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BAFA Covid-19 return to play – update (13 October)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Message from Chief Executive Pete Ackerley

Following yesterday’s Government announcement about the introduction of a three-tier alert system of restrictions in England to try and stop the continuing resurgence of coronavirus, I’m sure many of you may have concerns about what this may mean for our sport.

I can confirm that as things currently stand, organised outdoor sport can continue to take place in all three tiers of restrictions – as long as our agreed return to play guidance is strictly adhered to.

However, I would caution that these are baseline restrictions. In very-high alert level areas the government may also seek to agree additional measures in consultation with local authorities which could have an impact on sport or on the venues that our member clubs use.

To help me understand more, I will be attending a call for leaders of National Governing Bodies held by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to discuss the impact of the announcement and what any additional measures might mean for us.

BAFA is also continuing to review what’s happening in Scotland and Wales, and to work closely with home nation sports councils. Recent challenges include enhanced restrictions across five health boards in Scotland that have meant at least a 16 day pause for adult American football activity. We are also aware there are now 17 areas in Wales under local lockdown and subject to a travel ban that means individuals can’t travel to participate in amateur sport.

With all of these things in mind, and with the current concerning rise in cases and hospital numbers, I will also be looking to review our own road map over the coming days to make sure our current position remains appropriate. Above all, the welfare of family, friends, teammates and local communities, as well as protecting the NHS, must remain our priority.

I will update in due course if there are any changes or immediate impact for our sport. And in the meantime, I ask you to continue to exercise caution when undertaking any American football activity and closely adhere to our return to play guidance, and the guidance on social distancing and gathering for your home nation.

Please also continue to regularly check for any local restrictions in EnglandScotland and Wales that may impact on your ability to hold practices and host or travel for friendly non-contact games with other nearby teams.

Stay safe.