COVID-19 Guidance

Club Guidance for a return to football during COVID-19

(issued 24th September 2020)

The following guidance, which is in line with FA guidance, must be followed for all training sessions and matches, in addition to anything highlighted as being relevant to a particular team in its risk assessment – failure to comply with this could put players, coaches, parents/carers at risk, risk our ability to continue to train or play matches and could invalidate our insurance:

  1. All coaches must keep up to date with Government and FA guidance and ensure this is followed at all times;
  2. This document must be circulated to parents of all registered players, it will also be uploaded to;
  3. Everyone should self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms before every training session or match. If you are symptomatic or living in a household with possible or actual COVID-19 infection you must not participate or attend – this includes players, coaches, parents, carers, spectators and match officials; at the time of writing potential indicators are:

a. A high temperature (above 37.8oC);

b. A new continuous cough;

c. Loss of or change in normal sense of taste or smell;

4. Competitive training is limited to groups of a maximum of 30 people, including coaches;

5. During competitive matches, social distancing should be maintained as much as possible before, during and after the match, including any breaks in play – this includes:

a. no handshakes;

b. teams warming up in opposite halves of the pitch;

c. as much as possible warm-ups should also maintain social distance within the same team;

d. as far as possible team talks before, during and after should be kept to a minimum and maintain social distancing

e. coaches/subs for each team should socially distance;

f. parents/carers/spectators should also be reminded to social distance, remain in distinct groups of up to 6 people and remain behind the respect barrier at all times;

g. Where possible the respect barrier should be set at least 5m back from the touchline (this will not be possible on some pitches, e.g. some at Moss Farm, but best efforts should be made);

h. Once the warm up starts players should not cross the respect barriers, even to see their parents/carers until the game and any warm down/team talk is complete, this includes to get drinks, which they should have with them (and be labelled) – it is appreciated that this will not always be possible especially with younger age groups but best efforts should be made

6. In terms of training, similar guidance should be followed and parents/carers should be encouraged not to stay – this will not always be possible for younger age groups and if a team has a good number of parents/carers staying for the session they should consider putting up a respect barrier, but otherwise parents/carers should be reminded to keep their distance and a team should follow the guidance set out in point 5f and 5h above.

7. Players, officials and coaches should sanitise hands before and after a game/training session as well as at any scheduled breaks throughout a game or training session;

8. Ball handling should be kept to a minimum with most contact via a boot and the ball disinfected in breaks of play/training (e.g. at half time);

9. Coaches are encouraged to limit persistent close proximity of participants during match play and training as much as is practical;

10. Goal celebrations should be avoided where this brings players into close proximity;

11. Equipment should not be shared with other teams and as much as possible by participants (e.g. bibs should not be used), and goalkeepers should ensure they disinfect their gloves regularly in breaks in training or matches and thoroughly afterwards. Where possible, coaches only should handle equipment (e.g. cones) in training;

12. Any changing facilities are not to be used and players, coaches and officials should arrive changed and ready to go;

13. Indoor facilities are not to be used;

14. Participants should follow best practice for travel including minimising use of public transport and walking or cycling if possible. People from a household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle, but beyond that lifts should not be shared – this need emphasising to parents/carers, but we are not expecting coaches to police beyond regular reminders, especially if they observe ‘issues”;

15. Each team needs to ensure that the following is complied with to assist with Track and Trace:

a. All teams must generate the QR code for both training and home matches and display this in a prominent position

b. Parents/spectators and any player 16 or over should download the NHS COVID-19 app and activate this. They should use this to scan the QR code at every training session and game – for games the opposition (including spectators) and the referee also need to scan in

c. For players <16 managers will need to maintain a record of attendance at training and games (this could simply be the MRF) and retain for 21 days

d. When playing games away (even if a home fixture which has been reversed) the QR code is the responsibility of the opposition who have booked the facility. If the QR code is not displayed, managers should flag to the opposition so that they can raise with their club, but it should not stop the game going ahead – managers should simply record DJFC attendees by whatever method they think appropriate (other app, notes in phone, on a piece of paper).  If a QR code is displayed there is no need to duplicate, other than recording players <16

e. If a parent is just dropping off/picking up there is no need to scan the QR code unless either of these activities involves watching the session or coming onto the facility for any period of time

f. Managers are not at this stage being asked to police the use of the QR code, but they should be making every effort to reinforce/remind people on the day and in advance

g. If anyone required to check in using the QR code cannot do so due to them not having a smart phone or their smart phone not being compatible with the app they need to inform the manager who should record their attendance separately and retain for 21 days

15. Only (club) DBS checked coaches should be involved in any training sessions or match days in any capacity – this guidance has not changed and has always been in place;

17. Only players who have been registered on WGS by the club and who have signed a consent form should be allowed to participate in any training, match day or any other team/club activities – this guidance has not changed and has always been in place.

18. If a coach or player has a positive test for COVID-19 the following applies:

a. In all instances we must all follow the instructions of Track and Trace; these trump anything in this section

b. If there is a player or coach who tests positive, they must from that point self-isolate (or if they have symptoms, from the moment of symptoms) and NHS Test and Trace will pick up from this point. The player (or their parents) or coach should contact NHS 111

c. The team can carry on, being mindful to ensure these guidelines are strictly followed. If Test and Trace contact them, they must provide the details requested follow the instructions detailed including any need to isolate.  Please contact the club immediately so we are fully aware

d. Match play and training following these guidelines is not considered ‘close contact’

e. As long as a player or coach who had a positive test is no longer symptomatic and has fully recovered then it would be fine for them to play or coach, without a negative test, as long as they have finished the specified quarantine period

f. If all coaches are tested positive or asked to isolate at the same time the team must cease all activities until point 18e is met to safeguard the wellbeing of all players

g. The club and age-group league rep should be kept up to date at all times