Other than in Great Britain, national associations appear to be following the lead of the ITF and ATP in cancelling their tournament programmes until 27 April after the governing bodies last week announced a six-week suspension of the pro events due to the coronavirus outbreak, but here the LTA is taking its advice from the British government and tennis activities in the country continue as normal for the time being.
The LTA is in communication with the Government and other relevant organisations regarding the Coronavirus, and has been advised there is presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would. This applies to tennis, and so tennis activities in Britain can continue as normal. LTA Statement
“Currently there is no reason not to continue to play your tennis as normal,” the LTA says.
“Sport England advise ‘given that being fit and healthy acts as a deterrent to most infections, it’s crucial that members of the public continue to lead active lives throughout this period, whether that’s using a local gym or walking or cycling, where it’s possible to do so’.
“The LTA is in communication with the Government and other relevant organisations regarding the Coronavirus, and has been advised there is presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would.
“This applies to tennis, and so tennis activities in Britain can continue as normal.”
Points to note
• Stay at home if you have Coronavirus symptoms
• If you are self-isolating, cancel your matches
• While it is not necessary unsafe to play tennis with a cough and cold, don’t play matches if you are showing symptoms, including a persistent cough or a fever, that mean you might be carrying the virus.
• Take heed of current advice on hand washing and other measures to prevent the likelihood of transmitting or catching the virus. We suggest forgoing the tennis-handshake and washing your hands before and after a match.
• If you have an underlying medical condition that may make you more vulnerable to the virus, take medical advice.
Elsewhere, USTA Chairman/President Patrick J. Galbraith and CEO/Executive Director Michael Dowse said in a statement “Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the USTA has decided to suspend all USTA-sanctioned events through April 20.
“We reached this decision in order to ensure the health and safety of all, knowing that at this unprecedented time, we have a responsibility not only to those who play, follow, and love our sport, but also to their respective communities in every corner of the U.S.
“We understand that—particularly right now—nothing is more important than that.
“We realise that this a difficult time for all, but it also must be a time when we raise our respective games in terms of utilising common sense and adhering to those protocols outlined by our public health officials.
“This is a fluid, ever-evolving situation that presents new challenges every day, and all of us at the USTA are committed to continually monitoring and staying on top of this ever-evolving situation so that we can make the most informed decisions possible in regard to safeguarding our staff, volunteers, and everyone with a passion for the great sport of tennis.
“Certainly, this is a challenge. But it is one that we will meet and get through together. We will get back on court, but first, we will need to be smart; we will need to be safe; and we will need to be strong. Without doubt, we can do all of those things.”
Tennis Australia released a statement saying: “Tennis Australia is taking every precaution to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all our staff, officials, players, volunteers and fans during this time of uncertainty.
“Overnight the WTA, ATP and ITF postponed all current tournaments until 20 April.
“In Australia this has led to the cancellation of the ITF international event currently underway in Geelong and the postponement of upcoming tournaments in Canberra and Mornington.
“Further updates will be provided as the situation unfolds.”
In Britain, however, the strategy is different and the LTA states on its website: “The LTA is in communication with the Government and other relevant organisations regarding the coronavirus, and has been advised there is presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would.
“This applies to tennis, and so tennis activities in Britain can continue as normal. Should that position change or further advice and guidance be provided then this page will be updated.
“As with any other illness, all those involved in tennis in Britain are encouraged to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and avoid catching it by following Public Health England and NHS guidance.
“Information on how to do this is provided on the NHS.UK website, with additional information available on the Public Health England blog.
“For organisations offering community and leisure services, the Government has advised that hand hygiene should be strongly promoted and encouraged, and equipment and facilities should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down as usual following use.
“Materials including posters for Public Health England’s campaign to help stop the spread of viruses can be downloaded from their resources website.
“Anyone who has been advised to self-isolate or stay at home based on the advice on the NHS.UK website should clearly not therefore take part in tennis activities for the duration of the specified period.”