JOINT STATEMENT – GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL – LOCAL NORTH WEST COVID RESTRICTIONS
Update Statement Issued – Wednesday 21st October at 5pm
The following information applies to Grassroots Football at NLS Feeder Leagues (Step 7) and below and applies to all member clubs and leagues affiliated or sanctioned by County FA’s in Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Westmorland, Cumberland and Liverpool.
• From the guidance currently provided adult clubs and individuals (Players, Coaches and Spectators) cannot move in or out of a ‘Very High’, Tier 3 region to participate.
For absolute clarity the above means that travel is NOT permitted from a Tier 3 to another Tier 3 area (For example Greater Manchester to Lancashire and or Vice Versa), or from a Tier 3 to a Tier 2 area and vice versa (such as Liverpool City Region to Cheshire West and Chester.)
• With regards to youth football (Under 18’s) the updated FA guidance of 23rd September with its strict conditions remains in place. At this present time there are no new restrictions on movement of youth teams and players irrespective of which Tier you are in.
We cannot stress enough the critical importance of all involved in the game doing their level best to allow the grassroots game to continue. The key guidance remain as follows:
• Social distancing wherever possible for players, and always in the case of spectators
• Robust hygiene standards as per risk assessments but including the wearing of masks in toilet blocks etc.
• Effective registering of attendees primarily via the NHS Test and Trace QR code system
• All spectators are discouraged from attending adult games
• Strongly recommend minimising spectators at youth games to one adult per child wherever possible
• Provide local adult fixtures within your catchment area, as detailed in the statement above.
There may also be local restrictions per local authority/city region which supersedes any provisions in the FA Guidance, for example, Spectators attending matches.
We know that the additional government restrictions in the North West will cause further disruption to individuals in clubs and leagues. However, we remain able to play football to a significant extent albeit effectively under licence. We are reliant on each and every one of us across the North West complying fully with the current restrictions and we thank you all in advance of that compliance.
The following defines which local authorities are aligned to which regions and which Tier they are in:
Lancashire – All Tier 3
Cheshire – All Tier 2
All Tier 3
All Tier 3
Blackburn with Darwen
Cheshire West & Chester
Carlisle – Tier 1
Allerdale – Tier 1
Eden – Tier 1
Copeland – Tier 1
South Lakeland – Tier 1
Barrow in Furness – Tier 2
National Leagues System
Note for all Clubs at levels Step 3-6 of the National League System
The FA gained clarity from the UK Government on travel into or out of areas with ‘very high’ local COVID alert levels by players in Steps 3-6 of the National League System and Tiers 3-6 of the Women's Football Pyramid and DCMS have confirmed, in collaboration with the FA, that player travel for these fixtures is within the guidelines.
However, we ask that spectators follow the Government guidance and do not travel into or out of ‘Very High’ Tier 3 areas.
This guidance above is based on the current position and we will continue to review in line with any government reviews.
Simon Gerrard Colin Bridgford Mike Watson
CEO – Lancashire FA CEO – Manchester FA CEO – Cheshire FA
Dave Pugh Jo Ashworth Ben Snowdon
CEO – Liverpool FA CEO – Westmorland CEO – Cumberland