COVID-19 Policy

This policy is effective from 4th July 2020.

Football activity at Wickwar Wanderers Football Club has resumed in accordance with Government and FA guidance, and we will adhere to the following published recommendations:

  • Until 31 July 2020 – begin competitive training, with the overall group size (inclusive of coaches) being limited to 30 people;
  • From 1 August 2020 – competitive and friendly matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small sided football competitions; 
  • From 1 September 2020 – Grassroots leagues, men’s National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6, and FA Competitions can commence.

The policy and guidance below applies to the club and all associated players, coaches, match officials, league officials, club officials, volunteers, parents, carers and spectators as appropriate. The overarching principal is that the club and everyone associated with it will only take part in football-related activities that comply with both the Government and FA’s guidance. 

In line with current Government guidance, all participants should check for symptoms of Covid-19 before engaging in club activity. If an individual is symptomatic and/or living in a household with a possible Covid-19 infection they should remain at home and follow Government guidance. In addition, any participants who have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they are a contact of a known Covid-19 case, must not exercise outside their home or garden and must not exercise, train or take part in any football related activity with others.

Policy Details

  • The club will ensure that all facilities are compliant with current Government legislation and guidance related to COVID-19, including
    • The pavilion areas will remain out of bounds except for hand washing and using the toilet facilities, with a maximum of 2 people permitted at any one time
    • Changing rooms, club rooms, kitchen and showers will be closed and not used
    • If the pavilion and therefore hand-washing facilities are unavailable, hand sanitiser should be used as an alternative
    • No more than two people will access the equipment storage shed at any one time
  • Competitive training and matches are permitted, but with groups limited to a maximum of 30 people, including coaches
    • All training and matches will be played outdoors
    • Players and officials will sanitise hands before and after a game as well as scheduled breaks throughout a game or training session
    • Pre-match handshakes will not take place; neither will team talk ‘huddles’.  All team talks will ensure social distancing is observed 
    • Warm-ups/cool-downs will also observe social distancing
    • During training sessions, ball handling will be kept to a minimum with most contact via a boot and the ball disinfected in breaks of play
    • Youth football coaches are encouraged to limit persistent close proximity of participants during match play and training
    • Goal celebrations should be avoided
    • Everyone involved is to maintain good hygiene, hand washing and social distancing; and to make themselves aware of the measures being taken to provide a safe environment. 
  • Where possible, equipment should not be shared
    • Equipment should be handled as little as possible by as few people as possible
    • Ideally equipment should not be shared, and goalkeepers should ensure they disinfect their gloves regularly in breaks in training or matches and thoroughly afterwards. Where possible, coaches should only handle equipment in training
    • Where possible, only coaches should handle equipment during training. In the event equipment is handled by anyone else during the session, they should wash their hands immediately afterwards, taking care not to touch their mouth/face in the meantime
    • Bibs must not be used unless they can be washed between every session. They should not be shared at any point during a session. 
    • Everyone involved should bring their own water bottle / refreshments that are clearly recognisable and not share with anyone else
    • After activity, all participants should wash hands at the earliest opportunity and personal equipment should be wiped down with a disinfectant
    • Individuals are expected to take their own kit home to wash it themselves, rather than have one person handling a large quantity of soiled materials. Where kit absolutely must be shared or kept together (e.g. last-minute stand-in players, shortage of kit, or an essential club function), each person handling it must wash or sanitise their hands immediately after and appropriate cleaning arrangements for the kit must be made.
  • Travel to and from club activity, and attendance
    • In line with Government guidance on travel, everyone involved should travel to the venue alone or only with another member of your household, or via a socially-distant method (e.g. cycling). Participants should consider all other forms of transport before using public transport. Car-sharing with anyone outside your household should be minimised and if it cannot be avoided, should to be done following Government guidance. 
    • Players, coaches and officials should arrive changed and ready to train/play. 
    • Supporters, parents, and other spectators should remain socially distanced whilst attending events.  Spectator groups must be restricted to discrete six-person gathering limits and spread out, in line with wider Government guidance, ensuring space for officials, coaches and substitutes
  • First aid and general health matters
    • Players must refrain from spitting. If players need to sneeze or cough, they are encouraged to do so into a tissue or upper sleeve and advised to avoid touching their face. Any tissues are to be disposed of in a sealed bin or bag as soon as possible. 
    • In the event of an injury, it is preferable that a member of your household assists the injured party, if present, but others will still need to socially distance unless a life or limb-threatening injury necessitates compromising guidelines to provide emergency care. If there is a first-aider or other medical personnel present, they should be equipped with the appropriate PPE to protect themselves and others if they need to compromise social-distancing guidelines to provide medical assistance. 
    • All club coaches to equip their first aid kits with a spare, sealed set of disposable masks in the event that they need to be used for emergency first aid purposes – for both the first aider and the injured player
    • If anyone becomes symptomatic during the session, they should immediately remove themselves from the session and return home as soon as possible. NHS guidance on further management of symptoms should be followed.
    • Club officials should keep a record of attendees at a match or training session, including contact details, to support NHS Test and Trace

For more information and details of the above, please refer to the guidance here.