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COVID-19 - Return to Play

Notice - 10 March 2022

Further to recent announcements we are now in the government’s Living with Covid-19 phase of their response to the coronavirus pandemic. The latest changes mean an end to almost all legal restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic and now place greater responsibility on individuals for decision making. The main changes are set out at the bottom of this update. In light of the changes England Hockey guidance now falls into line with the Living with Covid plan.

We recognise that different participants in the sport will have different attitudes and perceptions of the risks over the coming weeks and months. As we have throughout the pandemic we recommend that all in the Hockey Family consider others in the decisions they make and respect personal decisions on whether to take part or not.

EH will still ask that clubs have a Covid Officer so we can maintain communication in the case of any future changes to guidance. This will exist into next season.

Thank you again for all helping to ensure hockey has been, and continues to be, played as safely as possible.

If you have any questions, please email

The main changes in the Living with Covid-19 plan:

a. Removal of the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. After 5 days, they may choose to take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) followed by another the next day - if both are negative, and they do not have a temperature, they can safely return to their normal routine. Those who test positive should avoid contact with anyone in an at risk group, including if they live in the same household. There will be specific guidance for staff in particularly vulnerable services, such as adult social care, healthcare, and prisons and places of detention.

b. No longer ask fully vaccinated close contacts and those under the age of 18 to test daily for 7 days, and remove the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate. Guidance will set out the precautions that those who live in the same household as someone who has COVID-19, or who have stayed overnight in the same household, are advised to take to reduce risk to other people. Other contacts of people with COVID-19 will be advised to take extra care in following general guidance for the public on safer behaviours.

c. End routine contact tracing. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests.

Therefore, all forms of activity can now take place with no coronavirus-related restrictions on how many people can participate, and all sports facilities can open.

Notice -  6 October 2021

The only real change since England Hockey's last contact is around self-isolation rules. For people who are fully vaccinated or under 18, there is no longer a requirement to isolate when coming into ‘close contact’ with someone who tests positive - a PCR is recommended and they only need to self isolate if they become symptomatic and test positive themselves. This guidance has been updated in the latest version of our Covid Case Flowchart on England Hockey's website and includes other exemptions for not isolating when coming into ‘close contact’ with a positive case.

Notice - 27 July 2021

It was confirmed by Government that from 19 July, in England, most of the legal restrictions relating to Covid-19 would end. As a result of this England Hockey has now released new guidance, Managing Covid within Hockey, that conforms with Step 4 of the Government roadmap out of lockdown and is applicable to all hockey activity from 19 July. 

The easing of restrictions has seen an end to previous legal gathering limits and the requirement for social distancing. This confirms that there are no longer any limits on the number of people that can participate in, and spectate, hockey, both indoors and outdoors.  It also removes the limitations on changing rooms, clubhouses, hospitality and domestic travel. 

Although a lot of the previous measures put in place to keep us safe are no longer required by law, England Hockey would like to see a continuation of much of the good practice that clubs and the community have implemented over the past year to help everyone keep returning with confidence. The Government are also emphasising the need for caution as we continue to ease out of lockdown. 

Still required by England Hockey 

  • England Hockey still require all clubs and organisations to have a registered Covid Officer 

No longer required by England Hockey 

  • Participants needing to sign a participation agreement 

England Hockey recommended good practice - guidance here - the main headlines as follows: 

  • Attendance registers (however, they no longer need to be submitted to England Hockey) 
  • Covid specific risk assessments 
  • Following the Planning Safe Hockey guide 

Government guidance - guidance here - the main headlines as follows: 

  • Self-assessment for Covid-19 symptoms before participating 
  • Informed decisions and self-isolation 
  • NHS Test and Trace 

England Hockey would like to thank everyone from Covid Officers to volunteers and from coaches to players and officials, for the part they have played in responding to the pandemic so far. They ask that everyone continues to take on personal and collective responsibility to apply the guidance, be respectful of others, stay safe and most of all, enjoy being back on the pitch!

Notice - 17 June 2021

The Government have confirmed that there will be a four week pause at Step 3 of their roadmap out of lockdown, in England. It was thought that further easing of the current set of restrictions may be possible from 21 June. However, it is now not likely that a move to Step 4 of the Government roadmap will happen before 19 July.

England Hockey have continued to work with Sport England and DCMS throughout and can confirm that no changes will be made to EH's hockey specific Return to Play guidance. The guidance that everyone has been following since their last update will remain in place for the coming weeks.

England Hockey has also had it confirmed that there is no need for any change to the sport guidance in places where the ‘Delta’ variant is spreading fastest. As has been EH's approach throughout this pandemic, no one is obligated to play. The choice on whether to participate is that of individuals and teams. 

EH request that as custodians of their sport, we all continue to remain compliant in following the guidance as issued and available. They do not anticipate any further changes to their guidance before 19 July and will continue to communicate any updates via their channels.

Notice - 14 May 2021

Following the announcement that the UK will move to Step 3 of the Government Roadmap from 17 May, England Hockey can confirm that further changes will be permitted to our sport-specific guidance from Monday 17 May.

As a result of the latest changes, EH can announce tat from Monday 17 May they will be moving to Step 5 of their Return to Play Roadmap - Step 5; Full competitve match play, leagues and competitions resume.  

Below are a summary of the changes that are relevant to SJB Academy:

Indoor hockey can also return for adult participants.  Indoor sport is exempt from social distancing and gathering limits, but like the outdoor version, only dduring play.  Also, so long as indoor facility capacity restrictions are followed (100sq.ft per person).  

Chaninging rooms, although allowed to open, should be avaoided or use kept to a minimum where possible.  Players are still advised to arrive changed and shower at home.

Spectators are now permitted in all outdoor and indoor settings regardles of whether the facility is on public or private land.  Social distancing rules and social gathering limits for each setting must be followed at all times - discrete groups of 30 outdoors and groups of six or two households indoors.  

EH ask that everyone keeps following the lates guidance available so that hockey can continue to be played in a safe and responsible environmnet for all involved.

EH do not anticipate any further changes to the guidance until Step 4 of the Governments roadmap, no earlier than 21 June.

Notice - 27 March 2021

Hockey can return from 29 March straight to the ‘Play - Step 4’ phase of the England Hockey original Covid-19 roadmap.

The full Guidance from England Hockey 'Getting Back on the Pitch - Step 4 & 5' can be downloaded here

Please refer to the Notice - 3 December 2020 for the procedures that SJB Academy will be following.

England Hockey have updated the below documents:

The Advice for Participants has been updated (March 2021).  Please download this to help underand your responsiblity as a participant.

Advice for Coaches has also been updated (March 20201).  If you are a coach please download this document to understand your responsibilities.

Nnominated COVID Officer: Steve Batchelor, email:  tel: 0773 607 3025

All participants MUST sign a 'Participation Agreement' prior to engaging in hockey related activity.  Please click on the England Hockey 'Advice for Participants' to do this.  This will be required before any players can commence their first session back to SJB Academy.

SJB Academy has also updated its:

 'Getting Back on the Pitch - Step 4' document.

SJB Covid Risk Assesment March 2021

Notice - 18 March 2021

England Hockey is working to consider the full implications of the new easing of the lockdown restrictions and the government's guidance.  Currently there is little information and we are hoping that this will be released week commencing 22 March 2021.

The thought is that England Hockey will return to play using the Step 4 protocols.

Step 4 Previously:

Details can be found below under the section titled "COVID-19 (EH Getting back to Hockey)"

Notice - 30 December 2020

England Hockey is working to consider the full implications of the new Tier 4 restrictions in parts of the country.

Tier 4 is effectively a ‘stay at home’ requirement with only certain activities allowed. Most notably travel is significantly restricted as set out in the government guidance that states: ‘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.'

At 8pm on the evening of Saturday 19 December, the full detailed government regulations have not been published, therefore the key points for us to communicate for hockey at this time are as follows:

Adult hockey is not permitted in Tier 4 areas

Both under 18 and disability hockey are permitted, however:

  • Travel must be kept to being as local as reasonably possible.
  • Travel in or out of Tier 4 to play sport is not currently explicitly referenced in the government guidance as being permitted, therefore at this stage it is not recommended by England Hockey.
  • The restrictions in Tier 4 are such that we do not recommend fixtures taking place between clubs. The only scenario in which fixtures could take place is if the clubs and all participants are extremely local; ie within the village, town or part of a city where you live.

Travel for work is allowed for paid coaches

Whilst there is an exemption for juniors to play, England Hockey recognises that the volunteers and coaches that make hockey happen have to feel comfortable continuing to provide activity. England Hockey fully supports clubs making decisions on a case-by-case basis about whether to continue in the short term.

Notice - 3 December 2020

In line with EH we are following Step 5 of Return to Play Guidance

We remain hugely grateful for your continued efforts adhering to the changing guidance and we are trying to help you negotiate the changes. Enjoy being back on a pitch when you can and stay safe! 

EH Covid Tier Document 031220

In order to allow for safe participation in hockey related activity under the jurisdiction of England Hockey (EH), EH has made a commitment to DCMS that each club or organisation must only return to sport when they are ready and have the appropriate measures in place to be compliant with both the guidance developed by England Hockey and the Government guidance.

Below are some of the requirements that SJB Academy need to do:

1.  Appoint a nominated COVID Officer.  This is Steve Batchelor, email:  tel: 0773 607 3025

2.  Ensure all participants sign a 'Participation Agreement' prior to engaging in hockey related activity.  Please click on the 'EH Advice for Participants' to do this.  This will be required before any players can commence their first session back to SJB Academy.

COVID-19 (EH Getting back to Hockey)

EH Advice for Participants 

Below are some other documents that have been put in place due to COVID.  These can also be found on the Policies & Guidelines tab under 'More Information'.

EH Covid RA Check List Step 4

Getting Back to the Pitch Step 4 SJB Policy.pdf

SJB Covid RA (Dec 2020).pdf

3.  Record all names of attendees at hockey related activity along with which sessions they attended and where.  These Attendance Registers will be retained for a period of 21 days in line with Government guidance.  Both these Attendance Registers and Participation Agreement are to be provided to EH.  SJB Academy will also notify EH in the event of any outbreaks of COVID-19.



  • Sign a Player Agreement (Only the 1st time you play)
  • Bring Hand Sanitiser
  • Wear your playing kit
  • Self-assess your Covid symptoms


  • Follow the Government Travel Advice
  • Check inwith your Orgnaiser for Track & Trace purposes
  • Socially distance at 2m in groups of 6 max


  • Respect your opposition, coaches and umpires
  • Take penalty corners and free-hits around the D promptly
  • Only touch the ball with your stick/GK equipment
  • Use your own PPE or disinfect before use
  • Socially distance when play stops
  • No handshakes with other players or close contact during goal celebrations
  • Avoid shouting excessively and spitting
  • Avoid running exercise that involve overly repetitive close contact


  • Clean your kit or leave for 72hrs
  • If you display any symptoms after playing contact the SJB Academy Covid Officer immediately: Steve Batchelor  0773 607 3025

Note:  The bold sections are particularly relevant to the SJB Academy sessions, as we do not offer matches.

PLEASE NOTE that guidance may change at short notice and resitrictions may be reintroduced.  To stay up to date with England Hockey Return to Play guidelines visit  To stay up to date with government social distancing guidelines visit

SJB Academy are following the EH guidance. We remain hugely grateful for your continued efforts interpreting the changing guidance and helping you negotiate the changes. Enjoy being back on a pitch when you can and stay safe! 

EH Covid Tier Document 031220