The Toolstation Western League would like to clarify their position regarding the pandemic and how we can continue to safely play football. This procedure is followed for all cases and the club’s Risk Assessment should reflect this.

Clubs will contact the TWL COVID Officer when someone at the Club has symptoms and has or will take an NHS Test, the person must immediately self isolate. The TWL will require a copy of the test result, either positive or negative.

Whilst waiting for the outcome of the test, the TWL will enquire as to what COVID protocols have been followed, during and after the last game. The decision on whether the club continues playing is dependent on the risks identified during the enquiry and the TWL COVID Officers decision must be adhered to.

If protocols have been followed on match day and on training nights, then the club and their previous opponents are normally allowed to continue with their fixtures, even if the one person’s test is eventually positive.

If protocols have not been followed, the TWL will review each situation with the consideration of postponing their next game whilst waiting for the result, to reduce potential risk to other clubs. The subject club will be required to start self-isolation of members at risk, from the date when the symptoms were identified. This is a legal requirement subject to £1000 fine for failing to do so.

If the test is negative the club continues with their League programme. Anyone who has begun self-isolating may stop although they should increase their awareness of symptoms and increase their cleansing routines.

If the test is positive then the person must isolate for 10 days from the date of symptoms. The NHS Test and Trace will be contacted and they will make decisions regarding self-isolation for potential contacts dependant on the information they are given. The NHS will then text the contacts informing them to self-isolate, but this may take more than 2 or 3 days.

Some clubs increase the safety of their members by pre-empting the NHS T&T and decide to inform their members, who are identified as potential contacts, to continue their self-isolation; as they are aware that there is an increased risk, due to protocols not being followed.

The TWL will then postpone the fixtures for those 14 days.

If you are self-isolating as a result of contact with someone who has tested positive then you must complete the 14 days self-isolation. If you decide to have a test during this period and it is negative, you are still required to complete the 14 days self-isolation.

Hopefully, by following the protocols, you will be spared the necessity of self-isolation and the problems that brings as a result. So please stay healthy and fit.


What happens if a player tests positive for Covid-19?

If there is a player who has tested positive, they must from that point self-isolate (or if they have symptoms, from the moment of symptoms) and NHS Test and Trace will pick up from this point. The player should contact NHS 111.

NHS Test and Trace will send a text, email alert or call with instructions of how to share details of people with whom there has been close, recent contact and places visited. It is important that the player responds quickly and accurately so that the NHS can give appropriate advice to those who need it.

The Club can carry on, but be mindful to ensure all the guidelines are strictly followed on social distancing, hand washing etc. If Test and Trace contact them, they must provide the details and then if deemed necessary, anyone needs to isolate on their instruction, do so.

What happens if I have played an opposition team and one of their players has tested positive for Covid-19?

Matchplay is not considered ‘close contact’ so no action is needed unless individuals experience symptoms or have not followed match day protocols, in which case they must self-isolate from that point as per Government guidance.

What is self-isolation?

‘Self-isolation if you have symptoms’ means you and all household members must remain at home. Do not go outside your home for any reason that is to work, school or public areas and do not use public transport or taxis.

If told to begin self-isolation for 14 days from your last contact with the person who has the symptoms or tested positive, it is really important to do this even if you don’t feel unwell because, if you have been infected, you could become infectious to others at any point up to 14 days. Failure to self-isolate for the full time-period can result in a fine, starting from £1,000. Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and hand washing and avoid contact with you at home

What is contact?

‘Contact’ means a person who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and who may or may not live with them. In the TWL this would be a teammate if you have not followed the match day or training session protocols.