Since 17 May 2021 the Club has been open for play, subject to some less stringent conditions than those formerly in place. HM Government has announced that all mandatory restrictions will be removed with effect from 19 July 2021. These rules contain some continuing restrictions designed to protect everyone from infection; to comply with the advice and guidelines issued by HM Government and others and to enable the Club to make an orderly and cautious transition to the “new normal”, when that seems appropriate, in the exercise of our combined “personal responsibility”.
We must all have regard to the fact that the pandemic is not yet over; that the connection between viral infection and hospitalisation and/or death has been beneficially altered by vaccination but has not, as some have claimed, been fully severed.
The Committee recognises that research has shown that the spread of the Covid 19 virus is most likely to occur when people are gathered, and breathing, together in confined, indoor spaces. It is unlikely to be spread in the open air and also much less likely than was previously thought (though not impossible) that the virus will be transmitted via a hard or fabric surface that has not been recently sanitised.
The following rules have been made accordingly.
Use of the premises generally
All members will be eligible to visit and play provided that they have paid the annual subscription of £110.
Members must continue to use the on-line booking system to book a court. It will not be necessary to book for the “roll up” GC sessions. These will continue, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Those who attend these sessions must (preferably through only one of their number) inform the Secretary by email (email@example.com), so that she may keep a record for “track and trace” purposes.
All play will continue to be at members’ and guests’ own risk.
Guests and spectators will be allowed provided that they observe these rules and guidelines at all times.
Members who entertain guests must pay the required guest fee into the Club bank account directly and must not leave cash, cheques or other instruments in the clubhouse.
Members or guests who are feeling unwell, including experiencing symptoms of a viral infection, in particular with the current Delta variant of headache, runny nose,
sore throat, or the already known symptoms of a persistent cough, high-temperature or loss of sense of smell, must not attend the club.
A selection of club mallets will continue to be made available for use by members who do not have their own. Members who appropriated a club mallet and took it home on loan, in accordance with the previous rules, have been notified that they should return it to the clubhouse on or before 20 July 2021.
Use of the clubhouse
Members should be respectful of others’ personal space at all times.
No more than two persons may enter the clubhouse at any one time, save as is set out below.
Any member or guest entering the clubhouse for any reason must wear a face covering (a mask, scarf, bandana or similar, covering their mouth and nose) whilst in the confined area.
The clubroom and kitchen will be accessible but, save as is set out below, only as the means of access to the croquet storage area. Repair, cleaning and re-organisation of the clubroom and kitchen will be undertaken shortly but, until then, members and their guests should not use the area, save as set out in these rules.
All necessary equipment, including hoops, balls, pegs, clips, bisques and corner markers will, with effect from 19 July 2021, be removed from the corridor just inside the first door and will be restored to the croquet equipment storage area. The folding chairs will also be kept there and elsewhere as appropriate.
When members wish to make use of the stored equipment, a maximum of two people should enter the clubhouse; pass through the clubroom; open and latch the outer door to the storage area and take or hand out the required equipment. When members complete their use of the equipment, the reverse of that process should be undertaken.
Good hand hygiene is a barrier to Covid transmission. Sanitising gel will be available for personal use as individually required and before food preparation or eating. Disinfectant spray will be available for general cleaning of catering/eating surfaces and toilets/basins. Disposable gloves will only be available for routine cleansing of toilet rooms.
The cleaning of hoops, balls, pegs, clips and corner markers, mallets and folding chairs will no longer be required.
The clubhouse must not, for the time being, be used for shelter as a matter of normal course. Members and their guests must continue to bring their own umbrellas, parasols or other protective equipment of their choice and store them in the open air when not in use. In the event of adverse weather or other intolerable conditions, members and guests may, exceptionally, use the clubhouse for shelter. It is envisaged that this exception will apply, for example, when a Club team (of 3 or 4 players) is entertaining another, opposing team (also of 3 or 4 players), so that the Club may avoid the charge of being unnecessarily inhospitable. However, it will also apply whenever there are only a few members and guests on the site. Adverse weather conditions (and/or other, potentially relevant conditions, such as swarms of insects) are not specifically defined in these rules. It is expected that members and their guests will remain in the open air unless they reasonably, and unanimously, conclude that the balance of risk would favour this limited, exceptional use of the indoor facilities.
If balls are required to be cleaned, this must not be undertaken using the disinfectant spray or hand sanitising gel (since there is evidence from the USA and Australia that the use of some sanitising fluids changes the colours of the balls, which would be inconvenient).
Use of the toilet facilities
Toilet facilities will be available but must be used by only one person at a time.
As already indicated, disposable gloves and disinfectant spray will be available for routine toilet (and basin) cleansing.
The plastic bins with plastic liners must be used for the disposal of all used paper towels. The last person using the courts on each day will be responsible for removing all full, or nearly full, plastic bin liners and disposing of them appropriately.
Use of the cloakrooms
The cloakrooms may be used for access to the toilet facilities and for the storage of cloaks; other clothing, over or under garments, bags or other accoutrements. However, members and their guests should, if possible, attend the Club wearing the clothes in which they intend to play and should not change clothing or shoes in the cloakrooms or elsewhere within the clubhouse.
Use of the courts
There will no longer be any limit on the number of players using a court and the courts may be divided to facilitate wider use of them, when that becomes necessary or appropriate. “Triple banking” is not recommended but it will no longer be forbidden. During “double-banked” games, when waiting for the other game to clear a hoop, the players should vacate the lawn temporarily and return when the hoop is clear.
Members should secure the gate with the padlock during play to prevent casual, uninvited visitors entering the playing area and the pavilion.
Members and their guests should not make close physical contact with each other and should respect others’ personal space, unless they are from the same household or bubble.
Croquet equipment on the courts, can be used without special handling restrictions.
Corner flags will be available for use.