Under the Government’s plan to exit coronavirus restrictions, it was envisaged that all restrictions in England would be lifted on 21st June, meaning that adults could return to full contact training from that date. (Currently adults could train indoors, with no contact other than people from their family group. At the moment, we have chosen to work just with under 18s who are allowed full contact).
Each stage of the lifting of restrictions is dependent on:
- the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- UK Government assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
You will be aware of course that a new variant has emerged, which appears to be even more transmissible than the variant that drove huge hospital admissions over the winter months. The latest evidence is that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations continue to offer good protection against the latest variant, but that there is a rise in infection showing amongst the younger age groups who may not have received the vaccination as yet. This will be driven in part by the relaxing of restrictions, as well as the new variant.
So, will adults be able to return to training towards the end of June?
For a definitive answer, we will need to wait for an announcement, probably in week commencing 14th June; but we are cautiously optimistic.
We envisage however that registering attendance via the Club’s QR code and submitting a Covid declaration will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future. It is possible that regional restrictions or increased testing may be applied to manage local outbreaks – we understand extra testing capacity has been created in north Hampshire recently, linked to the latest variant. (Portsmouth City Council yesterday sounded the alarm about an increase in local cases, although it is still a long way short of the figures seen earlier in the year).
In the meantime, please continue to practise Hands – Face – Space