GUIDANCE FOR SQUASH
Beyond Level 0
The Scottish Government has confirmed that all of Scotland has moved to ‘Beyond Level 0’ from 9 August 2021.
These changes signal the end of most restrictions for sport and physical activity, and the move will see most legal restrictions lifted, including those on physical distancing and the size of social gatherings. However, please be aware some baseline measures are being retained to mitigate ongoing risks of transmission. This includes:
- Good hand hygiene and surface cleaning
- Continued promotion of good ventilation
- Requirement for face coverings in certain settings (e.g., public transport, retail)
- Continued compliance with Test and Protect, including self-isolation when necessary
Although Scotland has moved beyond Level 0, caution is still required and squash clubs, players, coaches and competitions in Scotland should adhere to the mitigating measures detailed in the summary document here – Beyond Level 0 Guidance. Published 17th December 2021 – Version 2
The summary document above should be read in conjunction with:
Below is a summary of overarching guidance for operators regarding occupancy limits, physical distancing, and appropriate ventilation/CO2 levels (ppm) which should be monitored. Test and protect procedures should continue in all indoor settings.
|Beyond Level 0 – From 9 August 2021|
|Indoor Facilities||Return to normal facility occupancy levels but focus on good ventilation and ‘Give People Space’ messaging.
Ventilation: monitor to maintain levels at 800/1000 ppm.
No physical distancing required.
Face coverings must be worn out with activity.
Maintain hygiene and surface cleaning measures.
Scottish Squash will maintain the full ‘Covid-19 Guidance for Squash Clubs, Players, Coaches and Competitions in Scotland’ should clubs/facilities wish to make use of this guidance beyond level 0 and as additional mitigating measures.
Why has squash been classified as a ‘contact sport’?
Despite being a non-contact sport in regard to its sport specific rules, squash has been classified as an ‘indoor contact sport’ in the context of the pandemic and the Scottish Government’s approach to suppress the spread of Covid-19.
In this context, ‘contact sport’ has been defined as any sport or activity during which the participants regularly encroach within 1m of each other.
Why risk assess?
- It is strongly recommended that clubs review existing risk assessments or undertake a comprehensive risk assessment prior to returning to unrestricted squash from Monday 19 July 2021. This will allow clubs to be satisfied that any return to unrestricted squash will be undertaken in as safe a way as possible. A risk assessment template can be downloaded here.
- Should a risk assessment identify a risk that would require to be mitigated before there is a return of unrestricted squash then clubs should not feel pressured into a return that would not be safe.
- Clubs may wish to reinforce that although unrestricted squash is permitted, clubs/facilities will not be returning to how they looked before the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic is still ongoing and Covid-19 mitigations will still be in place, such as the wearing of face coverings and 1m social distancing indoors off court.
- In this regard sharing the risk assessments with club members is recommended so they can see where the root of decision-making lies.
- Communication with members will be key to them understanding how decisions have been made. Allowing them to seek clarification/comment is also particularly important.
Club Play Sessions (eg Club Nights)
We recognise the importance of squash club play sessions to provide squash players with the opportunity to participate in their regular physical activity. We also understand that club play sessions could be important to clubs/facilities as a way to re-engage players/members after a period away.
Below are some suggestions as to how clubs/facilities may adapt club play sessions to ensure we are mitigating against the risk of spreading Covid-19. Clubs/facilities are reminded that they should carry out local risk assessments for all club activity to highlight any risks especially those associated with Covid-19.
- Implement a sign-up process to manage the number of participants which you have at any specific club play session.
- Restart your club play sessions with a smaller maximum number and slowly increase over time until you reach the appropriate maximum number.
- Communicate effectively with participants and help participants understand how your club play session will be organised to allow them to make their own choice of attending. For example:
- Share details with players on how many people will be permitted at the session so they are aware of how many people they may be mixing with.
- Make participants aware that the club play sessions are being treated as one session which may result in close contacts being identified through Test and Protect should someone test positive for Covid-19.
- Clubs/facilities may wish to consider displaying specific signage relating to club play sessions (including the revised club night rules for play/expected standards of conduct on and off court).
- Clubs/facilities may wish to remind players that face coverings are still required when not on court. It is appreciated that this may prove to be difficult as the club night is also a social event.
- Continue to encourage the cleaning of touch points regularly.
Group Coaching/Training Sessions
We understand that participants may want to return to group coaching and training sessions. Group coaching and training sessions are permitted but the below points might be helpful to consider how you restart these safely.
- There is no maximum number set by Scottish Squash or Scottish Government on how many people can attend a group coaching/training session but consideration should be given to the additional Covid-19 measures in place. For example, how many people can safely be in/move around the facility at one time.
- There is no set number of participants that can be on court at one time. This can be set by the coach and club/facility depending on the number permitted in the facility at one time.
- The coach and club/facility should consider their local risk assessments and operating policies to determine how many people should attend a group coaching/training session.
- Ensure a sign-up process is in place to be able to comply with Test and Protect should this be required.
Promoting Enhanced Hygiene
Clubs/facilities may wish to review how the continue to promote enhanced hygiene measures as participants start to return to squash.
Some ideas include:
- Participants could be encouraged to take a towel on court so that sweat can be wiped away during play. Some clubs may wish to position small storage boxes at the front to store towels but consideration would have to be given into the cleaning of boxes.
- Clubs/facilities should continue to set-up sanitising cleaning stations around their facility. You could consider having these next to or close to courts to make the cleaning of touch points on floors and walls quickly accessible and therefore not too disruptive to play.
- Clubs should consider the costs of enhanced cleaning and hygiene if their risk assessment makes them significant mitigations. If too expensive, clubs could initially time restrict the sessions that could be permitted (for example, restricting the number of days when play can be accessed or the number of sessions on any particular day).
We would like to extend our thanks to all of the Covid-19 Officers working across squash clubs/facilities in Scotland to ensure and promote safety in their local enviornments.
We realise that all questions/queries may not be answered fully in the guidance and FAQ sections. If you wish to discuss any area further relating to your role as a Covid-19 Officer, please contact Garry McKay (Scottish Squash, Chief Operating Officer) directly on 07483 909 720 or email email@example.com
If you have not yet completed the sportscotland Covid-19 Officer E-learning module you may also find this helpful. Full information is available on the sportscotland website.
Make sure that you’ve registered with Scottish Squash as your club/facility Covid-19 Officer. Registration form here.
We are also exploring the possibility of facilitating a Club Covid-19 Officer call in the coming weeks where we can connect and share challenges/best practice.
Covid-19 Symptom Check
We encourage all clubs/facilities to continue to remind their members to carry out a symptom check before leaving home for any reason as a way to protect others.
Remember the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. If you have any of these symptoms, arrange a Covid-19 test to check if you have coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result, even if the symptoms are mild.
Anyone can access rapid lateral flow tests even if you do not have symptoms of Covid-19. We encourage all individuals to complete a rapid lateral flow test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading. Even if you’re vaccinated, there’s still a chance you can pass COVID-19 on, so you should keep getting tested regularly.
Visit NHS Inform if you wish to access rapid lateral flow testing.
I am nervous about returning to squash?
We understand that some participants may be nervous about returning to squash. There are adapted versions of squash which you may wish to try before returning to full squash. Clubs/facilities may wish to share these ideas with their members.
- Consider returning to the court on your own for the first few sessions. You can check out our Solo resource in our Coaching Resources section to give you some ideas.
- You may find other helpful solo/prepare to return sessions on our YouTube Channel.
- All clubs/facilities will have an appointed Covid-19 Officer and any player who may be concerned about returning to squash may wish to contact their Covid-19 Officer to better understand the steps that have been taken to reduce the risk of Covid-19 in the environment.
Can changing and shower facilities be used?
Changing and shower facilities are permitted, however individual clubs/facilities should carry out appropriate risk assessments to determine if they can be used.
We encourage any club/facilities opening changing and shower facilities to read section 3.2 of the ‘Guidance for Squash Clubs, Players, Coaches and Competitions in Scotland’.
In addition, we recommend you follow the guidance included in ‘Getting your facilities fit for sport’.
Further ideas for clubs to consider how they safely re-open these facilities include:
- If showers are to be used then consider how many showers can be used in the shower area (for example, perhaps on allow use of every second shower).
- Clubs/facilities could consider allocating space in changing facilities to specific courts.
- Consider phasing in the return of changing/shower facilities, perhaps allowing it on certain days so that use can be monitored and reviewed before expanding provision.
- Speak with your members to gather their thoughts – they may be happy to continue without using changing/shower facilities. Involving them is key.
How else can I stay safe when returning to squash?
- Consider the number of people you play against. You may wish to create your own ‘squash bubble’ which consists of a small number of people who you regularly play against.
- Encourage and promote individuals to take personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of others by playing and behaving responsibly. Continue to encourage and promote national and local guidance.
- Encourage players to start back slowly especially if you have not played for a period of time. Players should perhaps consider playing for a shorter period of time than they use to for the first few sessions. They may also consider playing on less days than they previously did and then build up slowly. Reduce your risk of injury by getting back to match fitness.