Yesterday, the Government announced a number of changes to the COVID-19 regulations, which included reducing the numbers allowed to play team sports indoors to a maximum of six people (excluding U18s and elite athletes) from 24 September.
As a sport that relies heavily on the use of indoor courts, we have formally written to the Government to urgently seek rationale on this new restriction, having so far had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 as a direct result of indoor netball activity.
After gaining extensive medical advice, we developed and implemented modifications to the game to keep the Netball Family safe. After then getting sign off from the Government on these modifications, we were disappointed to hear of these additional restrictions which will massively impact women and girls returning to activity and getting back on court.
Before updating our guidance and the Netball Family, we are first seeking further information and rationale from the Government on this. As part of our letter to the Government today we have urged them to reconsider their current position or asked them to work with us to find an alternative proposal to ensure the safety of the Netball Family whilst continuing to keep indoor facilities unlocked for netball provision.
In the meantime, we would like to thank you all for your continued patience and support. We know the Netball Family have worked extremely hard to return our sport and whilst these are uncertain times, we want to keep all of you safe whilst ensuring we take the best next steps possible for the sport we all love.
We have requested an urgent response from the Government and will provide you with an update in the next 24 hours.
For now, we ask that you continue to follow our stage four guidance (shown here) on outdoor courts only whilst we seek further clarification on the indoor restrictions (U18s are exempt from this rule and can continue netball activity indoors). For any leagues that were due to recommence this weekend on indoor courts, we ask that you reach out to us so we can advise and assist you with your plans.
Thank you from all of us at England Netball.