Cricket Wales has noticed an increase recently in social media posts which appear to show potential breaches of current social distancing regulations in Wales.
While we are fortunate in Wales to have a world-class vaccination programme, we would remind clubs and individuals that, sadly, Coronavirus cases and hospitalisations continue to rise across all four Home Nations; Overall case numbers are relatively low in Wales, but there have been well-publicised spikes in localised parts of our country. - There have also been several high-profile outbreaks in professional cricket in recent weeks.
While, thankfully, we have not had reports of Covid outbreaks traced specifically to recreational cricket activity or clubs, we do know that where cases have been linked to other outdoor team sports, this has been overwhelmingly owing to social activity, at a club or by its club members, rather than to the playing of the sport itself.
There is a further Welsh Government review scheduled for later this week, but the guidance for cricket (and general social activity/meeting other people) in Wales has not changed. Further, any announcements which might be made by the Prime Minister or UK Government this week will apply in England only.
In light of this, Cricket Wales would like to take this opportunity to encourage clubs and participants to continue to take as much care off-field as they are doing on-field, with regards to Covid protocols and mitigations, particularly if mixing indoors after a game, where participants should follow the 'rule of six' (this number being an upper limit, not a target).
We would also remind pariticpants that changing facilities should only be used if this can be done safely, likely with reduced capacity to ensure that social distancing can be maintained.
A summary of current restrictions can be found at the Welsh Government website.
The latest issue of guidance for outdoor cricket activity in Wales can be found here.
Cricket Wales CEO, Leshia Hawkins, added, "While we have all been heartened by the recent direction of travel in Wales, both in terms of the success of our country's vaccination programme, and some easing in restrictions by Welsh Government to allow increased numbers at regulated outdoor gatherings, we are keen to ensure that our clubs and participants do not let their guard down while there is still a clear risk to public health from Covid, especially from the 'Delta' variant.
"We have long stated cricket's desire to be part of the solution to the pandemic, not to be part of the problem. I therefore urge both clubs and participants to ensure they continue to keep their own team-mates and their wider communities as safe as possible.
"We are not seeking to stop people from enjoying themselves, nor the freedoms we have all been afforded, but, as a sport, we have a responsibility to continue to follow and uphold the standing regulations in Wales, and I appreciate everyone's understanding on this."
If clubs require any additional advice in respect of the guidance, please contact your Area Team for further assistance.