a) Dates and restrictions are dependent on the various tests set by the Government being met, so that Government can announce that they are moving into Step 2. The start date for Step 2, which allows for sporting events behind closed doors, is not before 1 June.
b) The aim is to implement a successful progression of training, in conjunction with Public Health England and clubs, which provides a safe yet effective environment for players and their associated staff to prepare for the start of tournament polo, targeted for the early part/middle of June. To meet that target, it is important that players and ponies have the opportunity to train for the HPA Victor Ludorum fixture list as published on the HPA website and hence the intention is to move from stick and balling to ‘no contact’ socially distanced supervised training sessions as set out in Annex A. Professionals are at work when attending a training session as they cannot do it at home.
c) The protection of all persons from Covid-19 is of the greatest importance and hence the numbers attending the training sessions must be kept to an absolute minimum. Only those who are essential to training may attend.
d) Rule changes are being considered in case they are necessary, but our hope and intention is that any rule changes will be kept to a minimum and will only be made to assist getting the sport going as soon as possible.
e) Testing is not currently a condition of the Government, but new tests are being developed and testing will be kept under review.
These have been updated. The main change is that it has been agreed that all attendees should check their own temperature the day before and should stay at home if it is over 37.8. It must also be checked on entry. Attached at Annex A are the updated procedures.
Clubs only will be sent a copy of Guards Polo Club protocols at Annex B which they should find very helpful. I have put in italics the bits which Clubs will want to change and there may be other bits to be updated. At Annex C is a summary of the main points from the Government’s 50 page ‘Recovery from Covid-19’ document and Sport England’s guidelines.
3) OTHER POINTS OF NOTE
a) Polo played on private grounds is not within the remit of the HPA unless it brings the game into disrepute. It is considered to be very unhelpful that some have been and are playing chukkas and putting the whole sport at risk.
b) The Government has not yet imposed a 14 day quarantine for those entering the UK, but it may be imposed at the end of the this month.
Annex B: Guards Polo Club Protocols (for clubs only)