Following the recent Government and FA announcement with regards to the return of football, in addition to the already released guidance, the Staffordshire FA wish to clarify the current issue of travel within and between Tier 3 areas.
The combined area of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent is in Tier 3 and covers all Local Authority areas including Cannock & Rugeley, East Staffordshire, Lichfield & Burntwood, Newcastle under Lyme, Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands, South Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent and Tamworth.
Government regulations state that there should be no travel outside of or between different Tier 3 combined authority areas. Therefore, clubs and individuals can travel and play within their own combined authority Tier 3 area where they reside, but they cannot travel to another Tier 3 combined authority area to play football.
As per the updated guidance, adult clubs and individuals (Players, Coaches and Spectators) cannot move in or out of a ‘Very High’, Tier 3 areas to participate.
For absolute clarity the above means that travel is NOT permitted from a Tier 3 area to another Tier 3 area. For example: Travel cannot happen between Cannock to Walsall and vice versa, or from a Tier 3 to a Tier 2 area and vice versa, such as South Staffordshire to Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
Players and essential club staff at steps 3-6 of the NLS, tiers 3-6 of the Women’s Football Pyramid, the Barclays FA WSL Academy and Regional Talent Clubs can travel into and out of tier 3 areas.
With regards to youth football (Under 18s) and all disability football. At this present time there are no new restrictions on movement/travel of youth teams, players, coaches and or volunteers (including parents) irrespective of which Tier you are in.
Match Officials are exempt and are free to travel within the tiers.
This will clearly have implication for some clubs and individuals who play/reside across the different Tier 3 areas and you should ensure you fully understand and comply with the travel restrictions for your own circumstances.
We cannot stress enough the critical importance of all involved in the game doing their level best to allow the grassroots game to continue. We continue to emphasise the guidance in place and as follows:
- Continue to Social distancing wherever possible for players, and always in the case of spectators
- Robust hygiene standards as per risk assessments but including the wearing of masks in toilet blocks etc.
- Effective registering of attendees primarily via the NHS Test and Trace QR code system
- All spectators are discouraged from attending adult games
- Strongly recommend at all youth games a maximum of one accompanying adult per child, wherever possible
- Provide local adult fixtures within catchment areas, as detailed in the statement above.
Please be aware that there may also be local restrictions per each local authority area which supersedes any provisions in the FA guidance, which can be viewed by clicking here.