Starting the day with good news: Snooker Clubs in England can reopen after all …

This was published this morning

WPBSA / EPSB Statement on the Re-Opening of UK Snooker Clubs

  • 7th July 2020

Following our previous statements with regards to the re-opening of UK snooker clubs we can now provide a further update following developments today (Monday 6th July).

In recent weeks, working with the independent All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Snooker we have sought urgent clarity from the UK government through its Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on behalf of snooker clubs as to when they would be able to re-open. This followed the announcements made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 23 June concerning the ease of lockdown restrictions coming into effect from the 4th July.

It has been confirmed by Nigel Huddleston MP (Mid Worcestershire), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage at the Department for the DMCS that:

“Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Snooker clubs have been allowed to open since 4 July, as long as they can follow the COVID-secure guidelines.”

We can also confirm that the government guidance titled: ‘Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do after 4 July’ has today been updated and at section 1.3 it is clearly specified that ‘snooker halls’ are now permitted to reopen and are expected to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

There has understandably been confusion among snooker clubs during the past few days following conflicting advice received from both national and local authorities. We understand that in some cases enforcement action has been taken by local authorities to close some clubs over the past weekend and that some clubs have been advised that they could open, but not use their snooker facilities.

The WPBSA and EPSB are both therefore delighted to receive this clarity from Mr Huddleston and that our clubs will now be able to reopen ahead of other sports.

We would remind all clubs, however, that they can only do so if they are able to strictly follow the COVID-19 Secure guidelines issued. Clubs must also be aware that their local Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may exercise their powers to close clubs if they cannot demonstrate that these guidelines are being strictly followed.

If any 147 Club wishes to discuss their COVID-19 strategy, we recommend that they contact WPBSA Club and Facilities Manager Bob Hill who can provide further support.

Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said: “I would like to thank all those clubs who have worked so hard on their processes and procedures. In particular we recognise those who have contributed to the EPSB 147 Club policies which have been instrumental in seeing snooker clubs re-open ahead of many other indoor sports.”

Please note that as stated within the latest guidance:

This is national guidance that applies to England only – if you live in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local lockdown measures have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local lockdown restrictions page to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.

People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

So that’s great news. TBH, it made no sense to allow pubs to reopen, knowing plain well that drunk people will never abide to social distancing, and not allowing a game of snooker.