Can I play tennis under new lockdown rules?

Since the latest lockdown came into effect on 5 January, many recreational tennis players have been holding out for news on the reopening of courts, which were closed in England and Wales when lockdown began.

In Scotland, children aged 11 and under have been able to play tennis in organised outdoor group activities, and adults and children over the age of 12 have been able to play singles. Households have also been able to play together.

And on Monday, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed his roadmap for Britain’s exit from the ongoing coronavirus-enforced lockdown, it was announced that tennis courts would reopen on 29 March.

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The reintroduction of tennis was always unlikely to be immediate, with Johnson’s roadmap consisting of several staggered stages and the return of recreational sport coming along the way.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi had said ahead of the Prime Minister’s announcement that some outdoor sports would return on 29 March, the same date on which people will be allowed to meet in groups of six or as two households.

Therefore, tennis courts will reopen on that date at the earliest with certain guidelines in place in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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“The simple way to look at this is that outdoor is safer and therefore we prioritise versus indoor,” Zahawi told LBC. “Outdoor sports – tennis, golf, outdoor organised team sports, grassroots football – will go back on March 29.”

Johnson similarly suggested that outdoor activities marked the “best way to restore freedom while minimising risk”.

Indoor leisure centres, including gyms and swimming pools, will reopen on 12 April at the earliest, and major sports events could begin to welcome back fans from 17 May.

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