Outdoor team sport off limits until at least mid-February

OUTDOOR sports events for groups exceeding ten people will not be permitted to return until at least the middle of February.

The Government of Jersey outlined plans for the next phase of its Covid-19 recovery on Thursday night, with health officials advising against a relaxation of restrictions on training and fixtures.

Barring a major spike in case numbers, non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen under Stage 2a of the ‘circuit break’ reconnection framework – from Wednesday, 27 January – with beauty and hair salons following suit under Stage 2b on 3 February. However, Alex Khaldi, the interim director for Public Health Policy within the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell, confirmed before the government’s press conference that outdoor team sports including football and hockey – the last to postpone activity in 2020 – should remain sidelined until 17 February. Hospitality venues are also likely to remain closed until that date.

Previously, the government had stated that outdoor gatherings over ten people, including sports events, would be permitted when Stage 2 was reached. Alongside subsequent confusion, the delay will be disappointing for those anticipating a resumption of fixtures this month.

The Jersey FA had scheduled a host of cup games for January, after postponing their season for one month in December.

'This is a further blow to an already significantly-disrupted season,’ said JFA chief executive David Kennedy.

‘We were hoping for some good news when we heard that non-essential shops were opening so obviously we’re disappointed that we will have to wait for another month before we can start playing again.

‘We hope that the government will clarify the situation for us as early as possible because clearly we want to avoid further disruption to the season.'

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