Covid-19

The club has made every endeavour to make the facilities in the club as safe as possible for all. We have provided sanitation points around the club, enforce social distancing with multiple signage around the club to assist. However with this we still require the members to abide by the rules. This includes wearing masks when entering the club and only removing these while on court or sitting at a table in the lounge. This ensures the club is safer for you and all other members. We will not hesitate to give written warnings or even ban persistent offenders.

 

Who can I play ?

In simple format you can play as follows: 

1) If you live as a family in one household, you can play someone in that household.This does not include (MO) Multiple occupancy buildings. 

2) If you live by yourself, you can play anyone in the same situation or one person from a household family. You can not change to another family member.

3) If you live in a family household,, you can play someone who lives by themselves, but not someone from another family household.

4) Should you wish at any point to change your playing partner you must refrain from playing for 14 days, then resume as above. 

These are the guidelines drawn up by the Government, Scottish Squash and Sports Scotland as of 3rd November 2020.

 

COVID-19 Working Group update and latest position

 

Scottish Squash believe that squash can be played safely during the current pandemic. As part of our plans to bring back the game we continue to work closely with Sportscotland to present Public Health Scotland and Scottish Government with new proposals that will enable the sport to resume as quickly as possible. As many in the squash community are already aware, Public Health Scotland has categorised squash as an indoor contact sport. Contact sport or activity is defined as “a sport or activity in which the participants necessarily come into bodily contact or as a matter of course encroach within 2m of one another”. Squash is therefore categorised with other indoor contact sports such as Netball, Basketball and Judo.

 

The introduction of physically distanced squash would bring in a different version of squash which would more closely align with those sports categorised as indoor non-contact sports such as Badminton, Table Tennis, Indoor Tennis and Gymnastics.

 

The following table outlines that which Public Health Scotland and Scottish Government have approved across all sports:

  

In accordance with the next step in the process outlined by Scottish Government, we recently submitted our Version 7 of the squash guidance. The guidance seeks permission for the following:

  • A coach to be present on court (within safety guidelines and with required PPE)
  • physically distanced squash (front and back / side to side. 

As one of a small number of indoor contact sports we have been listening to our clubs and coaches across the squash community and we created a plan that we are confident will enable the sport to progress quickly upon its return.

Whilst our submission was welcomed by Scottish Government and was scrutinised by the highest clinical authority, it has been intimated that, in the best interests of public health, now is not the appropriate time to launch physically distanced squash. To be specific, we received the following feedback:

 

Public health clinicians are not initially supportive of the adapted game proposals. Essentially they have concerns about the small indoor area used in a squash game, and the high respiratory rates and lack of ventilation involved, however decisions are made on a range of criteria including economic and health risks.

 

As Scottish Squash continues to put public health first, we reluctantly accept the current position of the Scottish Government, thank them for their initial response and will continue to work collaboratively to reach a positive outcome for our sport.

 

Our next steps will be as follows:

  • Request detailed data from Scottish Government to further understand why the proposal was not approved.
  • Work with authorities to try to find alternative and acceptable guidelines that would allow physically distanced squash to be played.
  • Push for an interim step on the pathway to allow coaches back on court

We also need to work with clubs, coaches and players, as a matter of urgency, on the following:

  • Gather further information around the impact on physical and mental health.
  • Gather updated data on the financial situation and pressure clubs are under.

We have welcomed the word ‘initially’ in the feedback and are incentivised to continue to shape our proposal ready to resubmit as soon as there is a material change in circumstances. We will also work with the Scottish Government to develop an even greater understanding of what is required to further reduce the risk within the squash environment, addressing the key issues that have brought about the aforementioned decision by government clinicians.

 

It is an unfortunate reality that the COVID-19 situation in Scotland is not improving at the rate the authorities initially envisaged. Recent rises in COVID-19 cases and deaths and the current 2nd lockdown in England remind us that we are still very much in the midst of a global health pandemic.

 

Squash clubs, coaches and players have worked diligently and shown  great responsibility in doing all that is practicable to help suppress the spread of the virus. However, the official measure of infection, the R-number, which represents infection rates, remains high in certain areas of the country and contextualises our ongoing efforts.

 

For now, our focus will remain on preparing and supporting clubs and members to be ready for the time when we are able to return to physically distanced squash. Scottish Squash will continue to work alongside Public Health Scotland to understand what else is required to generate the confidence necessary to enable us to launch physically distanced squash as soon as possible.

 

Your continued support matters to the future of squash in Scotland. Thank you to all those  who have given their advice and encouragement at this difficult and frustrating time, and for your patience and understanding.