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Covid-19 club guidance updated Jan 2022

Archer and target

Late December 2021 and early January 2022, there have been a few changes to Covid regulations across the UK. Archery GB can confirm that archery can still go ahead – indoors and outdoors. However, there are some limits to be aware of.

January 2022 Update

  • England – Archery can continue to take place without restrictions on numbers attending or distancing of targets.
  • Scotland – The updated guidance is to return to Level 0 for indoor archery. Where it reads 2m distancing, this can be updated to 1m in line with guidance from the Scottish Government. For more information visit this page.
  • Wales – From Sat 15 Jan, outdoor events may move to a maximum of 500 attendees. Friday 21 January 2022 – No restriction on attendee numbers at outdoor events Friday 28 January 2022 – Indoor restrictions are lifted. Until then, no more than 30 people can meet indoors, this includes participants, judges, officials and spectators. If there are only juniors shooting then they are not limited and the minimum numbers of necessary adults can attend for the purposes of safeguarding. Full guidance available here.
  • Northern Ireland – Archery can continue to take place indoor and outdoors. There are requirements for risk assessments for events of more than 30 people outdoors and 15 people indoors. For more information visit this page.
  • Guernsey, Jersey & Isle of Man – Archery can take place without restrictions on numbers attending or distancing of targets.

Lateral Flow Tests: We suggest archers take a lateral flow test prior to attending their club. However, we know this may not be possible as test supplies have fallen across the country as demand has risen in recent weeks.

Therefore, we strongly urge all clubs and archers continue to follow the guidance below – which is similar to that which we issued last year:

  • All members, except if medically exempt or under the age of 11, should wear a face covering in indoor places, which are crowded and enclosed, and where they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet.
  • Face coverings can be removed by archers when actively shooting (replaced when collecting arrows or waiting off the shooting line).
  • Clean or sanitise hands and shared equipment regularly.
  • Clubs must consider ventilation for indoor venues – let fresh air in.
  • Clubs are allowed to implement procedures beyond these minimum requirements, and we recommend that their members are consulted on them.
  • Anyone with Covid symptoms should not attend, get tested and self-isolate if required to do so.
  • Clubs should not insist on Covid vaccinations without due regard to the ramifications – see below for more information.

Can we insist club members or beginners are vaccinated? 

It’s not a statutory requirement to have had a Covid-19 vaccine or take a test to participate in sport and physical activity, and this is also not part of Archery GB’s Covid-19 guidance.

Sport England have created a document, specifically on the issues arising from vaccinations and whether providers can stipulate participants must have been vaccinated. You can access this here. In summary while a participant cannot legally be refused entry to a sport based on vaccination status it is acceptable for a club to ask if someone has been vaccinated and implement other safety measures to reduce risk such as mask wearing and ventilation.

Making vaccinations mandatory for participants would be a disproportionate response, particularly where the government has, and Archery GB has, given a general go ahead to participation, and also the nature of the sport of archery, where social distancing can effectively take place unlike other sports.

Club Support

Should you need any support or clarification then contact your Regional Development Officer or email membership@archerygb.org.

Facility Issues

Some clubs are unable to open because they are shooting on an education ground. Whilst we recognise the issues that schools are overcoming, we are aware some clubs have been able to return to shooting. We have created a letter template that clubs may wish to use to gain confidence that archery could return with minimal impact on the schools, its pupils and staff. Click here for more.

Additional Resources

Sport England has been updating and adding to the guidance that they first published last year.

In particular:

Mental Health

Some people may be excited about returning to work, sessions and facilities, however many will be returning to play with poorer mental health due to coronavirus (Mind, 2020).

Mind – a charity who won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect – have developed two handy guides: one to help individuals prepare for participation, and one to equip the sport and physical activity sector with tools and information to support the mental health of staff, volunteers and participants.

Funding

Competition

For further information on Archery GB’s return to competition (updated for 2021) please visit this page.

International travel and domestic competitions

All athletes / staff travelling internationally will be tested before they travel and on return. They will also follow Covid safe protocol including the wearing of masks, regular hand washing and social distancing.

On return to the UK there are different rules for self isolation depending on the home nation they are returning to. Please see the document ‘Elite Archery Guidance’ for more information.

This document also defines what an elite athlete is for the purposes of travel regulations and exemptions.

If an elite athlete has returned from an international competition they will inform the tournament organisers if they are entering a domestic competition during their isolation period. It will be at the organisers’ discretion as to whether they accept the entry.

All tests are recorded and submitted through the government testing scheme.

If international athletes wish to train at their local club, they will speak to club officials to discuss their requirements and look to train at quieter times to minimise any risks to members.

Documents

Part 6 – Supporting Disabled Archers v5.01
Guidance for Delivering Archery Instructor and Coaching Courses
Complying with the Restrictions – Letter from AGB