Following the confirmation by the Prime Minister today (23 November) that England will return to a three-tier system of regional restrictions once the current lockdown period ends at 00:01 on 2 December, the LTA is working with DCMS and Sport England on the full details of what means for tennis.
However, we can confirm that:
- Outdoor tennis will be able to resume across all tiers
- In Tier 2 areas, indoor sport can take place within households as before, but people will also now be able to play certain sports which do not involve close proximity or physical contact against one person from another household, such as a singles tennis match
- In Tier 3 areas, indoor sport (including tennis) as we as exercise classes will be restricted to within your household only. Outdoor sport will be able to continue
- Organised activities for U18s and disabled people will be able to continue indoors across all tiers
The Government will be confirming which areas of the country will be under which tier on Thursday (26 November).
As a naturally socially distant sport that involves participants stood a significant distance away from each other with a net in between, the LTA does not believe that playing tennis contributes to the spread of COVID-19 in any significant way, and so it can play a role in helping to safely maintain the health and wellbeing of the nation under coronavirus restrictions. We thank everyone from the tennis community who has made this case to their local MP in recent weeks – we know this has had an impact in ensure that outdoor tennis is able to resume post-lockdown and that more indoor tennis will now be permitted.
The LTA has remained in discussion with Government over the past few weeks, requesting that outdoor tennis activity should continue to be permitted across all tiers, as per the previous tiered system, and that more indoor adult tennis activity should also be permitted in tiers 2 and 3.
As part of this, the LTA worked with other indoor sports to put forward a joint proposal to Government so that as much indoor sporting activity as it is possible to do safely is permitted across the tiered system, given its essential role in the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the nation.
We are therefore pleased that the Government has listened to the arguments put forward on the socially distant nature of tennis in making its decision to allow singles tennis for adults indoors in Tier 2 areas, and this will help more people enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of being active over the winter.