LEAGUE UPDATE- 18/09/20

1.General DCMS guidance issued to date, clearly state any measures being imposed due to COVID-19, then Venue Operators (which are Member Clubs) should NOT relax on any aspects of match day safety management which are normally in place. Those principles should be maintained throughout.

2.It further recommends that Venue Operators should consider communicating, through all avenues possible, engagement and education of spectators in advance of them returning to watch the playing of sport; what they should expect, and how they should conduct themselves pre event, during the event, and post event. These options are shown hereunder in full detail from the DCMS guidelines published.

3,As stated often to our Clubs, it is impossible to have any policy or protocol in place on the basis of ‘one size fits all’, so we encourage all Member Clubs to examine their own options and employ the best tactics around communicating with spectators (both home and visiting) as you think fit on the various subjects referenced in the guidance offered.

4.To assist Clubs, we have prepared our own National League graphic (attached in both JPEG and PDF form on two slides for each), which you can use on your website or in any other communication stream, if it assists. As further outlined in the detailed DCMS list below, our generic graphic could be included as an attachment to emails or when tickets are purchased or other strategic times during the season. Clubs should be aware that you will no doubt be required to issue more specific instructions to fit the current circumstances prevailing when hosting matches and these could change for a number of factors with regard to the actual fixture being played, aligned to local, regional and national conditions being applied around Covid- 19 by Government, or your Local Authority/SAG.

We hope this memo advice documentation will assist Clubs in advance of spectators gaining access to League fixtures, - which we should all remain positive and proactive about.


Clubs are designated as ‘competition delivery partners’ hereunder in the guidance.


DCMS - Communications Guidance

A spectator communications strategy should be developed to provide clear guidance to assist spectators to plan a safe journey to the competition venue and meet all requirements of the competition delivery partners while at the competition.

Competition delivery partners should recognise that spectator confidence may need to be built over time and that a strategy should be developed to communicate the interventions that have been made by the competition Organiser to mitigate the risk of transmission to spectators.

Any messaging should be communicated before arrival at the competition, for example by email when purchasing tickets, follow up emails and the competition website, app and social media channels.

The spectator communications strategy should consider, but not be limited to, the following:

● A spectator code of behaviour which obliges spectators to confirm, at the point of ticket purchase, that they will comply with the requirements in the code

● Providing spectators with a reminder to ‘opt-in’ to attendance after careful consideration of the associated risks and their own vulnerability status. Further reminders could be provided on the day of competition to ensure spectators have considered any symptoms they may have before travelling to the competition venue

● Providing spectators with information on the restrictions within seating and standing areas in the competition venue. spectators will be seated as individuals or in group bookings, and group bookings can only be made for individuals within the same household or permitted bubble

● Any requirement or recommendation for spectators to wear face coverings when queuing or while inside the competition venue consistent with the latest government guidance. Face coverings can be made at home and spectators should be signposted to the latest government guidance<https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering> on this

● Transport options to and from the competition venue (including walking and cycling routes)

● Advising spectators to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue

● Car/bike parking facilities on arrival at the competition venue

● SD arrangements & sanctions at the competition venue

● The services that will be provided for spectators inside the competition venue and any restrictions to these

● The arrangements for seating areas within the competition venue

● The process to enter and exit the competition venue, including information on dedicated gates, timed entry by appointment, queuing protocols and controlled exit

● Any considerations or restrictions for spectators with accessibility requirements

● Reminding spectators who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow SD guidance

● Hygiene protocols

● Restrictions for individuals who are advised to stay at home under existing government guidance for individuals who have been asked to self-isolate

● Medical facilities and COVID-19 protocols within the competition venue

● Allowed and restricted items, which may differ from previous competition or competition venue protocols

● Advice on public gathering outside of the competition venue (before and after the competition)

● Any wider public health guidance in a spectator’s approach to their whole event day: e.g. in transport choices; in any other business visited such as pubs, restaurants, local shops and consumer services; observation of any wider guidance on the use of face masks which may be appropriate. Competition delivery partners should also consider if there is a requirement to engage spectators in any consultation process before Elite sport - return to competition: safe return of spectators