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Northamptonshire’s sports governing bodies asked to prohibit festivals, multi team events and tournaments

Published: Thursday, 30 July 2020

Increasing rates of COVID-19 across areas of Northamptonshire have prompted health officials to prohibit sports tournaments and multi team events from taking place for the next fortnight.

Given that several areas within the county are experiencing increasing rates of COVID-19 infection, Public Health, Northamptonshire are recommending all sport competitions that include more than 2 teams should not be permitted at the current time, this includes festivals, small sided competitions or multi-team tournaments.

Tournaments and festivals tend to bring many people together from a range of different geographical areas, with up to ten or twelve families mixing together as parents in particular support their sons and daughters.

The increase in infections in Northampton borough has been most prevalent in those in their 20s and 30s, this is the same demographic that would be attending such events, therefore, it is a priority to reduce the risk of transmission and manage sporting events accordingly.

This age group demographic are known to be particularly social, which may account to some extent, for the increased transmission rates in Northampton. This group are also likely to have older parents or even grandparents who may be more vulnerable and less able to fight the virus should they contract COVID-19.

The current guidelines will be reviewed on Wednesday 12 August 2020.

Compliance will be monitored and if there are breaches of this guidance, local enforcement powers granted to County Councils under the new COVID-19 legislation may be implemented.

Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health in Northamptonshire said: “The county is experiencing increasing rates of infection, particularly across Northampton, Corby and Kettering. We must all act to reduce the transmission of the virus and we have taken this decision to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings.

“We are taking extra precautions in Northampton currently, to avoid local lockdown scenario. Allowing large events to take place where social distancing and regular hand hygiene may be difficult to achieve would potentially undo all of the hard work that has taken place over the last week.

“I would like to thank the governing bodies, leagues and clubs for their support in implementing and following this guidance. Governing bodies are providing some excellent guidance on how to remain COVID secure throughout the process of returning to activity, and I would urge you to follow this guidance thoroughly.”

 

If you are concerned that you might have COVID-19 or you have symptoms, however mild, get tested and self-isolate. It is essential that the public follow the guidance and that everyone acts responsibly in reducing the risk of transmission and protecting those in our communities who are most vulnerable.”

Tests can be booked online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.