Covid Rules of Play 12 October 2020

These guidance notes have been produced incorporating LTA Club guidance appropriate to Marlborough Tennis  - 12 October 2020­.



  1. Government information around social distancing is available here and should be read in full
  2. Be aware guidance can change and restrictions may be reintroduced - ensure you have checked the latest version of the LTA’s guidelines for tennis players on the LTA website


  1. Before leaving home to play tennis, all participants should undergo a self- assessment symptom check for any COVID-19 symptoms using the information on the NHS website
  2. If you are symptomatic or living in a household with someone else who has a possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection you should remain at home and not go out to play tennis, following NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation
  3. If you are required to self-isolate for any other reason then you should also not exercise outside your own home or garden and should not exercise with others. This includes if you have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you are a close contact of a known COVID-19 case, or if you have returned from a travel destination not included on the Government’s travel corridor list. In all of these instances, you should not leave your home to play tennis
  4. If you are in a clinically vulnerable group (e.g. over 70) you can play tennis but should be especially careful and diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene
  5. If you are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable, from 6 July you can consider playing tennis, always maintaining social distancing and with robust hand and respiratory hygiene. Further guidance is available here, which will be updated further from 1 August as the Government pauses shielding


  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home to go to the court (use an alcohol gel if washing hands is not possible)
  2. Arrive at the venue changed and ready to play, and shower at home – even when the changing facilities are opened use of these should be avoided where possible
  3. If you have special needs, you may wish to speak to the venue or activity organiser in advance to ensure your needs are accommodated and appropriate facilities are open


  1. Ensure you have booked a court in advance and make payment online
  2. The LTA’s online booking platform has courts that can be booked in over 300 parks and clubs nationwide - the site
  3. [NEW]  Please note that to support NHS Test and Trace, venues and coaches need to take additional details from you when booking. Please scan the NHS Track and Trace QR code on entry to the courts/clubhouse or register in the attendance book in the pavilion.


  1. Take hand sanitizer with you
  2. Use your own equipment where possible. Equipment such as rackets can be shared, but where this happens ensure thorough cleaning before and after use. Players should not share items such as towels.
  3. Only take the minimum amount of equipment with you that you need to play
  4. Clean and wipe down your equipment, including racquets and water bottles before and after use
  5. Bring a full water bottle, and do not share food or drink with others
  6. Ensure you take all your belongings with you at the end of the session and do not leave anything on court


  1. You can help control COVID-19 and travel safely by walking and cycling, if you can. Where this is not possible, use drive or use public transport - safer travel guidance is provided on the Government website
  2. Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be there
  3. Use alcohol gel after touching any court gates, fences, benches, etc, and avoid doing so where possible
  4. Allow others to leave before you enter the court - if you need to wait then do so away from the courts and clear of the gates
  5. Ensure you leave the court before the end of your allotted time so that it is empty for the next players
  6. Avoid congregating on or around the court after playing to allow access for others


  1. Be aware that onsite toilet facilities are open but players are advised to take particular care when using them and clean hands thoroughly after use
  2. [NEW] No more than four people should take shelter in the pavilion, and please wear a mask – instructions are posted on the entrance




  1. Both singles play and doubles play is permitted with people from outside of your household, as long as you remain 2 metres apart as far as possible – meaning that four people from different households can play doubles
  2. Restrictions on group numbers vary depending on if the activity is informal social play or organised group activity


  1. For informal social play, group size is limited to a maximum of six people by law. This means you can play tennis providing you only meet up with no more than 5 other people from different households and observe social distancing guidelines
  2. People should not go to a tennis venue socially in groups of more than six


  1. Organised activity for larger groups, including coached sessions, club nights and competitions is permitted by the Government as an exception to the limit of six, and so can continue, provided that venues, coaching providers and event organisers follow LTA COVID-19 secure guidelines
  2. [NEW] Organised group activity is defined as being activity organised by a national governing body, club, registered instructor/coach, business or charity, where in all cases the MT organiser must conduct a risk assessment and take all reasonable steps to limit transmission of the coronavirus by reference to that risk assessment and all relevant COVID-19 Secure guidance. Further details are provided on the Government website
  3. For children, organised coach sessions should be limited to groups of no more than 15 children (plus coach(es), in line with guidance from the Department of Education on out of school settings
  4. [NEW] When participating in any tennis activity outdoors, participants must not mingle in groups of more than six before and after the activity, while maintaining social distancing with those from another household at all times. If an organiser is not able to ensure this (including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising) then such events should not take place. Attendees must avoid social interaction with anyone outside the group they are with, even if they see other people they know, at all times during their visit.


  1. LTA approved competitions (Grade 2 to 6), team competitions and recreational competition can be played as long as they adhere to the LTA’s Return to Competition guidance, in line with the Government’s guidance on organising outdoor sport and physical activity participation events.


Other than where players are from the same household or part of a support bubble, follow Government advice on staying alert and safe, and:

  1. Stay at least two metres away from others they do not live with or are in a support bubble (including during play as far as possible, when taking breaks and before and after play)
  2. Do not make physical contact with other players (such as shaking hands or high five)
  3. Avoid chasing the ball down to another court if other players are using it
  4. For doubles, consider agreeing in advance which player will take the shot if a ball travels to the centre of the court
  5. Players are advised to limit their interactions with anyone outside of the group they are attending the venue with (e.g. players on another court or in a different coaching group)
  6. For coached sessions, pay careful attention to the instructions of the coach
  7. Where you cannot maintain a two metre distance then further precautions should be put in place as part of ‘one metre plus mitigations’ guidance (see the Government’s advice on ‘Staying safe outside your home’ for more info)


  1. Hand hygiene is imperative - hand sanitise at intervals if you have to touch communal surfaces
  2. If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve
  3. Avoid touching your face


  1. If players wish to, they can choose to use their own marked tennis balls
  2. If you choose to use shared balls then extra care must be taken to ensure you do not touch your face during play, and you should clean your hands before play and immediately after finishing (use alcohol gel if required)
  3. Players should still avoid using their hands to pick up tennis balls from other courts where possible - use your racquet/foot to return them as those players may have decided to use their own marked tennis balls
  4. Avoid using other equipment such as courtside benches, net handles or court sweepers where possible


  1. Where attendance of a parent/guardian (non-participant) is required, or a carer for a disabled player, it is permitted and is not counted as part of the maximum group size, but should be off court and limited to one per player where possible
  2. Supporters, parents, and other spectators should remain socially distanced whilst attending events. Spectator groups must be restricted to discrete six person gathering limits & spread out in line with wider government guidance