Tier 4: Frequently Asked Questions on How The Restrictions Affect Hockey

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See below answers to the most frequently asked questions to help keep our hockey family up to date with the latest goings on surrounding the Return to Play, Covid-19 and any government updates. This update focuses on the new Local Restriction Tier 4 announced by government.

Q: When do the Tier 4 restrictions come into effect?
A: The new Tier 4: Stay at Home restrictions are an addition to the already existing Local Restriction Tiers 1-3 and were effective from 20 December.

Q: How are areas defined under the new Local Restriction Tiers?
A: The list of areas which fall under each Local Restriction Tier can be found on the Government website here. Areas are defined by each bullet point. To find out which area you are in, use the Government postcode lookup tool here.
 
Q: How do the new Local Restriction Tiers affect hockey?

A: Hockey is still permitted in all parts of the country but with greater restrictions at the higher Tiers. In Tier 4 only one-to-one or household / support bubble activity is permitted for adults. Adults should adhere to Step 1 of our Return to Play Roadmap in Tier 4 Areas.

There is an exemption for Junior (under 18s) activity and disability sport that means activity can continue for these groups. Any activity should be done as locally as possible.

Junior activity and disability sport should be delivered in line with Step 4 of our Return to Play Roadmap. In Tier 4 areas leagues and competitions should not take place and any matches should only be between very local teams (the same town or clubs that use the same venue).

Q: Can we still travel to play hockey as a result of the new Tier 4 restrictions?
A: Yes. However, there are some restrictions in place. Do not travel into or out of a Tier 4 area.

Keep all travel to a minimum and as local as possible. Government have defined local as "if you need to travel you should stay local - meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live - and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall"

You should only travel within your household group or support bubble and follow the government safer travel guidance here.

Q: Are there any exemptions for deliverers of hockey?
A: Travel for work is allowed for paid individuals. We are seeking clarity on whether volunteers and coaches have an exemption to deliver activity that is also exempt e.g. under 18 activity or disability sport. We will update as soon as possible.

Q: Can under 18s teams play each other in Tier 4?
A: Yes. The exemption for junior (under 18s) activity means that matches can still be played. However, England Hockey recommend that matches do not take place unless both teams agree, and the match can only be held between very local teams following the guidance around travel restrictions.
 
Q: What will happen to league activity for teams based in a Tier 4 area?
A: England Hockey are working with regional and local league administrators to recommend that no league activity takes place until mid-February at the earliest. England Hockey will continue to show leadership in this area and will review the situation in the line with future Government reviews of the restrictions and guidance. As the situation is different around the country league provision will vary according to what is allowed in each area.

Q: Can EH Championships fixtures be played?
A: Adult and Masters Championships are not permitted in Tier 4. We recommend no Junior Championships matches are played at this stage. Junior Championships fixtures are set to resume in late January. England Hockey will communicate with all participants following future reviews by Government and an assessment of the situation and impact on competitions by the EH Competitions Department.

Q: How does Tier 4 impact our clubhouses & hospitality?
A: Clubhouses and hospitality venues must close in Tier 4, with the exception of providing food and drink for; takeaway, click & collect, or delivery.  We are seeking clarification of the impact this has on changing rooms. As household mixing is not allowed in Tier 4, players should expect to come for hockey activity only.
 
Q: Are spectators still permitted in Tier 4?
A: Spectators are permitted but must adhere to legal gathering limits and follow social distancing guidelines. In Tier 4 this means you should only spectate alongside others from your household / support bubble or one other individual whilst socially distanced.

Q: Can we play indoor hockey in Tier 4?
A: No. Indoor sports facilities must close, meaning that indoor hockey is not permitted in Tier 4 areas.