All your return to play questions answered
These are common questions that get asked in relation to returning to play activities. We will keep the answers up to date and in line with current guidance, so it is worth checking for any changes.
Duty of Care & Guidance FAQs
- Will clubs have a copy of the new “Modified” rules?
All clubs and squash venues will have a copy of Squash Wales latest Return to Play guidance and contained in these documents will be the rules of the new “Modified” game of squash.
- Is Racketball treated the same as squash moving forward with the modified game?
Yes Racketball will be governed in the same way as squash moving forward. The guidelines put in place apply to both.
- Can clubs work with Squash Wales to host small scale tournaments to cater for professional members?
Due to current Welsh Government restrictions only players that meet the set criteria can play Squash matches. However, as Wales continues to move down the alert levels, we will be able to run “pilot” events. We will at this stage certainly work with any club/venue who would wish to hold a pilot event subject to enough participants.
- Is there a date on leagues to start back?
At present we do not have a firm date for leagues to resume but with the current excellent number of low cases in Wales and the Welsh Government lifting restrictions we are extremely optimistic about being able to resume in September 2021.
- Do we know if leisure facilities and private clubs will re-open on 3rd May 2021?
Squash Wales are working closely with all clubs and leisure providers to ensure Squash is available on 3rd May.
- Is there any guidance on changing and shower facilities?
At present the changing rooms and showers will not be allowed to open. Players need to attend the venue ready to play.
- Are the Risk Assessments we agreed earlier in the year still required?
Yes, and protocols from earlier guidance have been updated and amended and are included in the latest Return to Play pack sent out to you. We urge you to read through the latest guidance to ensure you are meeting the required protocols and guidance.
- Do Squash Wales have a record of all courts in Wales so that they can be kept track of?
With the purchasing of a new membership platform -Squash Wales will be in a better position to accurately report both the number of members and all courts currently in operations throughout Wales. Currently Squash Wales have these records -but they need updating.
- Any thoughts of Track and Trace QR codes to use in the club?
At this stage the Welsh guidance do not require Squash Clubs to use the track and trace QR codes within its facilities, although details are required to comply with Track and Trace.
- Can you play at more than one venue?
Yes, if you follow each venues guideline.
- Can people from the same household play a normal game of Squash?
Yes, if players are in the same household or their extended household, they can play a normal game of Squash.
- What is meant by an extended household?
An extended household is the how the Welsh Government https://gov.wales/guidance-extended-households-coronavirus has introduced what is known in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as “support bubbles” – an idea first introduced in New Zealand.
It is designed to help families reunite and help support those with care needs.
A household means a group of the same people all sharing the same home. It could be a family living together, flatmates in the same property, or even individuals renting rooms in the same house.
There is no restriction on the number of people in a household – as long as they are always the same people.
An extended household is when two of those households come together as one.
For example, two grandparents could agree to become part of an extended household with their daughter and her partner and children.
The two households could then visit each other as much as they wish, go indoors, and even stay overnight.
There are restrictions – and it could mean some tough choices for individuals.
The main rule is this: Once you join an extended household, – you cannot join another.
If it is our grandparents enjoying Sunday lunch with their daughter and grandchildren at the family home, those same grandparents cannot then decide they want to join with another family member next week.
They cannot decide they are ditching the daughter for their favourite son.
Once you are in an extended household, there is no swapping members – you have to stick with your original choice.
- Can members from the same household e.g. 4 players play on the same court together?
No you can only have 2 people on a court at any one time playing a match. Exceptions to this will come into effect from 3rd May 2021 as a coach conducting an organised activity may allow 4 players on a court at any one time. Clubs will have a maximum number of people allowed on site at any one time and sticking to 2 people to a court helps them manage this important element of the guidance.
- Should coaches and players wear face coverings?
The club/venue and those using the facilities should always follow the Governments guidelines as a minimum. Currently wearing face masks isn’t stated in the Governments guidelines and players shouldn’t wear face masks if they are exercising. However, if coaches wish to wear a face mask they should do so, and they should be prepared to wear one if players ask them to.
- How do we always monitor and oversee our club/venue?
Your club/venue will need to identify staff/volunteers/coaches/responsible members who will be at the club/venue and can ensure the relevant safety measures are adhered to.
This could mean reducing opening hours to open only when you can arrange for someone to be at the club or starting a rota system for those who are willing to take on this responsibility (responsible members). Clubs/venues should ensure that those who take on this role are fully aware of and take responsibility for ensuring players are adhering to the guidelines. It is also important that clubs/venues inform all members of the safety measures they must adhere to and the disciplinary process for anyone who breaches the new guidelines/rules. Members should only be allowed to play once they have confirmed they have read and agree to these measures.
- Can my club/venue open and choose to not follow the guidelines?
No, if your club wishes to re-open from 3rd May they must follow our guidance as our guidance is based on the Government guidance for leisure facilities. All squash clubs and venues have a duty of care to create the safest possible environment for players and the squash workforce. The Government guidance clearly states “As an employer or as an operator of sports or leisure facility, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers, volunteers, customers and users from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them”. Every club must sign and return the declaration form stating they have read, understood and will implement the Squash Wales guidance prior to opening.
- What happens if someone breaks the rules at our club/venue?
In the interest of keeping other members and the wider community safe we would advise that you take appropriate disciplinary action. This could mean suspension or cancellation of their membership. All members should be made aware of the consequences of not adhering to the club’s guidelines in advance of attending.
- Why do we need to keep a record of who has been at our club/venue?
The Government is requiring organisations of all types to keep a record of customer and visitor information for a limited time period for the purposes of a COVID-19 contact tracing scheme known as Track, Trace and Protect Service (TTPS).
- If our club is based at a Leisure Centre do, we need our own COVID-19 Officer?
Yes, if you organise any activity, team matches, club nights, tournaments but not needed for playing between two players.
- Are telephone numbers acceptable for contact details?
Yes, they are along with email are the preferred contact details needed.
- How will Squash Wales ensure the guidance is implemented?
Squash Wales will require written confirmation from the club/venue that they have received, read, understood and applied the guidance sent out to them in the Return to Play packs.
- If a club is based at a Leisure Centre will they need to appoint a COVID-19 Officer, or will the Leisure Centre be responsible?
If a club organises any activity, team matches, club nights, coaching sessions, tournaments they will need to have a coronavirus officer regardless of where any activities take place. This is a very clear point in the guidance, and I would recommend that all clubs appoint someone. This is also a good way of ensuring that the correct information comes from a single source instead of many voices adding to the pool of thinking.
- How would we fulfil the requirement of having a “responsible person” present at all activity when the facility is unmanned and has no employees?
If you allow members to book a facility to turn up and play (within guidelines) then it is not really ‘organising an activity’. Organising an activity includes team matches, club nights, coaching sessions, tournaments. In this case, if a record is kept of who has used the facility and when, along with having contact details, this should suffice.
- Do registers need to be hard copy – i.e. paper- or would electronic registers be acceptable (e.g. on a mobile phone)
The most important point is should the Test, Trace and Protect Service get in touch, you need to be able to quickly provide the relevant information to them whilst keeping the information secure. Whatever works best for you to achieve this objective is OK.
- If you are coaching as part of a Leisure Centre programme, would all the Responsible Person responsibilities fall on the Centre?
If the leisure centre has organised the coaching then it is their responsibility to meet the requirements of the guidance and not the club’s. If organised by the club, it is the club’s responsibility. The club could appoint the Leisure Centre Responsible person if agreed.
- Why should we ask our insurers how long we keep members data?
Your insurance company will handle any claims under your public liability about Covid or any other claim arising from an activity. To help with claim handling they will find evidence of attendance useful. It will also help the insurer to assess whether the risk originated from the club’s activity or elsewhere. The insurer is best placed to advise on this. NB: public liability cover is still in place – this has been confirmed with Squash Wales insurance broker Watkin Davies.
- As far as clubs based at leisure centres are concerned, I would expect them to get everyone using the centre to sign in giving their contact details. Is it still a requirement for club captains etc to keep a separate register?
Yes, it is still the responsibility of the club captain to keep a register of their players. It may be a dual responsibility, but the club should ensure that it is operating any activity in line with guidance. It is never wise to rely upon another organisation to fulfil your own legal duties.
- All insurers are excluding any claim of any nature relating from Covid -19 or any other communicable disease – SARS etc. so why should we engage with them on this?
In general terms you need to check with your insurance company. There are many risks that will not be covered such as loss of revenue due to the pandemic but in general, your public liability cover should still be in place. It is very important that you CHECK this as there may be exceptions.