Message from Pete Ackerley.
The recent emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is causing concern around the globe. I know many of you have questions about what this means for our sport, so I wanted to share a brief update.
Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to stress that right now we have no reason to cancel or postpone any of our current activity plans. However, I would strongly encourage you to treat the emergence of this new variant as a prompt to raise our guard once again.
Please be extra cautious and double-down on your efforts to follow our Covid-19 guidance. At this time of year, it’s good thing to do regardless. As cold weather forces more of us indoors and festive socialising is getting underway, there’s already a risk that transmission will increase again through December and into the new year.
With that in mind, our guidance on our Covid-19 hub resources hub for all three nations has now been updated, reflecting minor changes since it was last shared over the summer as well as new measures which have been put in place as a precaution due to Omicron.
Many of the key questions about the impact and implications of the new Omicron variant haven’t been answered yet. As scientists learn more about Omicron over the coming days and weeks, we’ll then be able to assess any implications for our sport with much more certainty.
If required, we’ll then do what we’ve done at every stage of this pandemic – take guidance from the Department of Digital, Media, Culture & Sport (DCMS), and home nation sports councils and governments, and make any decisions and adjustments needed for our own Covid-19 protocols accordingly.
Key points of our Covid-19 guidance
As a reminder, the key points for all three nations are:
- Clubs should make sure they have a designated Club Covid-19 officer / team lead in place for any activity you undertake and regularly review their risk assessment
- Everyone should regularly self-assess for Covid-19 symptoms and not attend any activity if experiencing symptoms or if asked to self-isolate for any reason
- Continue to maintain strong hand and equipment hygiene and cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze
- Strongly consider wearing a face covering in indoor public settings such as changing rooms, or indoor pitches if you’re a non-active participant such as a coach. You must also wear a face covering on any team buses. (note – face coverings are mandatory in all indoor public settings in Scotland and Wales)
- Although not legally required, we recommend you should maintain social distancing wherever possible when participating in American football activity, in line with UK government guidance to limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with
- Take regular advantage of free lateral flow tests – use them before any team activity, shared team bus travel or club social events. These are a simple, free and easy to use precaution. Packs of test kits are available to order for free from the UK government or to collect from a local pharmacy or test site, and can help stop the spread of asymptomatic Covid-19.
- Follow our adjusted Covid-19 rules for games
- University teams should also closely follow any additional guidance from their institution
If you have any questions, or need any support or guidance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, we can all play our part in protecting our sport and slowing the spread of the virus, including this new variant. Get vaccinated, test regularly and follow the guidance in place designed to protect you.
More information and support
For additional information, please visit www.britishamericanfootball.org/Covid-19
If you have any questions, please contact:
email@example.com – for Covid-19 safety and other off-field activity related questions
firstname.lastname@example.org – for coaching specific queries
email@example.com – for queries relating to contact football
firstname.lastname@example.org – for queries relating to flag football
email@example.com – for questions relating to university football
firstname.lastname@example.org – for questions relating to BAFA team or individual membership