The English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards (EPSB) can today provide the following update in respect of the operation of snooker facilities, in response to the announcements made by the UK government on Wednesday 9 September 2020 in respect of the latest coronavirus restrictions relating to group sizes.

Following the re-opening of snooker facilities in June we endeavoured to quickly put in place robust guidelines for clubs, leagues and junior coaching groups to enable them to resume activity in the safest way possible. In doing so we have closely followed Sport England’s ‘Return to play’ protocols at all times.

Sport England has since released a statement on social media and updated its ‘group sizes’ information, clarifying that sports that have been through Return to play protocols can continue to operate as before.

We are therefore keen to reassure all stakeholders of our sport in England that activity can continue – provided that our official EPSB COVID-19 Guidance is followed. With the introduction of “Covid-secure marshals” by the government to help ensure that social distancing in town and city centres is being respected, it is more important than ever that this guidance is followed by all snooker facilities.

Any facilities that choose not to respect this guidance may be at risk of local authority intervention which could result in their closure and we would therefore urge club management and league committees to closely follow the procedures that we have outlined.

We understand that this has been a difficult year for all stakeholders in our sport, from snooker facility management to staff and league committees and we would like to commend the hard work that has been undertaken already to help make the return of our sport become a reality.

Throughout this process we have lobbied the UK government to demonstrate that snooker is a safe sport with appropriate measures in place and we will continue to seek government support for the gradual and safe return of further snooker and billiards activity.

Further first-hand guidance and dedicated support is available to members of the EPSB 147 Club affiliation scheme, including exclusive discounts on WPBSA Snooker Coaching courses and supply partner promotions that can help facilities financially to get back on their feet.

Any club joining the scheme prior to the end of September 2020 will receive and extra six months affiliation (18 months instead of 12) to support clubs through the coronavirus period. Learn more and join today: https://www.epsb.co.uk/the-147-club/