EIHA Update: Phase 2 of return to play
Late on Thursday night (13th August), the Government confirmed that it was implementing the next round of lockdown easements that were delayed from August 1. These will take effect from Saturday August 15th.
Included in these measures was the green light for ice rinks in England to reopen. With this announcement, the English Ice Hockey Association can confirm that Phase 2 of their ‘Return to Play’ protocols will also begin on Saturday August 15th.
Phase 2 allows groups of up to 20 players to train at once, although there are still restrictions on different groups mixing and 2m social distancing to be practiced.
Rinks in areas currently under additional restrictions may not be able to open straight away, while rinks in Wales subject to the advice of the Welsh Government – guidance is available online (see below).
EIHA director Travis Ward said: “The reopening of ice rinks in England is welcome news to the EIHA, as it finally means we can move into Phase 2 of our ‘Return to Play’ plan.
“Although we still have some time before we can get back to normal training and competition, the ability to get back on the ice and engage in modified on-ice training is a big step in the right direction.
“For rinks located in Wales and in areas that are currently subject to local lockdown restrictions, we urge rinks to consult and follow any specific government guidance related to reopening.
“We are pleased to finally have our athletes back on the ice, and we’re grateful for the support of the hockey community in helping us push for this, including our #SportNotLeisure campaign which was widely shared on social media in the last week.
“We look forward to getting back to competitive ice hockey across all levels of our sport, as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The EIHA’s update on phase 2 of return to play will go ahead as planned on 15th August subject to no further Government restrictions or lockdowns.
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