News & events Coronavirus (Covid-19) Archived Information and Guidance All archived information and guidance from Boccia England is available to view below. Back to Boccia - Boccia England Statement 15th September Boccia England has now published guidelines for the return to boccia training. It is important to note that these guidelines do not include a return to match play and competitions at this stage. The safety and wellbeing of the boccia community remains our top priority and these guidelines are our first step to a return to our sport. The guidelines have been produced in line with government guidance and has received approval from our insurers. While social gatherings of more than six people have been banned in England since 14th September, the government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can take place. People can continue to use leisure facilities, but people should not go to these venues socially in groups of more than six. That is because these sports and activities have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19, and because these venues are classed as Covid-19 secure given the measures they have introduced. Whilst we are pleased that there is the guidance in place to now to support a return to our sport, the choice to return to boccia needs to be made locally by clubs, considering their own circumstances. It is important to stress that no individual should be made to feel under any pressure to return until they feel comfortable to do so. With advice likely to evolve as restrictions change, we will monitor and update our guidance to ensure it is in line with the what the government is advising. Please stay up to date through our website and social media channels. Download the Back to Boccia guidelines and a list of FAQs to help answer questions you may have. The FAQs will continue to be added to over the coming weeks. Our Back to Boccia support web area is where you will find other information to support your return. Thank you for your support and patience as we have put this guidance together and as we continue to monitor the situation and consider the next stages. Preparing for a safe return As restrictions start to lift and indoor facilities start to reopen, Boccia England is working to prepare guidelines to support the safe and gradual return of boccia. For now, there is no change to our current position in England, with boccia activity outside the home, on hold. Please download the infographic on our current position below. Click here to download a PDF version. The safety of the boccia community continues to be our priority. We know that when boccia activity restrictions are gradually lifted, the timing of that safe return to the sport will be different for many people as the effects of coronavirus will be felt for a considerable time. It will be important that you do not feel pressure to return until you feel safe to do so. In the meantime, please continue to engage with us through our social media activity, the Rainbow Cup (link), and our volunteer quizzes. There is also support and advice available from Mind and the NHS to support your wellbeing that may be useful during this time: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/ https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/ Thank you for your support and understanding as we work to get people enjoying boccia safely in the future. The next steps will be communicated on our website so please keep up to date with the latest information at https://www.bocciaengland.org.uk/Listing/Category/coronavirus-covid-19 Boccia England position as of 29th June 2020 Following these latest guidelines and the ongoing restrictions that impact our players and volunteers, there will no boccia until further notice. The safe return to our sport is very much dependant on a number of key factors where we must ensure that we are able to provide a safe environment for our players and volunteers. Advice to Individuals The most important thing to remember is that you need to stay a safe distance away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble) when outside your home. It is also important that you ensure you wash your hands using soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. If possible, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues and dispose of them in the nearest waste bin after use. If you have no tissues to hand, you should cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow. Wash your hands with soap and water afterwards. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/ Shielding The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding considering that COVID-19 disease levels have decreased over the last few weeks. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19 There are a series of steps for relaxing shielding guidance to be introduced from 6 July, and from 1 August the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, the government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble. In practice, this means that from 1 August: People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish if they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time. If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review. Carers & Assistants For those of you who work with carers and/or assistants, there may already be guidelines in place for your carer to work safely in your home. For those who work with unpaid carers, the Government has provided the following guidance which may be useful. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-providing-unpaid-care/guidance-for-those-who-provide-unpaid-care-to-friends-or-family Carers should be using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings where possible, and guidance on this has been provided by Public Health England. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882069/Putting_on_PPE_home_carer.pdf Coronavirus Update 24th June 2020 Latest Government Update On 23 June 2020, the Prime Minister announced further easements of the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions as part of Step Three of the government’s plan to return life to as near normal as we can. However indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues remain closed in law until further notice. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/opening-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england-from-4-july-2020 Guidance on club/group activities due to Coronavirus COVID-19 UK Government advice: Based upon the current scientific advice from the Government’s medical experts, the recommendation is to carry out social distancing measures to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). We recommend all clubs to heed this advice and suspend activity until further notice. Boccia England position as of 11th May 2020 On 10 May, the government confirmed changes to what's allowed in relation to sport and physical activity as part of the next phase of its response to the Covid-19 outbreak which means that some sports activities were able to restart from Wednesday 13 May. We understand that this guidance relates to outdoor sports only that can safely operate under the guidelines, including with relevant social distancing. As far as boccia is concerned, it is important to remind everyone in the boccia community that Boccia England’s position remains the same in that all our current club activities, competitions and courses remain suspended until further notice. This also includes any activities taking place through any of our affiliated clubs or by our members. Our guidance is available at https://www.bocciaengland.org.uk/coronavirus. Any changes to the guidance will also be published at this location. We appreciate that this situation has been difficult for our members and clubs and we continue to stress the importance of continuing to respect the conditions that have been set out to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our members is paramount. We will continue to plan for our return to boccia through the provision of clear guidelines to our members, and our clubs so there is a clear understanding in what conditions need to be in place before we can return. To assist with planning for a return to our sport, we will establish a working group to look at setting out any guidance that may be required so that operational decisions can be made. This work will focus on providing guidance on a safe and enjoyable return to boccia. Boccia England position as of 18th March 2020 In light of the rapidly changing situation involving Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the expectation that stricter measures could/will be introduced in the coming weeks, Boccia England has made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the 2019/20 Competition season and to suspend boccia activity across the country at all levels of the game at this time. This means we have suspended competitions, courses, events, programmes and training sessions for the time being until further notice. We have also made arrangements for all our staff to be able to work from home and during this transition we ask for your patience in terms of responding to enquiries. We will continue to be fully operational with arrangements in place to deal with telephone enquires as well as post. It is important to stress that the health and safety of our members is our main priority and to avoid the spread of Coronavirus we will be continuing to follow the government’s advice, which is to move away from mass gatherings and for the public to avoid any unnecessary contact where possible over the coming weeks. We also strongly encourage those with underlying health conditions to continue to follow the guidance in terms of social isolation to minimise the risk of becoming ill. We will shortly be publishing a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document which should answer any queries you may have. However, please email [email protected] if you have any other queries relating to the Coronavirus and Boccia England. Given the positive impact, boccia has on many people’s lives and the importance of keeping active at this time, we will be considering different approaches to encourage people to be active through boccia using digital and virtual resources over the coming days and weeks. Please keep following the government and public health advice here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public and we look forward to welcoming you to Boccia England competitions next season.