The PE Board has been following Government advice closely on the current epidemic.
It is clear from yesterday’s Government press conference that the country has moved to a new stage of response and that the expectation is that we will be experiencing continued growth in infections which may well necessitate further measures of social distancing.
We cannot be entirely sure when more restrictive measures might be implemented, but the progression of infections in neighbouring European countries suggests a common growth curve and our country seems to be on an earlier part of that curve. Our sister federation in France (FFPJP) has today suspended all its activities at national, regional and local level.
In the circumstances, the PE Board has decided to suspend all national competitions and events effective from 14th March 2020 until further notice.
A decision had already been made earlier this week to postpone National Youth Academy activities planned for the 14th and 28th March as well as our Umpire Assessment this coming weekend. We realise that the suspension could impact on travel or accommodation arrangements our members may have already in place but unfortunately we feel that it is simply not advisable or justifiable to bring together players from different parts of our country together at this time. We take our duty of care seriously and feel that in the circumstances a precautionary approach is important.
PE’s affiliated Regions, Leagues and Clubs have their own autonomous decision-making structures, but we feel we should advise them that we believe that they should also implement a similar suspension of playing activities.
This is obviously a difficult and frustrating time for everybody that plays our sport or is involved in coaching, umpiring and organisation. We hope that the situation with the virus will improve before too long and will update as soon as we can.