COVID-19NewsCOVID-19 update – suspension of formal play

4th November 202022
PE PPE

Following an announcement by the Prime Minister on 31st October, the UK Government has indicated that from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December, 2020 the following new restrictions will apply to seek to suppress the coronavirus in England:

  1. People are required to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Gathering with people you do not live with is not permitted, except for specific purposes.
  3. Certain businesses and venues should be closed.

Unfortunately, the Play Safe Guidelines which we negotiated as the official National Governing Body with the Government on behalf of our sport and allowing our members to play in COVID-Secure risk assessed venues will no longer apply during this period.

Specifically, this means:

[1] Pétanque can only be played as informal open air recreation in public places such as parks, beaches, open countryside and public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them). The limitation on this informal recreational activity is that you can only do this with the people you live within your household (regardless of numbers), with your household and your ‘linked household’ (a designated single person in another household which can also include members of that household aged 18 or under on 12th June 2020), or where one individual only meets with one person from another household. Organised events or competitions involving gatherings of people outside of this limitation are not permitted.

[2] Private venues where pétanque is played and operated by clubs, social clubs or other hospitality or leisure businesses should be closed and not used to host the informal open air recreation outlined in [1]. For the avoidance of doubt, privately owned or managed venues are not permitted even to host a game of Singles between two individuals from separate households or play within a household/linked household.

[3] During this period, PE’s insurance cover for our members will only apply to the informal leisure exercise specified in [1].

We hope that we will be able to resume play using our Play Safe Guidelines from 3rd December but this will depend on further announcements from the UK Government. As we have done throughout the COVID-19 epidemic we will keep our members updated as soon as we become aware of changes in guidance and restrictions affecting our sport. You can read more general advice on the new restrictions here from Sports England. Please contact us if you require any further information via the contact form on this website and we will respond as soon as we can.

In the meantime, we wish all of our members the very best in these continuing difficult times. Stay safe, everybody!

22 comments

  • Avatar
    Darren Wayne Mason

    4th November 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Yea makes sense but disappointing all same , but the law is the law

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      4th November 2020 at 11:29 pm

      Hi Darren, there’s a lot of amateur and social sports players not just in our sport who are disappointed about not being able to play and meet with friends. Hopefully we can get back to playing in a month’s time.

      Reply

  • Avatar
    Terry Basson

    4th November 2020 at 9:33 pm

    Well , when many are are doubting about the sense of this lockdown, PE are acting in support of the law . Well done sirs

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      4th November 2020 at 11:02 pm

      Hi Terry, the job of the PE Board is to do our best to provide safe playing conditions and also to inform our members about Government regulations.

      Reply

  • Avatar
    Bryanhodges

    4th November 2020 at 9:48 pm

    Nottingham city petanque club will be following the rules , and the club is closed !!!

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      4th November 2020 at 11:03 pm

      Bryan, hopefully we will all be back soon.

      Reply

  • Avatar
    Geoff Gallifant

    4th November 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Hopefully Bridlington Petanque club are going to follow the current guidelines. There interpretation so far has not been to the Petanque England interpretation.

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      4th November 2020 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Geoff, we give advice but ultimately decisions to respect or not respect Government restrictions are a matter for individuals. You can see the Government Guidance at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november I should add that there are fines for not following regulations which have now been approved through Parliament.

      Reply

  • Avatar
    Rinus Koop

    4th November 2020 at 10:31 pm

    Re: “A designated single person in another household” and “or where one individual only meets with one person from another household”.
    So, in “informal open air recreation in public places” where “one individual only meets with one person from another household” can I “designate” and have a game with someone from another household and have a one-against-one game before I designate a different person from the same or another household and subsequently have a one-against-one game with that person? If so, should there be a time lapse between games?

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      4th November 2020 at 11:23 pm

      Hi Rinus, if you would like to look at the Regulations passed through Parliament, they are here https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf

      In summary:

      There can be no gatherings of more than two people outside except where the members of the gathering are from the same household or linked households.

      Where a household comprises one adult, or one adult and one or more persons who were under the age of 18 on 12th June 2020 (“the first household”), the adult may choose to be linked with one other household (“the second household”).Once the first and second households have ceased to be linked households, neither the first household nor the second household may be linked with any other household.

      There is no specific mention of time limits between consecutive meetings of two individuals from different households. I suppose you might be able to have that interaction with one individual and then have another one later in the day. Where you may well be subject to potential enforcement action is where there are a number of people gathering playing petanque in a pubic space and you start playing a series of games one on one from the gathering. This consecutive potential interaction of individuals in the same place is likely to be viewed as an unauthorised gathering, so I wouldn’t recommend doing that.

      Reply

      • Avatar
        Rinus Koop

        5th November 2020 at 11:30 pm

        Hi Martin. Thank you for that input. Much appreciated. The same goes for Trevor’s subsequent remarks.
        This issue goes back to discussions with my boules friends between the first and the current lockdown. I.e. what was the time limit between playing with six people at a time with a maximum of up to 30 people attending (given the fact that we always had empty lanes in between, we never exceeded 18 players in the three lanes available) at an open air venue (in a risk assessed covid-safe manner), before changing groups for a next game (as we did at times before this latest lockdown)?
        That potential time limit now still seems to be important. Considering “Once the first and second households have ceased to be linked households, neither the first household nor the second household may be linked with any other household” I cannot imagine that if I have a one-against-one game today, that this also means that I cannot have a one-against-one game with anybody else until after 2nd December. Please, correct me if I’m wrong.
        I duly noted your comment “consecutive potential interaction of individuals in the same place is likely to be viewed as an unauthorised gathering”. I sincerely hope that Petanque England might be able to get clarification and the words “is likely to be viewed as” can be changed into “does mean” or “does not mean”. I’d appreciate if you’d keep me posted on that. Thanks . Rinus

        Reply

        • Martin Hughes
          Martin Hughes

          6th November 2020 at 12:37 pm

          Hi Rinus, the rule on linked households is clear. You have to designate those linked households and you cannot end one designation and start a new one with another household.

          In relation to two individuals from different households meeting in a public space to play, we will not get any further clarity on what might be a sufficient time gap to allow for a new social interaction to take place. It is pretty obvious, I think, that if there is a gathering beyond two players in a public space and there is any consecutive interaction beyond two players, then this will not be permitted. Waiting say 15 minutes or even half an hour to try and engineer a new and separate interaction is not going to be convincing, especially if the gathering remains in place. The best way to proceed is to just meet with one other individual and play in a public space.

          Reply

          • Avatar
            Alan Crabtree

            9th November 2020 at 6:46 pm

            Bearing in mind that many Petanque Clubs play on terrains which are laid out in grounds belonging to pubs, and are open for the general public to alk through, has anybody defined what is a “public space” and what is a “private venue”?

          • Martin Hughes
            Martin Hughes

            9th November 2020 at 7:12 pm

            Hi Alan, the regulations say:

            (4) A place is a “public outdoor place” if it is an outdoor place to which the public have, or are
            permitted, access (whether on payment or otherwise) and includes—
            (a) land laid out as a public garden or used for the purpose of recreation by members of the
            public;
            (b) land which is “open country” as defined in section 59(2) of the National Parks and Access
            to the Countryside Act 1949(c), as read with section 16 of the Countryside Act 1968(d);
            (c) land which is “access land” for the purposes of Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of
            Way Act 2000(e) (see section 1(1) of that Act)(f);
            (d) any highway to which the public has access;
            (e) Crown land to which the public has access.

  • Avatar
    Trevor Glenton

    5th November 2020 at 12:24 am

    The “A designated single person in another household” part seems designed to cover support bubbles, where one person (or single-parent family) can link up with another household. I don’t think it’s designed to allow households to mingle, even outside and on a single-person basis, hence the “Once the first and second households have ceased to be linked households, neither the first household nor the second household may be linked with any other household” part. You can split up a support bubble but not then create a second one. That’s just my reading of it though – you’ll need to read and interpret the rules for yourself.

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      5th November 2020 at 12:25 pm

      Trevor, yes, it’s informal play in public spaces only either between two linked households (that cannot be linked with other households) or two single individuals from different households.

      Reply

  • Avatar
    Jim Mitchell

    5th November 2020 at 8:54 am

    Saxons Petanque Club in Cricklade Wiltshire has now shut down all play until December

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      5th November 2020 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks Jim.

      Reply

  • Avatar
    Mari Gravell

    5th November 2020 at 9:01 am

    Another nail in the coffin for petanque—just when we were starting to attract new members as a “safe” outdoor recreation.

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      5th November 2020 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Mari, there are many sports suffering in the same way. Let’s look forward to happier times.

      Reply

  • Avatar
    Peter Butterfied

    5th November 2020 at 11:17 am

    What a shame you have decided to air your views on petanque england as you have not been to our club recently. You are as I am sure you know WRONG we have all the current requirements in place and our club is currently closed.

    Reply

    • Martin Hughes
      Martin Hughes

      5th November 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Thanks for that clarification Peter.

      Reply

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