This morning we posted about a possible exemption for children’s classes which appeared to give way to the possibility of under 18’s activities continuing during lockdown. We urged caution as to whether or not this would be applicable to us because, as we all know only too well, there have been rays of hope dashed in the past with COVID Guidance.
More so than the guidance we are aware that clubs have already spent considerable sums switching to online teaching and making changes to their clubs to make room for a month’s lockdown. These adjustments don’t happen overnight and are rarely without cost.
We posted to share the latest bill and guidance to make sure our clubs remain ahead of developments, but we’re going to throw cold-water over the speculation until something concrete emerges as we have been absolutely inundated with confused clubs. We urge you to do the same as the initial posts have suggested – apply caution and don’t assume anything until it is in black and white. Our initial concerns were, and remain, that children’s activities are often associated with essential childcare. The draft-legislation does specifically name venues such as gyms, sports halls and leisure centres for exemption but without something specific and concrete to confirm martial arts (or other indoor sports) qualify as service providers under this exemption, it’s too shaky to ‘lean on’.
We will continue to monitor this closely over the next couple of days to see if anything emerges from this. As always, please don’t expect ‘silver-bullets’ and do not assume that there will be an immediate answer to re-open during lockdown. For now, our guidance remains to continue planning for remote teaching and assume you will NOT be able to teach under the exemption. As always – hope for the best, plan for the worst.
We are calling on the Government to provide some clarity, desperately. The sports sector hangs in the balance with another crippling shutdown looming. By all means, speak with your local authorities regarding this guidance but we are weary to give false hope, or to mislead clubs into a false sense of security. This is yet another example of why the sport and recreation sector – and in particular martial arts – requires specific mention in DCMS updates.
Please keep a close eye on our social media over the coming days for further updates.