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Dated 17th May, 2020  - COVID-19 Update: LTA Player Guidelines For Return to Restricted Play

The LTA provided have more detail instruction on what players and venues should do to support the playing of Tennis at clubs.

Please note that anyone playing tennis must:

  • Players should wash their hands at home then sanitise them just before they touch the entry key pad or go onto the Club premises if the gate is open, they should not touch their face on court, they must then sanitise hands immediately after they leave the Club premises.
  • Players must leave the court area at least 5 minutes before the end of their booking so the next users can enter without meeting them.
  • Players must initial their own tennis balls, only use these and only return balls to the next court by using their racquet or feet
  • Players should refrain from changing ends between games and sets.
  • Nets have been set at the correct height and must be left up.

The Clubhouse will need to remain closed in the short term, whilst we put in place the measure necessary for the club to meet the new guidance.

For the full set of LTA player guidelines see the link below. 

Dated 14th May, 2020  - BBC Sports Info - Staying Safe playing Tennis

Link to BBC Sports article - 

...and here's what it says .....

Playing tennis during coronavirus: What are the latest rules on safety?

           By Russell Fuller BBC tennis correspondent

The suspension of the professional tennis tours because of coronavirus has been extended to 7 June

People in England can take unlimited outdoor exercise from Wednesday under the government's latest guidelines on the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis, along with golf and angling, has been cited as a sport that can be played safely, while keeping two metres apart from anyone else.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has published detailed guidelines, based on discussion with government, on what is now permitted. So what can you expect to find open, and how are you advised to stay safe?

What can I do on Wednesday?

Outdoor courts in England will be open for singles, but only for doubles if all four players are members of the same household.

The LTA guidelines say indoor and bubble courts should remain closed, along with all social spaces and gyms.

But on outdoor courts, one-to-one tennis coaching, as well as a game of singles with someone from outside your household, will be permitted.

Players are being advised to initial their tennis balls, so they only pick up and serve with their own set, and the LTA also recommends players do not change ends - or, at the very least, do so at opposite sides of the net.

Can I play anywhere?

Venues have been advised to take time to ensure the are set up to reopen safely, so players in certain places might have to wait a little longer.

And if you are in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you will will have to show even more patience, as all tennis facilities and courts there remain closed.

How to stay safe

Bring your own equipment - the minimum necessary - and only touch your own tennis balls.

Initial those balls, so you know which ones to serve with, and return ones which aren't yours with either your racquet or foot.

Avoid changing ends every couple of games, and bring a full water bottle and some hand sanitiser to the court with you.

Do not try to adjust the net. Venues are being told to ensure they remain at the appropriate height, and to take the net winders away.

What other differences will I notice?

People are being encouraged to use their own tennis balls

You may have nowhere to sit because unnecessary equipment such as benches should be removed.

Doors and court gates may be left open, and session times slightly altered. Venues and clubs have been advised to leave a gap of about 10 minutes between bookings, to avoid unnecessary contact at the changeover.

Can I take lessons?

Yes - individual lessons can restart for both adults and children.

Coaches should position themselves on the other side of the net, limit the use of equipment, and use new or fresh balls for each lesson where possible.

Balls that are stored for 72 hours can then be reused.

Only the coach should touch the balls, but if your serve needs a bit of work, the advice is to bring your own set of balls.

When will I be able to watch tennis on TV again?

The professional circuit is still some way away from a return.

The tours are currently suspended until 12 July, but the tournaments scheduled to take place in the last three weeks of July are likely to be called off by the end of this week.

The US Tennis Association will decide in June whether the US Open can be staged in New York from 31 August.

Before any tournaments can resume, however, the elite will have to train. Sport England is due to explain how and when that can happen over the next 24 hours.

Dated 13th May, 2020  - News Update Part 2

More courts available to book -

The committee has decided to open up all courts for use. 

However, if we get complaints about social distancing then we will revert back to only using courts 2, 3, and 5.

I have put a combination lock, usual code,  on the gate that accesses Court 5 directly. The gate is at the back of Court 5.

This means that the only court not accessible directly is court 1.

I have had to put a normal keyed lock on the gate of court 3, that leads to the field, as we are short of combination locks. The key is on the net. If you use it then please make sure you lock up and put the key back.

More slots available to book -

I have removed all club session court bookings so these are now available for anyone to use.

Net Height Winders -

I have removed all net height winders, as per LTA guidelines. I have made sure all of the nets are at the right height so this should not be an issue.

Have fun, stay safe, and observe social distancing.

Dated 13th May, 2020  - News Update

Membership Renewal -

Renewals were paused in lock down. We now have the courts opened and would love to see renewals. To book courts you must be a paid up member. 

Full Latest Stay Safe Info from the LTA

Follow these links -  

Player advice - 

Venue info -

Based on our discussions with Government and following the adjustment of lockdown restrictions, the LTA has developed a set of practical guidelines to follow so that tennis can be played in England, where the local environment allows and in accordance with social distancing requirements.

These guidelines apply to both tennis and padel, and outline adaptations so that tennis activity can be enjoyed in a way that is in line with Government advice and helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

At all times, players should adhere to the Government’s social distancing guidelines (staying at least 2m away from others), and practice public health advice for hygiene.

This guidance is for England only. All tennis facilities and courts in Scotland and Wales should currently remain closed.

Court booking -

Some people have had issues booking courts. I will look into each issue. Please be patient as I have multiple requests coming to me about a whole range of club questions.

If you are having issues booking courts then the first thing to check is, "have you renewed?". Only members can book courts. We did pause renewing as we were in lock down but now we are out and would like renewals to start.

More courts available to book -

I have requests to open up all the courts. The final  decission is with the committee. we will have an answer by the end of the day.

Please feed back any issues.

N.B. if we do open all of the courts and we find that we have complaints about social distancing issues then we will revert back to the initial plan of 3 courts open only.  

Club Sessions -

These will not be run until government advice changes. Club session slots are always closed off for member bokking individual courts. As we won't be using these for club sessions I will open them up for members to book slots.

Net Height Winders -

LTA have directed that these be removed. I will set the net heights today and remove the handles. I understand that this seems a little crazy but LTA rules are rules.

Dated 12th May, 2020  - Coronavirus (Covid-19) - new update .... Club Open on LTA directive.


Dear Members,

The Government has advised that tennis is one of the 1st sports to be allowed to resume under the new guidelines.

From Wednesday May 13th

SINGLES - allowed between 2 people from different households observing social distancing

SINGLES and DOUBLES – allowed, as long as all players are from the same household.

1 2 1 lessons – allowed, as long as coach and pupil observe social distancing

Book a court - You must book a court before playing. This will stop lots of people arriving at the same time.

Courts Available - The only courts available initially to use will be Court 2 (right bottom court), and Court 3 (top court nearest the club house). This will help enforce social distancing.

I will look into opening Court 5 as soon as we can access it independently, i.e. from the back of court 5.

Take Care, Be Sensible - Please take care when entering the courts as the metal key pads and handles can potentially have the possibility to hold the virus.

Club House - The club house remains closed and off limits for the time being.

Please follow the rules and stay safe.

If you have other questions then please do get in touch.

Dated 23rd March , 2020  - Coronavirus (Covid-19) - new update .... Club Closed on LTA directive.



The following message is the complete email I received from the LTA directing us to close.

**** Start of LTA message ***

The absolute priority of everyone in Britain needs to be protecting the health of the nation, with a requirement to dramatically adjust our behaviour to help slow the spread of the disease, prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, and ultimately save lives. The way everyone can do this is complying with the Government’s guidance and staying at home.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday evening (23 March) all tennis facilities and courts should be closed, and tennis coaching and activity should be put on hold with immediate effect.

The National Tennis Centre is closed, and all activity delivered by the LTA remains suspended for the foreseeable future, including all LTA organised coaching sessions, programmes and training courses.  We have also now extended the cancellation of all LTA staged and LTA approved competitions (grade 1 to 6) up to 31 May 2020.

During these challenging times for our society,  our focus over the coming weeks will be to ensure tennis coaches, venues, volunteers, officials and players are supported in any way they can be, so that tennis in Britain emerges from this period in as strong and healthy position as possible, and the sport is able to resume its role in keeping the nation active.


We are continuing to work with Government to help us achieve this, and establishing what further support can be provided to help all those impacted by this unprecedented situation.

*** End of LTA message ***

Dated 17th March, 2020  - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Guidance for Members

Henley Tennis Club are closely monitoring advice regarding measures we should be taking to keep people safe and to delay the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  Information is being taken from both the LTA and the Government.

 Based on this information, the club has made the following decisions:

•            The Club House is now closed. Therefore, all items in the club house are off limits. This includes the toilet! Please do not enter as we are unable to guarantee it is virus free.

•            Club Sessions will continue until government advice is otherwise. The Government have currently indicated that recreational exercise that takes place at a safe distance from others and in safe exercise environments is something that can continue during this period.

•            We ask that members please bring their own hand gel with them to sessions, as there is no access to the club house.

•            The courts are accessed by push button locks, and handles. These could be carrying the virus. Therefore, take precautions when pressing the buttons and opening the door, and clean your hands having entered the courts with your own cleaning products.

•            I strongly suggest that Team matches be postponed. At this moment in time there is no direct communication for Team matches to be cancelled. However, the LTA yesterday issued an email saying they have suspended all of their competitions. This would indicate they do not think competition play is advisable.

•            If matches do go ahead then handshakes post match are suspended.

•            If matches do go ahead then , then the club house must not be used.

•            If matches do go ahead then , post match food and drinks should not be supplied. Please advise visiting teams.

•            All coaching sessions are suspended until further notice.

In the spirit of providing helpful information and decisions taken by The Henley Tennis Club in relation to Coronavirus Covid-19 kindly take the time to visit the LTA weblink: which offers recent news and very helpful links of information.

We will provide further email updates to members as the situation develops, but please view our website, where we will keep updated with any developments.

Please do feel free to contact me, Col Main, if you have different views or you would like to suggest additional rules, or other information to be supplied to our members.

Please stay safe and help others stay safe too!

If you have other questions then please do get in touch.

Many thanks  Colin Main  Henley Tennis Club Chairman