Outdoor hockey in England can return when national lockdown measures are lifted next month following Boris Johnson’s statement on Monday.
Hockey and other grassroots sports will be able to restart from December 2, with the first weekend of potential league fixtures set for three days later. You can head to betting markets on the elite international level of hockey and sports around the world with bookies at notgamstop.com.
Some leagues across England have already proposed a fixtures restart for December 5, with many questioning the measures given the timeframe of being able to train again after four weeks of lockdown.
From next week, outdoor sporting activities along with both leisure centres and gyms will be allowed to reopen although Parliament is set to vote on plans with government expected to announce on Thursday which areas fall into which tier. There will be some restrictions on highest-risk activity in tier three areas.
“I can confirm the national restrictions will end on December 2. People can leave their home, subject to the rule of six,” Johnson told the House of Commons.
“Wedding services, outdoor sports can resume. Leisure can resume. Sports will be able to resume inside in tier one and two with measures on social distancing.”
Grassroots hockey has been banned since November 5 under the current Covid restrictions.
On the news that restrictions would be lifted, Ali Oliver, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “It will now be important to ensure community clubs have the clear guidance and targeted support they need to get youth sport back up and running as quickly and safely as possible.
“Community clubs are vital to young people fully experiencing and enjoying the life-enriching benefits of sport. This is why we are supporting calls from the sport sector for a recovery fund to protect grassroots sport, ensuring they can afford to re-open and play their part in the young people’s recovery.”
Meanwhile shadow sports minister Alison McGovern said that plans must be implemented for grassroots sport should there be another national lockdown in early New Year.
McGovern told the Evening Standard: “We are all hoping that both a vaccine and improvements in mass testing enable activity to take place.
“But if it doesn’t, what is the plan B for sport? What happens in spring and what happens in summer? Sport needs a contingency plan and it feels, right now, there’s no contingency.”