Durham CFA, Northumberland FA and our 7 partner local authorities put in place necessary restrictions to ensure that football can continue at local level and meets local and national guidelines.

It has been agreed by all parties that the current restrictions we have in place will remain for a further two weeks providing there are no additional restrictions put in place by Government.

As an area we are currently in TIER 2 and hope that the actions the football family are taking will help to ensure we do not move to TIER 3 as that may well have an impact in playing opportunities.

It is essential we all work together and keep our members and communities safe.

The number of Covid-19 infections are strongly linked to social gatherings therefore we must ensure we all follow Government guidance and local restrictions involving travel, social distance, washing of hands and face coverings especially in hospitality areas and although it is recommended that spectators do not attend games we have acted to address this position, while keeping participants actively playing football on the pitch wherever we can.

It is imperative that you do not attend or participate if you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19, are awaiting a test result or are part of a household which is self-isolating. Please remember to consider Government messaging regarding ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ Whenever possible.

The following restrictions are in place and will be further reviewed on Tuesday 3rd November 2020 these apply to all football affiliated with Durham County FA and Northumberland FA. These restrictions are above and beyond central FA guidance on the Return to Football which must be adhered to; https://www.thefa.com/news/2020/jul/17/grassroots-guidance-for-competitive-football-restart-in-england-170720

At all levels of football the NHS QR code or similar must be displayed and all in attendance must scan on entry or provide contact details – register here - https://www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster

Adult football:
Men’s National League System Steps 3 – 6 & Women’s Football Pyramid Steps 3-6
• Reduction of spectators – numbers do not exceed 15% of the minimum ground grading capacity – Stage 1
• All spectators should wear face coverings at all times as stated inline with government advice.
• Club houses/bars – It is strongly advised that these remain closed one hour before kick-off and remain closed until one hour after the final whistle. When open clubs must comply with all Government and Local Authority regulations including social distancing and table service requirements. Government guidance states that food and drink can be served outside in an open space if the clubs licence permits.
• Changing facilities may remain closed where the facility owner deems this to be necessary.
• All training must take place without spectators

All Adult Football Outside of the National League System
• If a team plays at step 7 and the ground is enclosed and a charge for admission is made a maximum of 40 spectators can attend All spectators should wear face coverings at all times as stated in line with government advice.
• No spectators at training or matches with the exception of the above.
• Changing facilities may remain closed where the facility owner deems this to be necessary. (bad weather approaching)

Youth & Disability Football
• 1 parent/carer per Player at matches/training - these are not classed as spectators but are in attendance to supervise their child from a safeguarding/welfare perspective
• Face coverings should be worn at all times by those in attendance unless a playing participant.
• No other spectators are permitted
• Changing rooms closed and only accessible for toilets or for, safeguarding or welfare issues

Other formats of the game
• No friendly, charity matches or Tournaments at any level will be sanctioned
• No trials should take place
• Outdoor small sided, walking football and recreational football to be played without spectators in attendance.
• indoor sport for people with disabilities, can continue in any number as long as undertaken in line with published COVID-secure guidance.
• Organised indoor team sport should only take place in groups of up to 6 people.
• All supervised activities for under-18s groups can take place (provided relevant guidance is followed and risk assessments carried out).
Any club or participant found to be non- compliant will be charged under The FA regulations and may have their matches suspended and / or use of facilities withdrawn until such time as they can ensure compliance with all guidance and requirements.

Northumberland FA’s Chief Executive, Andrew Rose-Cook, said: “We all know that the situation regarding Covid remains serious here in the North East. We really want to keep people playing football, in particular as it has huge benefits for mental health and wellbeing. But it’s vital that everyone follows the restrictions we have put in place and we will be taking action against clubs who do not follow the rules, as they are putting the whole game at risk.”
Durham County FA’s Chief Executive, John Topping, added: “Over the past couple of weeks many people have provided comments on the restrictions some positive and some not. We all have to understand that if we do not put in place some restrictions and try our best together to reduce the spread of this virus, football and more importantly the way we live may well come to a halt. These restrictions are for the benefit of all and we have to look at them that way and do not take a selfish approach”

You should follow local authority advice from your area regarding further guidance, this includes guidance on use of public transport and car sharing;

Durham County Council - https://www.durham.gov.uk/localrestrictions
Gateshead Council - https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/article/16575/Covid-restrictions
Newcastle City Council - https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/public-health-wellbeing-and-leisure/public-health-services/coronavirus-covid-19
North Tyneside Council - https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/page/26134/coronavirus-covid-19
Northumberland County Council - https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/News/2020/Sep/New-COVID-measures-being-introduced-in-Northumberl.aspx
South Tyneside Council - https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/70473/Local-restrictions-in-the-North-East
Sunderland City Council - https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/17375/New-Covid-19-restrictions-for-our-region-17-September