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Time for a knockabout…

After days of confusion, and more than three months of patient waiting from 23rd March…

Snooker clubs in England have now got the official green light to re-open – provided they are Covid-19 compliant and secure.

If you’re in another part of the UK, the rules maybe slightly different and you may have to wait slightly longer.

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During lockdown, coaches like Nic Barrow have still been on hand to help players with any issues or questions they have with their game by doing live webinars and Facebook Q&As.

The news comes as it was confirmed in Parliament that snooker clubs were always able to open on the 4th July, but the confusion lay around whether they were classed as indoor sports facilities, or social/entertainment  clubs.

In a statement on the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association website, (WPBSA) it was confirmed.

In clarity, Nigel Huddleston MP (Mid Worcestershire), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage at the Department for the DMCS said: “Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Snooker clubs have been allowed to open since 4 July, as long as they can follow the COVID-secure guidelines.”

It comes as PM Boris Johnson announced the further easing of restrictions on the 23rd June which saw the Independence weekend with a big reopening of pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, campsites, and other venues.

However, other sectors such as the arts have not been allowed to reopen – yet.

Confusion now cleared up…

Some snooker clubs had already decided to re-open (without snooker tables in operation), following advice from their local health and safety executives, whereas others were patiently waiting for clarity from the government before re-opening the entirety of their business.

Section 1.3 0f the guidance for which businesses could re-open on the 4th failed to initially include snooker halls, but are now included under entertainment areas in the guidance. 

Clubs will be expected to undergo rigorous cleaning measures and engage in social distancing measures where appropriate.

For three months or more, fans and players have been finding inventive ways of keeping their cue arms going and some have been lucky enough to be able to isolate in their own snooker rooms. Coaches have been on hand helping players through online facilities such as Zoom calls and Facebook Live Q&As.

It must be said a BIG thank you to all the coaches who have been keeping players occupied and motivated during lockdown and providing much needed help in all aspects of the game.

Enjoy your first knockabout on the table ALL.

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By Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web.

He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!

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