On the 23rd June…
It was announced some parts of the leisure and tourism sectors could reopen from next month – months after the dramatic UK wide lockdown on 23rd March 2020.
PM Boris Johnson announced that pubs, social clubs, and other facilities could reopen from Saturday July 4th (US Independence Day) provided they were Covid-19 compliant and secure.
What now for snooker clubs?
However, snooker clubs were left dangling with owners not knowing exactly if they could reopen or not on the specified date and the WPBSA had to seek clarification on the status of snooker clubs and whether they came under the banner of social clubs, or indoor sports facilities.
Some were already putting strict cleaning measures in place for the re-opening.
No clear clarification has yet come from ministers…
However, in a further statement from the WPBSA, it seems there are still fuzzy messages coming from the government regarding whether snooker can be played again in social clubs following the date of July 4th.
The statement reads: “Having carefully studied the wording of the announcements made by the UK government earlier this week, it is clear that social clubs, including licensed premises, are able to re-open from 4th July 2020.
“However, what is not clear is whether the snooker facilities in these clubs can be used or not from this date. We are therefore continuing to seek urgent clarity on this point as we understand that clubs are reliant upon activity on the snooker tables in order to be sustainable.
Seek clarification from your local Health and Safety Executive, urge WPBSA…
The WPBSA are urging individual clubs to seek clarity from their local health and safety authorities who will be able to assess the risk and they then say it is up to individual clubs to decide if they open based on the guidance they have.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “It is therefore extremely disappointing that we have not received clarity from the government to be able to advise clubs in England and the UK to be able to open safely at this stage.”
He added: “Every snooker club provides a vital community social hub and a place to engage in non-contact activity. We therefore would urge each individual club to seek local authority guidance prior to re-opening and in the meantime, we will continue to push for further information from the government to provide certainty during this time.”
So, the message is still unclear from top-down – for now. But it now lies in the hands of the clubs.
Seek clarification locally and then decide. It’s up to you.