establish whether staff can safely return to work under Government
guidelines and if there is a minimum number of staff required to open and
run the club. Is there someone in your team that can take the lead
regarding COVID-19 and what support can they be given? At what point is it financially
viable for the club to open, remembering there is very likely to be reduced
income from bookings and secondary spend.
2. Club access and
All clubs are unique so consider what changes are required to minimise risk
at your facility including safe entry and exit of the club, and also how
you could stop or limit use of the communal spaces. It is likely that any
café/bar, changing facilities and showers will be closed at first, so what
implications will this have? For instance, it will be necessary to ensure
the club has sufficient cleaning and hygiene products and a more frequent
3. Court bookings
Review the court booking system to ensure that you can trace, contact and
record who has been into the club and when. Consider your booking policy,
as advance bookings are the safest way to regulate the number of people
attending the club. Review how long is required between court bookings to
allow for cleaning all common surfaces.
We all have a part to play in returning to squash safely. Members will need
to adopt new habits such as taking spare towels and arriving to play ready
in their kit, bringing their own water and even a small first aid kit,
which might be unusual for them. How will you best communicate these
changes with your members and keep them and your staff safe?
We will continue to update you via email and social media as the situation
evolves and will keep our COVID-19 dedicated page up-to-date with
the latest information and resources.
The England Squash team