Caution & compassion urged in face of rising Covid-19 cases
16th December 2021
The Volleyball Family is urged to support a fresh set of Covid-19 safety recommendations as England gets to grip with a new threat which is not yet fully understood.
Our new guidance builds on our previous ‘Organising Covid-secure volleyball’ document with new advice to take a lateral flow test (and return a negative result) before travelling to a competition or training and to keep numbers in the playing space to a minimum, all to reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19 between participants, especially the most vulnerable.
As a result of the current situation and feedback from members, we are also taking the extraordinary step of temporarily suspending a regulation to allow teams in the National Volleyball League to postpone their upcoming fixtures on the weekend of 18th and 19th December. This decision should be communicated to the opposition team and the assigned referee by 5pm on Friday, 17th December. Team secretaries have been emailed more information from the Competitions Team.
We would also encourage other competition organisers to do the same as an interim measure while more information about the new Covid-19 variant emerges.
Sam Jamieson, Deputy CEO of Volleyball England, said: “With Government rhetoric around Covid-19 changing in recent days, we re-formed our Covid-19 Response Working Group to discuss changes to our guidance.
“The group is represented by figures from across the sport, and the result of the discussions was clear. Safety is our absolute number one priority, so with Covid-19 cases predict to skyrocket in the days ahead we must all do more to protect each other.
“We know many of our players will be travelling home before Christmas, whether that is across the United Kingdom or further afield and, as the Government has said, we must prioritise our social interactions."
We will be keeping a close eye on Government Covid-19 updates over the coming weeks and will release more information in due course.
New additions to our Covid-19 recommendations to ensure volleyball is as safe as possible by reducing the risk of transmission are as follows:
- We strongly recommend there should be no spectators or line judges, and only one scorer at a volleyball match.
- We recommend that all personnel in attendance at volleyball activity who aren’t playing to wear a face covering. This includes coaches, officials, and players when they’re not on court.
- We recommend participants to take a lateral flow test immediately (or as close as possible) before travelling to a competition or training session – and to not travel but isolate if the result is positive.
These are in addition to key mitigations already in place such as maximising the ventilation of a playing space and to cut out congratulatory touches and handshakes. And please remember guidance must be followed in this order of importance: Government, venue, Volleyball England, club.