Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus

Keeping you updated on the impact on Essex football

update 35

Friday 16th October, 2:30pm

Following the UK Government’s latest announcement regarding the introduction of local Covid-19 alert levels, The FA's guidance for grassroots football, which includes NLS Feeder Leagues (Step 7) and below of the Men’s Football Pyramid and Tier 7 and below of the Women’s Football Pyramid, remains the same.

It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow this guidance as well as the UK Government’s latest guidance on Covid-19.

County Football Associations continue to work closely with local authorities to determine their regional situation and, if necessary, they will issue updated information in-line with respective local Covid-19 alert levels.

The FA have requested clarity from the UK Government on travel into or out of areas with ‘very high’ local Covid-19 alert levels by clubs in Steps 3-6 of the National League System and Tiers 3-6 of the Women’s Football Pyramid for fixtures and will provide a further update as soon as possible.

Throughout this period, The FA have taken UK Government advice, with their priority being the health and wellbeing of all. They will also continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time. The FA's latest guidance on grassroots football and updated FAQs can be downloaded below:

update 34

Thursday 15th October, 2:30pm

We note today's news relating to the Essex County Council area and London Boroughs moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 in the Government's Covid-19 measures, which apply from Saturday 17th October.
 
Whether a local authority is currently in Tier 1 (Medium) or Tier 2 (High), grassroots football can continue to operate but it remains crucial to still operate in-line with the existing FA Covid-19 guidance on the return of outdoor football, which supports Government guidelines. A reminder of this information can be found in Update 33 (below).

The Government has been clear that, under Covid-19 Tier 2 guidelines, ‘exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport’.

update 33

Thursday 24th September, 9:00am

The FA have confirmed that some indoor formats of the game may continue from 24th September 2020 with certain restrictions – such as groups of six strictly being adhered to - following the UK Government’s latest measures in relation to Covid-19.

The rule of six will apply to all indoor organised football for anyone over the age of 18. As a result, indoor training and 3v3 games can continue for adults but they must be limited to groups of no more than six people and follow The FA's updated guidance on re-starting football.

If groups of six adults are likely to mix during either indoor training or games, they must not go ahead.

Everyone under the age of 18 or living with disabilities will be exempt from the rule of six. However, while indoor training and games will not be limited for these people, they must also follow The FA’s updated guidance on re-starting football.

All participants and staff involved in indoor football must also follow the UK Government’s latest Covid-19 measures in relation to face coverings, facility closing times and NHS Test and Trace:

* Face coverings must be worn by staff at all times and by participants when they are not taking part in training, games or seated at a table to eat or drink
* All indoor facilities, including those with clubhouse bars, must close at 10:00pm
* All indoor facilities must also support the UK Government’s guidance on NHS Test and Trace and implement the use of QR codes from 24th September 2020

The UK Government’s latest Covid-19 measures are legal requirements and failure to follow them could result in fines.

The FA’s updated guidance on re-starting football can be downloaded below.

Guidance on Indoor and Outdoor Football Summary (23rd September)

update 32

Wednesday 23rd September, 4:00pm

Yesterday The FA E-Mailed all clubs to highlight the requirement (by Thursday 24th September) to create and display a Government poster with a QR Code at home venues linked to an NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace system app. The app:

* can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play and used from 24th September;
* enables visitors to scan the QR code on arrival (or via some smartphone cameras) for Test and Trace purposes;
* registers where you have been (via Bluetooth) and alerts you if you’ve been in contact, for 15 minutes or more, with someone who has Covid-19;
* is being rolling out by the Government on a mass scale - this is not an Essex County FA or FA app.

Please create and display the poster and QR code for your club straight away, enabling football to continue to be played. As with any new system, this has generated queries which are being noted and fed into The FA, who are also aware and are continually updating and publishing guidance.

We'd like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we all aim to keep Essex football safe.

Update 32

Frequently asked questions

Important Coach Education Update: following the announcement to restart grassroots football, we now await further updates from The FA regarding the implications for all face-to-face coach education courses.

For now, all courses remain postponed until at least September. We would ask learners to be patient whilst we resolve this situation with The FA as quickly as possible. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact our Coach Education Team.

Extension of IFAiF Qualifications

Coaches whose FA Level 1 Introduction to First Aid in Football (IFAiF) has expired between 1st February 2020 and 31st July 2021 will have an extension applied on their FAN records through until 31st July 2021. FA communication will go direct to learners.

How do I view my coaching qualifications?

You can now view your learning record and football roles here. You will need to sign in using your E-Mail address and password.

The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club has now been retired. If your qualifications are in date, you can continue coaching.

My FA first aid qualification has expired, or is due to expire soon. What do I do?

To support coaches whose FA Level 1 Introduction to First Aid in Football (IFAiF) has expired since Monday 13th March, an interim extension until Friday 31st July 2020 will be given and automatically updated on FAN records. We recommend completing The FA’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Concussion Modules to support ongoing learning.

My FA Safeguarding Children qualification has expired, or is due to expire soon. What do I do?

If you have previously completed a face-to-face FA Safeguarding Children Workshop (three hours), you should be able to renew via the online self re-certification.

I have started a course. What happens now?

A few of our courses were part-way through at the time activities were postponed. Once we have an idea of timescales for re-scheduling these courses, we will be in contact with all impacted learners to discuss the options available. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact our Coach Education Team.

When will there be an update about my course?

We will provide updates, both through our website and by E-Mail correspondence, as further information is available. We will be carefully following Government and FA guidance to ensure we take the best possible action moving forward.

Will my re-scheduled course/workshop run in the same way as the one I booked?

Every effort will be made to ensure that there are a variety of courses to choose from. We cannot guarantee that your re-scheduled course will follow the same structure as previously planned. We await further guidance from The FA, as to when face-to-face activities can commence.

We appreciate that individual learner circumstances may change due to the current climate. If this is the case, please contact your Course Organiser to discuss this further.

What support is available to coaches during this period?

Fortunately, there are many sources of information available to coaches across the game, to aid personal development. We’ve outlined a few below and will continue to share ideas and resources via Twitter at @EssexCoaches.

The Boot Room: the new home of coaching resources
The FA Coaching Community - Hive Learning: connect with coaches from all levels of the game
Other Online CPD: you’ll need your E-Mail Address and password to sign-in
FA Playmaker (launching Summer 2020): perfect for those interested in coaching or leading activities
Inclusion & Anti-Discrimination: helpful documents, resources and guidance
England DNA: playing and coaching philosophy of the England teams
FA Grassroots Guide: download this file for a handy grassroots guide to youth football
FA Talent ID: Level 1 can be completed online
FA Player: countless clips and highlights to review
FA Matchday App: organise your football life
YouTube: FA Learning: direct access to the latest coaching webinars, sessions, interviews and ideas to stay active

I've started an FA Level 1 course. How can I access my online learning modules?

In March 2020, the FA Learning system was updated. A new website now exists and online modules can be found in the 'My Learning Record' section of 'The Learner Dashboard' by following this link. If you have any questions, please contact our Coach Education Team.

How can I promote positive mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19?

‘Return to play’ mental health guidance to support the return of sport and physical activity has been drafted to equip the sports sector with the tools and information required to support the mental health of staff, coaches, volunteers and participants as we ‘return to play’. It includes guidance, good practice, tools and insight which supports the mental health of the people working, volunteering and participating in sport and physical activity. Pages 14-16 specifically focus on supporting participants and it can be found by following this link.

Can I arrange a face-to-face DBS verification?

Following The Football Association’s re-introduction of face-to-face FA DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) verification sessions, we are now able to support certain individuals needing to have their FA DBS verified.

These appointments are available at the County Office in Chelmsford for referees, Club Welfare Officers and, in certain cases, coaches. Any coach who is looking to renew or apply for their first check must approach the Club Welfare Officer of their club initially.

It is important to remember that the application form must be completed online prior to the verification appointment, and the correct identification documents are produced on the day (original documents only). Due to ongoing health and safety requirements, and in-line with Covid-19 guidelines, these appointments are for DBS verification only.

Once you’ve completed your DBS application, please follow this link to book a verification slot. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the contents, included in the booking. If you have any questions, contact the relevant member of Essex County FA staff. Should Government policy or guidance change, affecting these arrangements, any updates will be posted on our website.

How does The FA's announcement on 18th July affect safeguarding?

Following the recent announcements and guidance issued by The FA on the resumption of grassroots football, please see below some of the factors in the Covid-19 Safeguarding Risk Assessment Guidance published on 18th July 2020. For more details, please refer to Update 24 on this Covid-19 web page.

* consent document for parent/carers (must be filled in for children aged 15 and under. The FA supports informed written self-consent form those aged 16 and 17 year olds - in these unusual times club may wish to gain consent from parents/carers as well.
* template risk assessment
* water bottles/sanitiser etc: all should be named and taken to the football activity and left in a certain place only for that child
* players should arrive in kit, where possible
* a screen document is available
* registers should be taken, enabling track and trace

Face-to-Face Identity (ID) Document Verification for DBS Checks

Verification of FA DBSs may now resume, and guidance is available for clubs to consider. Club committee members may be verifiers of checks and, if you wish to add a new verifier, please send your club details and the name of the new verifier to fachecks@thefa.com (please remember to state whether this is a new or additional verifier for the club). The Essex County FA are working to support applications where we need to be the verifier, and further details will be shared.

What if I have a Safeguarding concern for an under-18 or adult at risk?

The normal processes still apply. If you have an immediate concern outside office hours, the Police or another agency should be notified. The department is fully functioning, and can be reached via E-Mail or telephone. Even though football is currently suspended, we would stress that all normal reporting processes must continue, and that contact should be made immediately (or as soon as possible) to the department.

Guidance for Engaging with Children Aged Under 18 in Football - Virtual Interactions

We encourage all leagues and clubs to familiarise themselves with these new guidance notes to keep abreast of best practice when engaging with children aged under 18 in football.

Online Procedures for Coaches/Managers
Online Tips for Parents/Carers

I’ve booked onto a Safeguarding Children Workshop or a Welfare Officer Workshop. What is happening regarding my workshop?

In-line with the current suspension of all grassroots football, our programme is also postponed until further notice. Once we have an idea of timescales for re-scheduling these courses, we will be in contact with all impacted learners in due course. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact our Safeguarding Team.

Workshops: How will this affect my/the club’s position for 2020/21 affiliation?

This is subject to review depending on the progress of Covid-19. We will be liaising with The FA to have a better understanding for this period and the impacts of individuals not being able to complete the workshop. By way of assistance, please see below the period of validation for a certificate:

Safeguarding Children Workshop - three years
Welfare Officer Workshop - does not have to be renewed after completion
Safeguarding for Committee Members - four years
DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) - three years

If you have previously completed a Safeguarding Children Workshop in person (three hours), you should be able to renew via the online self-recertification.

FA DBS

The FA have made some temporary changes to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks in football for the period for which football is suspended due to Coronavirus, up to and including the start of the 2020/21 season. These changes are outlined below, and will apply to all roles in football.

1. All volunteers carrying out regulated activity with under 18s (in accordance with DBS guidance) require an Enhanced DBS with a check of the Children’s Barring List before they commence their role within football. This is current practice, and will remain in place. For the avoidance of doubt, volunteers will not be permitted to carry out regulated activity with under 18s until they have obtained a FA DBS check.

2. All individuals whose DBS checks are due to expire between 1st March 2020 and 1st October 2020 will not be required to renew their DBS checks until one year after the scheduled date of expiry. The FA currently requires DBS checks to be renewed every three years, in accordance with industry standards and best practice. However, we have made an informed decision to extend that to four years, in these limited circumstances, on the basis of the current health crisis, associated difficulties in DBS check renewal and the fact that these individuals already hold a DBS check which has been accepted by The FA.

a. The FA are currently proposing an end date of 1st October 2020, based on the fact that this season’s grassroots footballing activity has ended and the assumption that pre-season will commence with the start of the youth season starting in September 2020. However, as circumstances develop, this date is potentially subject to change.

b. The FA’s proposals outlined above are applicable to all DBS checks completed through The FA.

c. The FA’s Whole Game System will be updated to reflect these changes.

Please note that the changes outlined above are temporary, and The FA reserves the right to review and amend the position, including to reflect changes in legislation and/or statutory guidance with respect to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic and further clarity on when football activity will resume. The above changes are made to support the footballing family in the immediate term and to support a return to football activity in the longer term whilst ensuring The FA’s commitment to safeguarding remains in place.

Can I arrange a face-to-face DBS verification?

Following The Football Association’s re-introduction of face-to-face FA DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) verification sessions, we are now able to support certain individuals needing to have their FA DBS verified.

These appointments are available at the County Office in Chelmsford for referees, Club Welfare Officers and, in certain cases, coaches. Any coach who is looking to renew or apply for their first check must approach the Club Welfare Officer of their club initially.

It is important to remember that the application form must be completed online prior to the verification appointment, and the correct identification documents are produced on the day (original documents only). Due to ongoing health and safety requirements, and in-line with Covid-19 guidelines, these appointments are for DBS verification only.

Once you’ve completed your DBS application, please follow this link to book a verification slot. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the contents, included in the booking. If you have any questions, contact the relevant member of Essex County FA staff. Should Government policy or guidance change, affecting these arrangements, any updates will be posted on our website.

What if my DBS expires?

As it is now possible for face-to-face verifications to take place, the FA DBS process may resume. We are in regular communication with The FA, and have received guidance on this process. We are aware that individuals will be receiving notifications of their DBS expiry date and will be looking to renew. We are mindful that not all Welfare Officers may feel comfortable, at this stage, to conduct verifications and we would ask you for your understanding. For Welfare Officers who do not have another committee member to verify their FA DBS, the Essex County FA will look to support this.

How do I commence new, or renew an existing, DBS application?

You may already notice that, if your DBS is due to expire between 1st March 2020 and 1st October 2020, the expiry date on your FAN made have been updated. Please read the above section on FA DBS. We will continue to share all updates as well as the processes which will be put in place for DBS checks upon the return to football.

Will my re-scheduled course/workshop run in the same way as the one I booked?

Every effort will be made to ensure courses follow a like-for-like delivery structure, including the course tutor(s). Work has already started on this. We appreciate that individual learner circumstances may change due to the current climate. If this is the case, please contact your Course Organiser to discuss this further.

Important Refereeing Education Update: following the announcement to restart grassroots football, we now await further updates from The FA regarding the implications for all face-to-face refereeing education courses.

For now, all courses remain postponed until at least September. We would ask learners to be patient whilst we resolve this situation with The FA as quickly as possible. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact our Referee Team.

Will my re-scheduled course/workshop run in the same way as the one I booked?

Every effort will be made to ensure courses follow a like-for-like delivery structure, including the course tutor(s). Work has already started on this. We appreciate that individual learner circumstances may change due to the current climate. If this is the case, please contact your Course Organiser to discuss this further.

I haven’t completed my FA Referee Course, as I still need to referee my five training games and/or attend a Unit 6 session. What are my next steps?

Please E-Mail referees@essexfa.com and we can let you know your next steps, depending on how many games you’ve refereed.

I’m currently booked onto the Referee Workshop for the BBC Essex Senior Cup Final, which has now been postponed. Will I get a refund, or will my booking be valid for the rearranged date?

Once a rearranged date has been confirmed, we will look to honour your booking. If you’re unable to attend the rearranged date, please contact our Referees Team.

FA DBS

The FA have implemented temporary changes to DBS checks in football for the period that football is suspended due to Coronavirus, up to and including the start of the 2020/21 season. These changes are outlined below, and will apply to all roles in football.

1. All new referees, referee coaches, observers and mentors registering to officiate within youth football who will be carrying out regulated activity with under 18s (in accordance with DBS guidance) require an Enhanced DBS with a check of the Children’s Barring List before they commence their role within football. This is current practice, and will remain in place. New DBS checks can be submitted, though the verification process is being re-visited. For the avoidance of doubt, volunteers will not be permitted to carry out regulated activity with under 18s until they have obtained a DBS check.

2. All individuals whose DBS checks are due to expire between 1st March 2020 and 1st October 2020 will not be required to renew their DBS checks until one year after the scheduled date of expiry. The FA currently requires DBS checks to be renewed every three years, in accordance with industry standards and best practice. However, we have made an informed decision to extend that to four years, in these limited circumstances, on the basis of the current health crisis, associated difficulties in DBS check renewal and the fact that these individuals already hold a DBS check which has been accepted by The FA.

a. The FA has confirmed an end date of 1st October 2020, based on the fact that this season’s grassroots footballing activity has ended. Beyond this date, documents will need to be verified.

b. The FA’s Whole Game System has been updated to reflect these changes.

Please note that the changes outlined above are temporary, and The FA reserves the right to review and amend the position, including to reflect changes in legislation and/or statutory guidance with respect to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic and further clarity on when football activity will resume. The above changes are made to support the footballing family in the immediate term and to support a return to football activity in the longer term whilst ensuring The FA’s commitment to safeguarding remains in place.

At this time, we would ask for your understanding but, if you have any specific concerns, please do contact our Referees Department.

Can I arrange a face-to-face DBS verification?

Following The Football Association’s re-introduction of face-to-face FA DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) verification sessions, we are now able to support certain individuals needing to have their FA DBS verified.

These appointments are available at the County Office in Chelmsford for referees, Club Welfare Officers and, in certain cases, coaches. Any coach who is looking to renew or apply for their first check must approach the Club Welfare Officer of their club initially.

It is important to remember that the application form must be completed online prior to the verification appointment, and the correct identification documents are produced on the day (original documents only). Due to ongoing health and safety requirements, and in-line with Covid-19 guidelines, these appointments are for DBS verification only.

Once you’ve completed your DBS application, please follow this link to book a verification slot. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the contents, included in the booking. If you have any questions, contact the relevant member of Essex County FA staff. Should Government policy or guidance change, affecting these arrangements, any updates will be posted on our website.

My FA Safeguarding Children is up for renewal. How can I update this?

At the moment, all County FA courses and workshops have been postponed until further notice. However, if you’re eligible to renew your FA Safeguarding Children online, please follow this link to our guidance on how to renew your FA Safeguarding Children Certificate.

Am I still able to referee small-sided football (i.e. PlayFootball, Soccersixes etc)?

All Essex County FA-affiliated football activity has been suspended, which includes small-sided leagues. Nationally-affiliated small-sided providers have been advised to adhere to FA and Government recommendations. All Essex County FA-affiliated referees have been advised to adhere to this guidance.

Can we train or play friendlies?

The FA have confirmed that the UK Government approved their plan for the return of outdoor competitive grassroots football. As a result, the grassroots football community now has the opportunity to return to football and prepare for the start of the new season.

The FA have prepared guidelines for the safe return of grassroots football and, following Government approval, these are now ready for publication. Football activity can take place with necessary modifications in place to mitigate the transmission risk of Covid-19. The FA would strongly recommend a phased return to competitive football activity as follows:

From August: competitive matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small-sided football competitions.

From September: grassroots leagues, men’s National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6, and FA Competitions can commence.

Clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read the full FA guidelines, which are accessible via this link, in addition to the latest Government guidance on Covid-19: www.thefa.com/news/2020/jul/17/grassroots-guidance-for-competitive-football-restart-in-england-170720.

What is happening with this season's County Cup Finals?

Following very careful consideration of all factors involved, the Essex County FA Board of Directors have made the exceptionally difficult decision to conclude all of the 2019/20 season’s County Cup competitions with immediate effect. Therefore, there will be no further matches played in these competitions.

The County Cup Finals are an integral part of the football calendar each year, delivering showpiece occasions enjoyed by players, family members, spectators, coaches, match officials, club and league officials, partners and wider stakeholders across the Essex football community. The decision was extremely difficult to make. You can read further details here.

Will this affect affiliation for the 2020/21 season?

It is currently possible to affiliate for 2020/21, and a lot of clubs have completed this. However, there are a number who have not started, or completed the affiliation process. Now we are able to begin preparing pre-season fixtures, so it is important each club completes their affiliation with us as soon as possible. This ensures teams are complying with the rules and regulations of The FA, and have the necessary insurances in place. You can find out more in this news article.

Is the disciplinary process continuing to function?

Discipline cases continue to be processed, and have been throughout the lockdown period. There are some outstanding cases which required personal hearings, which are outstanding, and there is the opportunity for these to now be completed virtually, depending on certain criteria being met. Clubs in the position for a personal hearing were contacted recently.

There are suspensions which were scheduled to be finished at the time of lockdown being implemented. These will be reimposed, once competitive fixtures begin again. The suspension is dependent on the first competitive fixture for the team in which the player was playing for. Should the team no longer be playing for season 2020/21, then the suspension will be for the period which it would be expected for the suspension to have been completed.

Clubs or individuals are advised to contact a member of the Governance Team as soon as possible if they have any concerns regarding ongoing discipline, investigation, caution or misconduct cases.

Is my suspension still in place?

Match-based suspensions which have been imposed as a result of a red card offence, or following a misconduct hearing, will remain in place, with the suspensions to be served once the suspension on grassroots football is lifted.

Where a term-based suspension has been imposed by a discipline commission, these will continue to run during the period that football is not being played. Should an individual have received an Interim Suspension Order, this also remains in place. There are cases which are currently being considered by Discipline Commissions and, if there is a period suspension which is being imposed, the implementation of the suspension is being deferred until such time as football can officially begin again.

What is the status of my club's insurance?

Following the release of The FA’s guidance on permitted grassroots football activities on Monday 1st June, Bluefin Insurance wanted to confirm the position with regard to insurance under the National Game Insurance Scheme (NGIS) for clubs/teams wishing to resume their footballing activities.

When The FA suspended all grassroots football in March, the personal accident and legal liability insurances provided via the NGIS for the 2019/20 season remained in force, and hence, these insurances are still operative for any clubs/teams who now wish to resume club/team organised footballing activities, in adherence with The FA’s guidelines and Government protocols.

Personal Accident Insurance

The 2019/20 period of insurance expires on 30th June 2020, but clubs can now renew/purchase their personal accident insurance for the 2020/21 season. Renewal invitations have been sent to all clubs who purchased personal accident insurance via the NGIS last season. In the event that a club purchases a personal accident policy after 1st July 2020, a pro-rata premium will automatically be calculated, based on the period of insurance up to 30th June 2021.

Legal Liability Insurance

The 2019/20 period of insurance, in respect of the liability insurance provided via the NGIS, also expires on 30th June 2020, and Bluefin have confirmed that the liability insurance will continue, with effect from 1st July 2020, for all clubs, even if it is not possible for all clubs to complete their affiliation by 1st July 2020. This ensures clubs will continue to be protected in the event of a liability claim, and there are no gaps in cover. Again, the liability insurance will be subject to adherence to The FA’s guidelines and Government protocols.

Both insurances are also subject to the standard policy terms, conditions and exclusions. Bluefin have provided further guidance to assist clubs via a PDF which you can download here. If any club/team has specific queries regarding this, then please contact Bluefin via (0345) 872 5060 or nationalgame@bluefinsport.co.uk.

How does my Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) renewal, or workshop attendance, affect my club's 2020/21 affiliation?

If an individual requires attendance on a workshop to have the necessary qualification, this will not stop the club being affiliated. However, we will work with the club to put an action plan in place and the individual is not permitted to hold a specific role until this is completed. If a DBS is required, this will stop the club being affiliated, or another person will need to be identified for the position. The person requiring the DBS will also not be permitted to hold a role until this is accepted by The FA.

Can I arrange a face-to-face DBS verification?

Following The Football Association’s re-introduction of face-to-face FA DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) verification sessions, we are now able to support certain individuals needing to have their FA DBS verified.

These appointments are available at the County Office in Chelmsford for referees, Club Welfare Officers and, in certain cases, coaches. Any coach who is looking to renew or apply for their first check must approach the Club Welfare Officer of their club initially.

It is important to remember that the application form must be completed online prior to the verification appointment, and the correct identification documents are produced on the day (original documents only). Due to ongoing health and safety requirements, and in-line with Covid-19 guidelines, these appointments are for DBS verification only.

Once you’ve completed your DBS application, please follow this link to book a verification slot. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the contents, included in the booking. If you have any questions, contact the relevant member of Essex County FA staff. Should Government policy or guidance change, affecting these arrangements, any updates will be posted on our website.

Online Learning

During Covid-19 and beyond, there are plenty of ways to keep involved in the game we love through YouTube while we wait for it to return in the fashion we know.

As well as The FA's FA Learning YouTube channel, we're also sharing a wider range of online learning, featuring club, referee, safeguarding and coach content.

Club development webinars, coaching and referee interviews, as well as referee CPDs (Continuing Professional Development), are just some of the features on our channel, as well as longer-running features. Subscribe to make sure you never miss an upload!

update 31

Tuesday 22nd September, 12:30pm

The FA have today sent an E-Mail to clubs to draw attention to the Government’s recently-updated guidance on NHS Test and Trace and, specifically, a new section on the use of QR codes. This has important implications for clubs, and requires action. Details from The FA's E-Mail can be found below:

By maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors, and displaying an official NHS QR poster, you will help NHS Test and Trace to identify and notify people who may have been exposed to the virus. You must register for an official NHS QR code and display the official NHS QR poster from Thursday 24th September 2020.

The NHS Covid-19 app has a feature which allows users to quickly and easily ‘check-in’ to a venue by scanning the code. The information stays on the user’s phone. In England, you do not have to ask people who choose to ‘check-in’ using the official NHS QR code to provide their contact details. If there is an outbreak associated with a venue, a message will be sent to the relevant app users with the necessary public health advice.

This will help to avoid the reintroduction of lockdown measures and support the country to return to, and maintain, a more normal way of life. In addition to maintaining and sharing records, where requested, and displaying an official NHS QR poster, you must also continue to follow other Government guidance to minimise the transmission of COVID-19. This includes maintaining a safe working environment and following social distancing guidelines. The relevant settings this applies to are:

* clubs providing team sporting activities
* facilities for use by elite and professional sportspeople (including sports stadia)
* indoor sport and leisure centres
* cafes, including workplace canteens
* bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs

Please note this updated guidance comes into effect from Thursday 24th September and failure to comply will result in Government-issued fines. Full information on test and trace can be found here. Full FA guidance can be found here. An accessible version of this web page can be found via this link.

update 30

Thursday 17th September, 11:00am

The FA can today confirm that the UK Government has now approved their plan for the return of indoor competitive recreational grassroots football and Futsal. The FA's return to football guidance documents have, therefore, been updated to reflect this. Please note, guidance for outdoor competitive recreational grassroots football remains the same and has not changed.

Clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read the full guidelines, which are accessible below, in addition to the latest Government guidance on Covid-19. A return to competitive football should only happen once clubs and facility providers have completed the necessary risk assessments and comprehensive plans are in place. Find out more on The FA's website.

An accessible version of this web page can be found via this link.

FA Football Activity Guidance for Re-Starting Football (Version 1.3)

update 29

Thursday 10th September, 4:30pm

The UK Government has confirmed that organised sports, which include Steps 3-6 of the National League System [NLS], Tiers 3-6 of the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP] and outdoor grassroots football, can continue as an exemption to its latest planned measures in response to Covid-19.

Organised football activity is currently permitted at these levels but it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Governments’ latest guidance on Covid-19 and respective bespoke guidelines from The FA. Read more on The FA's website here.

An accessible version of this web page can be found via this link.

update 28

Wednesday 19th August, 2:15pm

Today The FA have issued updated guidelines for the National League System (NLS) and Women’s Football Pyramid (WFP) which include a phased and limited return of spectators for clubs at steps three to six and tiers three to four respectively.

The FA have worked continuously alongside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and leagues to submit detailed proposals for a phased and limited return of spectators at these levels to the UK Government.

The DCMS have now clarified their guidance on the return to recreational team sport and clubs at steps three to six of the NLS and tiers three to four of the WFP are permitted to accommodate a phased and limited return of spectators to fixtures. However, they must follow the UK Government’s guidance in relation to Covid-19 and The FA’s updated guidelines for the NLS or WFP respectively.

In addition, regional NLS feeder league clubs and clubs at tiers five to six of the WFP are permitted to accommodate socially-distanced spectators in line with The FA's guidelines for grassroots football. Please follow this link, and view the 'National League System Pyramid Guidance' below, to find out more.

An accessible version of this web page can be found via this link.

update 27

Thursday 13th August, 4:15pm

Following very careful consideration of all factors involved, the Essex County FA Board of Directors have made the exceptionally difficult decision to conclude all of the 2019/20 season’s County Cup competitions with immediate effect. Therefore, there will be no further matches played in these competitions.

The County Cup Finals are an integral part of the football calendar each year, delivering showpiece occasions enjoyed by players, family members, spectators, coaches, match officials, club and league officials, partners and wider stakeholders across the Essex football community. The decision was extremely difficult to make. However, the following factors were amongst those considered:

* nine finals did not have two finalists, with multiple rounds still to play in some competitions
* many teams were unable to fulfil the remaining fixtures
* no spectators are currently permitted to attend
* no changing facility use is currently permitted
* due to social distancing, no pre or post-match formalities, hospitality and presentations are allowed
* there are issues regarding the registration and eligibility of players
* the 2020/21 season has already been delayed and the 2019/20 finals could, potentially, impact the 2020/21 season further
* lessening the burden on early-season 2020/21 league fixtures
* the experience, particularly for the players, teams and match officials, would be significantly impacted and not in keeping with the County Cup Final occasions we aim to provide


You can read more by following this link. An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

update 26

Wednesday 5th August, 11:00am

We've created a new Version 2 of our ‘Covid-19 Club Resource Guide’ containing information, tips, tools and ideas to help keep clubs functioning and working as best they can during the coming weeks and months.

The guide features Covid-19-specific information, such as funding support which clubs can explore. Click here to view/download the PDF document.

An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

Covid-19 Club Resource Guide (Version 2)

update 25

Thursday 30th July, 5:00pm

Following UK Government approval for outdoor competitive grassroots football to re-start, support and information has been provided by The FA to all referees. Ahead of matches restarting, referee-specific guidance has been produced and is available below.

Covid-19 Guidance on Re-Starting Competitive Grassroots Football for Referees

update 24

Saturday 18th July, 1:00pm

The FA have confirmed that the UK Government approved their plan for the return of outdoor competitive grassroots football late last night, Friday 17th July 2020. As a result, the grassroots football community now has the opportunity to return to football and prepare for the start of the new season.

The FA have been working hard over recent weeks to prepare guidelines for the safe return of grassroots football and, following Government approval, these are now ready for publication. Football activity can take place with necessary modifications in place to mitigate the transmission risk of Covid-19. The FA would strongly recommend a phased return to competitive football activity as follows:

Until 31st July: when ready, you can begin competitive training, with the overall group size (inclusive of coaches) being limited to 30 people.

From August: competitive matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small-sided football competitions.

From September: grassroots leagues, men’s National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6, and FA Competitions can commence.

Clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read the full FA guidelines, which are accessible via this link, in addition to the latest Government guidance on Covid-19.

An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

Return to Grassroots Football

Update 23

Thursday 9th July, 9:00pm

The Football Association have welcomed the announcement and publication of the Government’s return to recreational sport framework today, which means we can look forward to the safe return of competitive grassroots football.

The FA are now working to submit a comprehensive action plan and related guidance for Government approval as outlined in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport's (DCMS) publication. Once approved, new guidance for the grassroots football community will be published, with timings confirmed as soon as possible. In the meantime, competitive grassroots football can prepare to return, and look forward to the start of the new season.

Please continue to refer to the latest guidance documents, below, for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in restarting grassroots football activity - which came into effect from 4th July - until a further update is provided, in addition to the latest Government guidance on Covid-19.

Please also note that guidance is being developed by The FA for clubs with teams competing in the National League System (NLS) and will be shared with those clubs directly in due course.

Guidance Documents (4th July)

Adult Players
Coaches
Facility Operators
Parents

update 22

Friday 3rd July, 5:00pm

Following recent Government updates to the Covid-19 guidance, The FA have updated guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators (including clubs), parents and carers involved in re-starting grassroots football activity from 4th July. These are available for download via the FA website, along with some practical tips for coaches working with individuals, working in pairs and working in threes.

These guidelines have been produced in-line with the recent Government updates to the Covid-19 guidance. Specifically, these documents have been updated to reflect changes to social distancing guidelines which will come into effect from 4th July and the introduction of support bubbles which came into effect on 10th June. Government guidance for the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation can be found here.

The FA continue to be in active discussions with other team sports, Sport England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about how we can secure a safe return to competitive grassroots football as soon as is reasonably possible. The FA will keep you updated as these discussions progress and provide amended guidance as and when they can.

Thank you for playing your vital part in helping our great game get going again and let’s continue to work together to ensure football’s return is as smooth and safe as possible. You can also visit The FA's dedicated web portal to access Coronavirus information and updates via TheFA.com. The four updated guidance documents (Versions 1.1 supersede previous editions) can be downloaded below:

Adult Players
Coaches
Facility Operators
Parents

An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

update 21

Monday 29th June, 3:00pm

We would like to provide a reminder of the current FA guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in re-starting grassroots football activity during Covid-19.

Emphasis is placed upon the points that physical contact and matches are not permitted.

Documents have been produced (see Update 22) in-line with Government guidance issued on Monday 1st June, which saw the easing of lockdown restrictions on gatherings, public spaces and outdoor activities and the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation.

The return of grassroots football is something we know many are keen to see but, at this stage of the nation’s response to Covid-19, it must be done with careful consideration for everyone’s safety, especially vulnerable groups.

The FA continue to work closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Sport England in order to set out good practice guidance for those responsible for delivering different aspects of grassroots football.

As the weeks progress, Government restrictions may or may not be eased further. If they are, the guidance will be updated accordingly. It’s essential everyone is clear about the restrictions and works together to manage social distancing and strong hand hygiene. The four guidance documents can be downloaded in Update 22 above.

An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

update 20

Thursday 25th June, 11:00am

Following Government announcements on the easing of social distancing restrictions on Tuesday 23rd June, The FA have detailed that they are in active discussions with other team sports, Sport England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about how we can secure a safe return to competitive grassroots football as soon as is reasonably possible:

"We will continue to keep you updated as these discussions progress and provide amended guidance as and when we can. In the meantime, please do continue to refer to the guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in re-starting grassroots football activity issued on 12 June until a further update is provided."

In addition, important updates have been made to DBS processes this week which will affect safeguarding, referees and club affiliation. These can be found in our FAQs section on this page. An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

Coronavirus Update

update 19

Tuesday 16th June, 11:00am

Following the release of The FA’s guidance on permitted grassroots football activities on Monday 1st June, Bluefin Insurance wanted to confirm the position with regard to insurance under the National Game Insurance Scheme (NGIS) for clubs/teams wishing to resume their footballing activities.

When The FA suspended all grassroots football in March, the personal accident and legal liability insurances provided via the NGIS for the 2019/20 season remained in force, and hence, these insurances are still operative for any clubs/teams who now wish to resume club/team organised footballing activities, in adherence with The FA’s guidelines and Government protocols.

Personal Accident Insurance

The 2019/20 period of insurance expires on 30th June 2020, but clubs can now renew/purchase their personal accident insurance for the 2020/21 season. Renewal invitations have been sent to all clubs who purchased personal accident insurance via the NGIS last season. In the event that a club purchases a personal accident policy after 1st July 2020, a pro-rata premium will automatically be calculated, based on the period of insurance up to 30th June 2021.

Legal Liability Insurance

The 2019/20 period of insurance, in respect of the liability insurance provided via the NGIS, also expires on 30th June 2020, and Bluefin have confirmed that the liability insurance will continue, with effect from 1st July 2020, for all clubs, even if it is not possible for all clubs to complete their affiliation by 1st July 2020. This ensures clubs will continue to be protected in the event of a liability claim, and there are no gaps in cover. Again, the liability insurance will be subject to adherence to The FA’s guidelines and Government protocols.

Both insurances are also subject to the standard policy terms, conditions and exclusions. Bluefin have provided further guidance to assist clubs via a PDF which you can view below or download here.

 
NGIS & Covid-19 - Returning to Football Guidance

NGIS & Covid-19 - Returning to Football Guidance

Update 18

Friday 12th June, 12:00pm

The FA have today issued new guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in re-starting grassroots football activity during Covid-19.

The documents have been produced in-line with Government guidance issued on Monday 1st June, which saw the easing of lockdown restrictions on gatherings, public spaces and outdoor activities and the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation.

The return of grassroots football is something we know many are keen to see but, at this stage of the nation’s response to Covid-19, it must be done with careful consideration for everyone’s safety, especially vulnerable groups.

The FA continue to work closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Sport England in order to set out good practice guidance for those responsible for delivering different aspects of grassroots football.

As the weeks progress, Government restrictions may or may not be eased further. If they are, the guidance will be updated accordingly. It’s essential everyone is clear about the restrictions and works together to manage social distancing and strong hand hygiene.

We want to thank you all in advance for playing your vital part in helping our great game get going again. By observing Government guidance and these documents, let’s work together to ensure the transition back to enjoying football is as smooth and safe as possible.

Please note that guidance is being developed for clubs with teams competing in the National League System (NLS) and will be shared with clubs directly in due course. NLS clubs with grassroots teams should be able to use the guidance provided today. The four guidance documents can be downloaded in Update 22 above).

An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

FA Guidance

update 17 (please note subsequent fa guidance in update 18)

Wednesday 3rd June, 12:00pm

Following The FA’s recent announcement regarding the ability for small group training to commence there has, understandably, been a desire from a number of clubs and individuals to re-commence sessions, in line with The FA's guidance.

As a County FA, we understand this eagerness as we recognise this is seen as the first cautious and positive step towards the return of the grassroots game.

At the same time, we have also received a number of queries and questions regarding this announcement as clubs and individuals, like ourselves, are considering how the guidance can be implemented within clubs. This due diligence is essential as Sport England themselves have stated they encourage all organisations with a role in this to take time to look at how they can operate effectively and safely within the six-person limit, whilst strictly adhering to public health guidance around hygiene and social distancing.

We would urge all clubs to give this appropriate consideration whilst stressing that the decision to re-commence with these small-group training sessions is one for clubs and organisations to take and, if clubs/organisations feel the risk is too great, or it is too soon to commence with these sessions, then that is fine and understandable.

For those clubs/organisations who feel they are in a position to recommence, then steps should be taken to strictly adhere to the FA guidance, giving due consideration for the operational implementation of the guidance based on the club’s individual circumstances (e.g. own ground, public park etc.) to ensure a safe environment is created for all involved.

The FA are currently working on further detailed guidance to assist in this process and we will continue to communicate and share this with you as this is released.

In the interim period, as well as the FA guidance, we have also reviewed Sports England and Government advice and would ask that clubs also consider the following areas:

We have had it confirmed from our recommended insurance partners, Bluefin Sport, that clubs and organisations who are affiliated for the 2019/20 season will be covered from a Public Liability (PL) and Personal Accident (PA) perspective.

This will cover training, so long as guidance is followed, and those benefits included in your package. We are continuing to have ongoing liaison with Bluefin as guidance in this area evolves. Bluefin will be coming back to us with any additional guidance and advice regarding this aspect.

If you have your own PL and/or PA insurance with a different broker/company, then we would suggest you make contact with them to discuss this as soon as possible.

The advice states you must ‘conduct a thorough risk assessment’ before engaging in any sessions, particularly looking at how you would implement the guidance in your own individual settings, as well as including any ‘particular considerations for under 18s and vulnerable adults’.

We have asked both The FA and Bluefin for additional guidance and a potential template with regards to this area.

In-line with Government advice, you should consider:

• ensuring that any member who is symptomatic, or living in a household with someone who has possible or confirmed Covid-19, remains at home
• if individuals have been asked to isolate by NHS ‘Test and Trace’ or they are considered as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, then they should follow the specific advice for these groups, further advice can be found here
• all parties should wash their hands thoroughly before and after sessions
• use hand sanitiser at intervals
• once at home, all parties should remember to wash their hands
• children, particularly younger ones, are not always great at hygiene, so special attention should be paid to children’s hand hygiene
• more advice can be found here

We understand that The FA will release some further guidance for facility providers.

However, for now, and in line with Government advice, you should consider:

If the facility is not yours:

• if the facility you use is not yours, then check in advance that the facility has re-opened and/or you have permission to use this site
• understanding the facility requirements and terms of use

If you have your own facility:

• is your facility ready for training (e.g. has it been cut, are there pitch renovations due to be undertaken etc)?
• what will you be realistically and safely able to deliver (in terms of numbers/groups etc) given the facility you have (including car parking, playing facilities, crossover times of people arriving and leaving etc)?
• communicate how and when people can safely arrive and leave the facility, giving consideration for flows of movements to minimise crossovers
• if you have your own facility with changing rooms and facilities then, other than toilets and through ways, this should remain closed
• additional cleaning will be required in these areas when accessing and leaving the facility (e.g. wipe down areas on contact, additional hand-washing/sanitising facilities, use of paper towels where possible etc)
• consider the need for additional signage
• additional Government advice can be found here

There is an obvious need to clearly communicate with all relevant parties and, therefore, the following guidance should be considered:

• need to communicate clearly and regularly with members, setting out what you are doing to manage risk
• ascertain the desire of coaches/parents/participants to attend these sessions. Do you have enough interest to make these sessions practical?
• communicate how and when people can safely arrive and leave the facility, giving consideration for flows of movements to minimise crossovers
• consider and communicate whether or not there will be a charge for these sessions. Some clubs may have stopped memberships/subscription fees. Will the club require additional funding to support the implementation of these guidelines and/or to support the financial viability of the club?

The following areas should be taken into consideration for all under 18s and vulnerable adults:

• must continue to comply with FA safeguarding policies and procedures
• consent must be gained from parents/carers (we have asked whether this needs to be specific and new consent)
• parents/carers should ensure they are in sight of the session
• parents/carers are responsible for the supervising of their children at all times, and to reinforce the guidelines for social distancing etc themselves
• consideration to the treatment of injuries (we have asked for further advice on recommended procedures) but coaches are unlikely to be able to attend to injuries due to social distancing
• consideration of the tying of shoe laces (again, coaches are unable to attend to this due to social distancing)
• consideration of the psychological impact this may have had on children and how coaches/clubs will connect with players before starting back (outlining what will happen at training and provide them with a sense of safety)
• The FA are working on additional guidance for Club Welfare Officers and this will be shared with them as soon as possible

The following should be considered around travel to and from sessions:

• you shouldn’t travel with someone from outside of your household
• must consider using all other forms of transport before using public transport
• further guidance can be found here

The guidance does allow you to meet and train, but the following must be adhered to and/or considered:

• must follow the guidance outlined by The FA here
• it is essential that groups must be made up of no more than six people and everyone must remain two metres apart at all times. All groups must be wholly separate from each other
• consideration should be given as to how this will be managed (e.g. designated areas etc)
• groups can practice ball skills like passing and kicking
• careful planning will be required around the sessions to ensure they remain age-appropriate, engaging, developmental and fun (we will be looking to share practices over the next few weeks to assist with this)
• equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum (ideally players should bring their own ball, water bottle etc and have designated areas to put any of their own items)
• if a coach is providing equipment so these are being shared/re-used, then please ensure that they have been thoroughly cleaned before, between and after sessions
further guidance is still required regarding specific advice for goalkeepers, but all goalkeepers should use their own gloves and ensure that these have been thoroughly cleaned before, during and after sessions, along with all other hand hygiene advice
• further advice for coaches can be found here

The FA continues to work closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Sport England in order to provide good practice guidance for those responsible for, and wishing to commence with, delivering different aspects of grassroots football and we will share further information as soon as possible.

It is important that the above considerations are discussed at club level to ensure a collective decision is made and to ensure that, if you wish to commence with sessions, that these can be done in a safe manner.

If you wish to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please contact the Essex County FA Development, Coach Education, Safeguarding or Governance Teams in the normal way via E-Mail or telephone.

update 16

Tuesday 2nd June, 9:00am

GUIDANCE ON PERMITTED GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL ACTIVITY
Latest Guidelines During Covid-19 from 1st June

The Football Association have issued further guidance to all grassroots football and informal football activity outside the professional game following the Government’s relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions from 1st June 2020.

Consistent with Government advice published on Monday 1st June, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:

* playing football individually. For example, practice of individual skills or fitness activities;
* playing football with your family or other people living in your household;
* football training or fitness activities in groups of no more than six, keeping two metres apart at all times.


Sharing of equipment should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. Physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted. Therefore, playing of any games (small-sided or full) is also not permitted at this time.

Avoid meeting in groups of six in busy or overcrowded areas if it is so busy that it is not possible to maintain social distancing at all times.

Football coaches can now undertake small group sessions up to six people (including the coach) but are reminded to follow FA safeguarding policy when coaching/working with children. This must include risk assessing the activities, gaining consent from parents/carers and ensuring you are in sight of another adult.

For example, a parent/carer or another coach and that the ratio of coach to different age groups of children is appropriate (see download 5.5). For clarity, the additional parent/carer or coach is not included as part of the group of six but must remain in sight of the activity.

It is permissible for coaches to organise a training session which has two or more groups of six (including the coach) involved in the session, as long as the groups of six are kept separate, everyone is socially distancing and strict hygiene measures are in place with any equipment.

Football coaches working with people with impairments must ensure they can adequately cater for any additional needs whilst still avoiding physical contact and maintaining social distancing. Individuals should follow Government guidance relevant to their own impairment or health condition.

Please be reminded, if an individual is symptomatic, living in a household with a possible Covid-19 infection or if you're classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home.

The FA continue to work closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Sport England in order to set out good practice guidance for those responsible for delivering different aspects of grassroots football and will provide further updates as guidance information is shared.

 
Coronavirus Update

Update 15

Friday 15th May, 11:00am

FA GUIDANCE ON PERMITTED GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL ACTIVITY DURING COVID-19
Social Distancing Guidelines Must be Followed

The FA has today issued guidance to all grassroots football and informal football activity outside the professional game.

Consistent with Government advice, published on Wednesday 13th May, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:

* playing football individually (e.g. practice of individual skills or fitness activities)
* playing football with your family or other people living in your household
* an individual can play football with one other person who is not from their household
* coaching an adult player one-to-one

All social distancing guidelines must be followed. Additionally, maintaining a grass or artificial football pitch is permitted, as long as social distancing and appropriate hygiene practices are adopted.

If an individual is symptomatic, living in a household with a possible Covid-19 infection, or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home. The following football activity is not permitted at this time, consistent with Government guidelines:

* coaching a child (under 18) from a different household one-to-one. In order to comply with The FA’s safeguarding policy, a child must have a parent/carer with them, which doesn’t comply with Government social distancing requirements
* two or more people from one household playing with one person or more from outside their household

The FA will continue to work with the Government and Sport England in order to provide guidance to grassroots football as the Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy moves to the next phase. Government advice can be accessed at www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation.

 
An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

FA Activity Guidance

update 14

Wednesday 29th April, 5:00pm

New and existing football clubs and competitions in Essex who register for the 2020/21 campaign will be able to do so at no cost as the Essex County FA Board have confirmed affiliation will be provided free of charge, offering financial support during the extra challenges faced as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

To complete affiliation, clubs require Legal (Public) Liability and Personal Accident Insurance. We will also continue to pay 100% of the Public Liability costs for all eligible grassroots clubs as part of their affiliation and, in addition, will contribute 50% towards Personal Accident cover up to the minimum requirements. The overall pledge amounts to around £160,000. Click here to read the full news article.

Free Affiliation

update 13

Tuesday 28th April, 5:00pm

We've created a new ‘Covid-19 Club Resource Guide’ containing information, tips, tools and ideas to help keep clubs functioning and working as best they can during the coming weeks and months.

The guide features Covid-19-specific information, such as funding support which clubs can explore. Click here to view/download the PDF document.

update 12

Wednesday 22nd April, 9:00am

This morning we've added further updates to our Frequently Asked Questions section on this page, relating specifically to the 'Football Development' section where we have new club development guidance and webinars.

We'd recommend returning to this page on a regular basis for the most up-to-date details. We're committed to keeping Essex grassroots football fully informed during this difficult time. An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

Coronavirus Update

update 11

Tuesday 14th April, 10:00am

Recently we detailed that the Thurrock Association Sunday League, who operate the Lakeside Sports Ground, have been working hard on exploring the opportunities of Government funding.

The league have been keeping us updated with their progress, and they’ve provided us with the following positive update: “I can now confirm that Lakeside Sports Ground has received the £10,000 grant under the Government’s extended retail scheme. I am also told that the “furloughed” worker scheme will be up and running at the end of this week.”

update 10

Thursday 9th April, 6:00pm

The FA have today released a statement confirming the FA Council has ratified the decision to end the 2019/20 season at grassroots level.

Read the full statement from The FA here: www.thefa.com/news/2020/apr/09/fa-council-statement-090420.

update 9

Wednesday 7th April, 9:30am

Further updates have been published to our Frequently Asked Questions section on this page this morning to reflect new information on Safeguarding and Referees, specifically relating to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Checks.

We'd recommend returning to this page on a regular basis for the most up-to-date details. We're committed to keeping Essex grassroots football fully informed during this difficult time.

update 8

Thursday 2nd April, 12:00pm

Today we've published updates to the Frequently Asked Questions section on this page to reflect new information on Coach Education (Courses and Workshops), Safeguarding, Football Development, Referees and Governance.

As part of our pledge to keep Essex grassroots football fully informed during this difficult time, we'd recommend checking this page on a regular basis for the most up-to-date details.

update 7

Thursday 26th March, 3:30pm

The FA has today released a statement to bring clarity to the conclusion of this season’s competitions.

Furthermore, we can now confirm that The FA has decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019/20 season. Read the full statement from The FA here: www.thefa.com/news/2020/mar/26/national-league-system-womens-football-pyramid-grassroots-covid-19-update-260320.

Coronavirus Update

update 6

Thursday 26th March, 2:00pm

The Prime Minister has reinforced the single most important action we can now all take, in fighting Coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

The campaign to raise awareness of this message has launched across TV, radio as well as digital and social channels. You can visit the Public Health England website to download materials and help amplify the message or, alternatively, you can share the posts from the Essex County FA Twitter and Facebook feeds: 

Public Health England Website
@EssexCountyFA on Twitter
EssexFootball on Facebook

Every Mind Matters have also released expert advice and top tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak. It includes guidance if you’re feeling worried or anxious. Again, you can visit the Every Mind Matters website to access this information or, alternatively, you can share the posts from the Essex County FA Twitter and Facebook feeds: 

Every Mind Matters Website
@EssexCountyFA on Twitter
EssexFootball on Facebook

Every Mind Matters

update 5

Tuesday 24th March, 3:00pm

In-line with the Government’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 outbreak and FA and Essex County FA guidance for all grassroots football in Essex to be postponed for the foreseeable future, we intend to provide timely updates, as well as answers to a number of FAQs across all aspects of the game.

If your query is not covered on this page, please contact one of our team. We will be encouraging our stakeholders to read through our FAQ section to see if their query is covered here. To keep you informed throughout this period of uncertainty, we have provided department updates.

update 4

Thursday 19th March, 4:00pm

The FA has today released a statement confirming an extension of the 2019/20 season indefinitely in relation to professional football.

In addition, the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 30th April 2020. Click here to read the full statement from The FA.

update 3

Wednesday 18th March, 5:00pm

CORONAVIRUS: LOCAL ESSEX FOOTBALL PLAYS ITS PART
Grassroots Thanked for Commitment and Dedication

During these unprecedented times, both locally and globally, we wish to say thank you for the commitment, dedication and patience members of the grassroots community have collectively shown, and we wish everyone across football good health.

This is a fast-moving scenario, which started with us putting our own competitions on hold and allowing leagues and competitions to follow suit and postpone their own games. This has since developed into an overall suspension of grassroots Essex football.

The focus has to be on public health, and football continues to play its part. The FA and the Essex County FA will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time. The FA are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review.

We’re aware that clubs will be suffering many financial troubles due to Coronavirus, County Cup Finals will need to be rescheduled and it’s going to be a challenge to fit matches in. We must all work together to get to a point where things are back to normal again as soon as possible.

County Office and Remote Working

Throughout this recent period since COVID-19 has affected England, The FA and the Essex County FA have taken Government advice, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. Current advice is that organisations should ‘work from home’ where possible.

For the foreseeable future, staff at the County Office in Chelmsford will be working remotely from home in the interests of safety, and to play our part in reducing the potential spread of the virus. Staff can still be contacted as normal, though E-Mail is the preferred method at present.

There are a number of ‘unknowns’ in football at the moment, but the staff at the Essex County FA are committed to supporting you. We will issue a weekly update to keep you informed of the latest developments in local grassroots football.

Coronavirus: The Facts

COVID-19 is a new illness which can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called Coronavirus. People with either of the following symptoms are advised to stay at home:

* a high temperature - you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
* a new, continuous cough - this means you've started coughing repeatedly

Current advice is not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. Individuals are asked to keep up-to-date with, and follow, Government and Public Health England guidance, which includes:

* promote best practice for hygiene, ensuring cleaning is effective and soaps are provided (plus sanitiser, where possible)
* anyone with flu-like symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering

Update 2

update 2

Monday 16th March, 9:00pm

GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL IN ESSEX SUSPENDED
All Essex-Affiliated Competitions Postponed

Following the Government’s announcement today (Monday) about the Coronavirus outbreak, recommending for people to avoid social contact and gatherings where possible, and in-line with Football Association advice, the Essex County FA are suspending all affiliated football in Essex for the foreseeable future.

This suspension includes all matches (including friendlies) and training sessions until further notice. Throughout this recent period since COVID-19 has affected England, The FA and the Essex County FA have taken Government advice, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all.

Both will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time. The FA are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review.

Update 3

UPDATE 1

Friday 13th March, 2:00pm

ESSEX COUNTY FA COMPETITIONS POSTPONED UNTIL AFTER 3RD APRIL
Safety Precautions in Place following Coronavirus Outbreak

All Essex County FA Cup fixtures and coach education courses have been postponed until after Friday 3rd April in alignment with the professional game, following the Football Association’s statement regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

In Essex grassroots football, it is a league/competition’s decision, at this time, if they wish to continue playing or to postpone their respective competitions as autonomous bodies within the game. This is in-line with Government advice at this time.

It is not felt that grassroots fixtures need to be cancelled as a matter of course at the present time, although some may need to be if teams are self-isolating and are unable to play, or if teams are concerned about playing and the league/competition agrees to postpone. Sports are asked to keep up-to-date with, and follow, Government and Public Health England guidance.

Update 1

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