Return To Play Guidance

Basketball England has refreshed guidance to support the basketball community following the Government’s introduction of new COVID-19 rules on 8 December.  

The Prime Minister announced new rules, including the compulsory wearing of masks and the use COVID-19 passes in some venues.

The key change to BE guidance for basketball in England is that the wearing of masks will be compulsory in venues - see conditions below.

New COVID-19 pass rules are unlikely to affect basketball, though venues may have their own guidelines which must be adhered to. COVID-19 pass rules apply to unseated indoor and outdoor venues over set capacities and those with over 10,000 attendees - see details below.

We appreciate the effort and patience required from all in the basketball family to adapt to Government rules and urge our affiliated clubs and partner organisations to continue to adopt a flexible and responsible approach that enables as many people as possible to play the sport safely.  

The BE guidance remains built on three simple principles:  

  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and get tested 
  • What can individuals do? Wear a mask, follow hygiene guidance, social distance 
  • What can clubs do? Test, screen, sound venue hygiene/management 

If you feel unwell, stay at home and get tested 

We encourage everyone to adopt a self-screening process. If you have a temperature, cough, headaches or generally feel unwell, DO NOT attend practice or games.  

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. You should self-isolate at home while you book the test and wait for the results.  

You must self-isolate if you test positive as per the Government guidelines.  

From 22 December people will be able to end quarantine after seven days instead of 10 by providing negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven.

The guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. But people should not end their isolation early if they are still experiencing symptoms.

And anyone ending isolation on day seven is strongly advised to limit contact with vulnerable people, not visit crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, and work from home.

People who are not double-jabbed and come in close contact with a positive case must still isolate for a full 10 days.

From 14 December, people who are fully vaccinated and identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take an NHS rapid lateral flow test every day for seven days to help slow the spread of COVID-19. More information HERE.

Everyone 12 years of age and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

What can individuals do? Wear a mask, follow hygiene guidance, social distance 

As part of the Government rules, all individuals must wear a mask when inside a venue, except players, coaches and officials who are active on court. Table officials and statisticians must wear a mask.

We strongly recommend players and coaches wear a mask when inactive on the bench.  

Hand hygiene is one of the keys to stop the spread, therefore it is important to wash your hands:  

  • After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose  
  • Before you eat or handle food  
  • After coming into contact with surfaces touched by many others, such as handles, handrails and light switches  
  • After coming into contact with shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms  
  • Before and after training/games 
  • When you return home  

Where possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  

Social distance (1m) where possible when not playing.

What can clubs do? Testing, screening, sound venue hygiene/management 

Clubs are advised to conduct temperature checking and team screening.    

Clubs are recommended to lateral flow test players twice a week as a way of identifying asymptomatic carriers. LFTs can be ordered through this link. 

There are no limits on the number of people allowed on court or spectators, but venues may have their own guidelines that must be adhered to. Basketball England cannot influence venues, however, we encourage all members to be sympathetic to different venue requirements.    

When operating central venue leagues or events with large crowds, we strongly urge the use of one-way systems and limiting the number of people gathering in common areas.  Spectators should be seated and socially distanced (1m) where possible.

Clubs are encouraged to support venues by keeping them clean, removing all waste (bottles etc), thoroughly cleaning benches and other high-sweat contact areas.  

Basketballs and other high-contact equipment should also be cleaned between sessions.   

Covid-19 vaccine passports

COVID-19 vaccine passports (via the NHS app or a negative lateral flow test) are required by Government rules in the following circumstances:

  • Indoor events with 500 or more unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as venues with standing audiences or large receptions;
  • Outdoor events with 4,000 or more unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event; and
  • Any events with 10,000 or more attendees indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events

Venues may have their own guidelines which must be adhered to. If you are unsure if these rules apply to your venue, please contact