Return To Play Update
21/12/20: Further government announcements have again made material changes to the playing of Eton Fives. The tiers in which you live and the tier in which the courts you intend to play in, are significant.
Full government guidance is given below.
Before we get to those, I hope you will (re)read the EFA return to play guidelines and we would once again highlight the following principles:
• The health and safety of all players, coaches and organisers is the most important concern and should be kept in mind at all times.
• The EFA considers the playing of Eton Fives to be a low risk activity, but that is not the same as a no risk activity and schools, clubs and individuals should bear this in mind.
• Risk assessments need to be done on a venue by venue basis and guidelines issued to all players, coaches and spectators - this is likely to consist of the attached guidelines plus any additional guidelines specific to each venue.
Tier Four on outdoor courts
Most Eton Fives courts are now in Tier Four.
You cannot travel to courts in a Tier Four area from outside that area.
You cannot leave Tier Four to play in courts outside that area.
Tier Four guidelines allow courts to remain open and Fives to be played, but only "with others within your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household".
Tier 3 remains the same as before.
• people living in a Tier Three area should not travel out of their area to play elsewhere.
• Fives can still be played on courts situated in a Tier Three area, but only by people living in that area and people should not travel into that area from outside it in order to play.
Tiers 1 & 2 remain the same as before.
Fives can be played following the EFA return to play guidelines.
Finally, I hope you will allow me to voice some personal thoughts.
I write the following in a full acceptance of the principle that each player is entitled to make their own choices as to when, where and with whom, to play the game as long as they comply with the laws of the land.
As Chair of the EFA one of my roles is to encourage as many people to play Eton Fives as frequently as possible. A separate and sometimes conflicting role, is to ensure that everyone who plays the game is as safe as they reasonably can be, whilst doing so.
At this time when:
• Reportedly, roughly one third of Covid carriers are asymptomatic
• We have no understanding of the reason why the new Covid variant is reported to be 70% more transmissible than the original strain,
my own personal advice to you would be to think very carefully before playing fives at all. I would hate to hear of a time when a significant Covid transmission has occurred through Fives.
I would urge patience in your (totally understandable) desires to return to court until lower infection rates, greater understanding of the reasons for transmission and of course the vaccine, are the norm.