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North West County FAs Joint Statement - Local Lockdown Update

Issued Friday 16 October
The following information applies to Grassroots Football at NLS Feeder Leagues (Step 7) and below.

Earlier this week the government announced plans to simplify Covid-19 restrictions by categorising all local authorities or boroughs as:

Medium – Tier One

High – Tier Two

Very High – Tier Three

Most of the North West was placed in Tier Two from the outset, other than Liverpool and surrounding areas such as St. Helens, Knowsley, Sefton, Halton and Wirral.

This morning (16 October) the Government announced that it had reached an agreement with Lancashire to place the following Lancashire boroughs and unitary authorities into Tier Three and further communications are expected in relation to Greater Manchester.

The following defines which local authorities are aligned to which regions and which Tier they are in:
Lancashire - All Tier Three  Cheshire - All Tier Two  Greater Manchester - All Tier Two  Cumbria 
South Ribble
West Lancashire
Blackburn with Darwen
Ribble Valley
Cheshire West & Chester
Cheshire East


Carlisle – Tier 1
Allerdale – Tier 1
Eden – Tier 1
Copeland – Tier 1
South Lakeland – Tier 1
Barrow in Furness – Tier 2 

The following guidance applies to all County FAs in Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Westmorland and Cumberland.

Further guidance for Liverpool FA will be provided directly from the County FA.

With immediate effect based on the guidance currently provided, adult clubs and individuals cannot move in or out of a ‘Very High’, Tier 3 region or local authority to participate.

With regards to youth football (Under 18s) the updated FA guidance of 23 September with its strict conditions remains in place. At this present time there are no new restrictions on movement of youth teams and players irrespective of which Tier you are in.

There maybe local restrictions per local authority/borough which supersedes any provisions in the FA Guidance; for example, spectators attending matches.

We cannot stress enough the critical importance of all involved in the game doing their level best to allow the grassroots game to continue. The key guidance remain as follows:

Social distancing wherever possible for players, and always in the case of spectators

Robust hygiene standards as per risk assessments but including the wearing of masks in toilet blocks etc.

Effective registering of attendees primarily via the NHS Test and Trace QR code system

Actively discouraging all spectators at adult games

Consider minimising spectators at youth games to one adult per child wherever possible

Provide local adult fixtures within your catchment area, as detailed in the statement above.

We know these additional government restrictions will cause further disruption to individuals in clubs and leagues. However, we remain able to play football to a significant extent, albeit effectively under licence. We are reliant on each and every one of us complying fully with the current restrictions and we thank you all in advance of that compliance.

Note for all Clubs at levels Step 3-6 of the National League System

The FA had requested clarity from the UK Government on travel into or out of areas with ‘very high’ local COVID alert levels by players in Steps 3-6 of the National League System and DCMS have confirmed, in collaboration with the FA, that player travel for these fixtures is within the guidelines.

However, we ask that spectators follow the Government guidance and do not travel into or out of ‘Very High’ Tier 3 areas.

Simon Gerrard, CEO – Lancashire FA

Colin Bridgford, CEO – Manchester FA

Mike Watson, CEO – Cheshire FA

Dave Pugh, CEO – Liverpool FA

Jo Ashworth, CEO – Westmorland FA

Ben Snowdon, CEO – Cumberland FA


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