Covid-19 protocols for our sessions - Albion in the Community

Safe return to play

Last updated 1 October 2020

The UK Government has confirmed that organised sports, which include outdoor grassroots football, can continue as an exemption to its latest planned measures in response to Covid-19.

Albion in the Community has put in place a range of new protocols to ensure the safety of participants, staff and the wider community for all activity sessions in line with Football Association and Government guidance to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Each session will have its own Covid-19 risk assessment and appropriate adaptations depending on the type of activity, venue space, and access points on site.  Broadly the following principles will apply to all Albion in the Community activities, although please bear in mind the differences that may occur between a child or adult-specific session.

Before sessions

  • If you have any of the following symptoms: high temperature, a new or continuous cough or a loss of smell and taste please do not attend the session and notify us.
  • All equipment will be cleaned and sanitised by coaches before sessions.
  • Everyone should wash their hands at home before they leave to attend the session.
  • Please make sure you arrive wearing freshly cleaned kit appropriate for the session.
  • Please bring your own water bottle (with your name on it).
  • There might not be toilets at venues so please go before you arrive.
  • We can’t help with shoelaces so please make sure they are tied correctly before sessions.

Arriving at sessions

  • We encourage you to download the NHS test and trace app and use this to log-in on arrival at sessions using the QR code we will have on display. Use of the NHS Covid-19 app and QR codes is voluntary.
  • To help ensure appropriate social distancing, please make sure that only one adult drops off a child/children for the session.
  • Please arrive at the session as close to the start time as possible and no earlier than five minutes before the start.
  • Please wait until you have been signed-in by the lead coach.
  • On arrival, a member of Albion in the Community staff will take the temperature of all players with a hand-held, non-contact device.
  • When you arrive at the session please use the hand sanitiser by the pitch at the start and the end of sessions (we will provide this).
  • The lead coach will direct you to your own safe area 2m apart where they will be able to put your belongings (water bottle, jacket etc.) before the session starts.

During the sessions

  • Players will be split into groups of maximum 30, all socially-distanced from each other and up to a maximum of four groups. Groups will remain together for an entire session with one coach and will not be able to mix with each other.
  • The pitch will be split into four big areas for players to work in so that social distancing measures are always in place.
  • All sessions will be NO CONTACT, to ensure a two-metre distance is always maintained between coaches and players.
  • After any contact with equipment participants will be asked to sanitise their hands (provided by Albion in the Community).
  • In the event of any injuries during the session a lead ‘floating’ coach will come and treat the player wearing PPE equipment.
  • We advise parents/supporters where possible to avoid staying and watching. If there are specific reasons to stay, two-metre social distancing measures must be adhered to at all times.

End of the sessions

  • Please make sure that only one parent/guardian picks up a child/children from the session.
  • Players will return to their safe area to gather their belongings.
  • Parents/supporters are asked to arrive no earlier than five minutes before the end of the session to collect children.
  • Players will be signed out in their groups to reduce congestion at the end of the session.
  • All children are asked to use the hand sanitiser provided before they leave the session.
  • All children and parents are asked to leave the venue as soon as possible to reduce congestion.

Restarting the game at grassroots levels has been a significant challenge for everyone involved and Albion in the Community acknowledges the hard work, passion and commitment of the football family. However, it is vital that everyone follows both the UK Government’s latest guidance on Covid-19 and respective bespoke guidelines from the Football Association to ensure football can continue in a safe and secure way.

The latest guidance from the Government on Covid-19 can be accessed here.

The latest Covid-19 guidance and FAQ from the Football Association can be viewed here.

ESFA Guidance Document – click here to see it.