Today, Wednesday the 13th of March, sees the first tentative steps back from the lockdown which has prevented players from enjoying their sport.
We are pleased that the adjustment of lockdown restrictions mean that people can get back on court and enjoy playing tennis again, Scott Lloyd
Whilst there is some way to go with regard to the professional side of the sport making its long-awaited return, the amateur game has been released from the grip of the coronavirus regulations brought into effect last March.
However, some restrictions will apply as the government continues to monitor the situation as the Covid-19 pandemic is still plaguing the world.
Clubs can now open their courts but not their clubhouses which means players will not have access to showers let alone changing rooms or toilet facilities.
They must keep two metres apart at all times and must not shake hands before or after the match as tennis etiquette requires.
Tennis balls must be marked and players must use their own balls and not touch their opponent’s balls.
In addition the LTA has issued, in its guidelines for the renewal of the sport, that only singles can be played for the next few weeks as they await future Government announcements with regard to more easing of restrictions expected by the beginning of next month.
In addition to the LTA guidelines mentioned, all players are expected to carry their own hand sanitizers and are asked not to share any equipment such as rackets, grips, hats or towels.
Players should arrive ready to play, and can be from two different ‘households’ with regard to singles. Doubles will be allowed provided all four players are from the same ‘household’.
Players must stay at the same end of the court throughout their match to avoid physical contact. However, if they can switch ends by using opposite sides of the net, then it is permitted.
Finally avoid picking up your opponent’s marked balls. Use your racket or kick them to your opponent’s side of the court.
Coaching activities remain on hold.
Meanwhile, all tennis facilities and courts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland remain closed.
“We are pleased that the adjustment of lockdown restrictions mean that people can get back on court and enjoy playing tennis again,” Scott Lloyd, LTA chief executive, said.
“Even if you’ve never played or just haven’t played in a while, now is a great time to find a court and get some exercise by playing tennis.”
The full guidelines are available on the LTA’s website (LTA.org.UK).