Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus

Keeping you updated on the impact on Essex football

update 16

Tuesday 2nd June, 9:00am

GUIDANCE ON PERMITTED GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL ACTIVITY
Latest Guidelines During Covid-19 from 1st June

The Football Association have issued further guidance to all grassroots football and informal football activity outside the professional game following the Government’s relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions from 1st June 2020.

Consistent with Government advice published on Monday 1st June, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:

* playing football individually. For example, practice of individual skills or fitness activities;
* playing football with your family or other people living in your household;
* football training or fitness activities in groups of no more than six, keeping two metres apart at all times.


Sharing of equipment should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. Physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted. Therefore, playing of any games (small-sided or full) is also not permitted at this time.

Avoid meeting in groups of six in busy or overcrowded areas if it is so busy that it is not possible to maintain social distancing at all times.

Football coaches can now undertake small group sessions up to six people (including the coach) but are reminded to follow FA safeguarding policy when coaching/working with children. This must include risk assessing the activities, gaining consent from parents/carers and ensuring you are in sight of another adult.

For example, a parent/carer or another coach and that the ratio of coach to different age groups of children is appropriate (see download 5.5). For clarity, the additional parent/carer or coach is not included as part of the group of six but must remain in sight of the activity.

It is permissible for coaches to organise a training session which has two or more groups of six (including the coach) involved in the session, as long as the groups of six are kept separate, everyone is socially distancing and strict hygiene measures are in place with any equipment.

Football coaches working with people with impairments must ensure they can adequately cater for any additional needs whilst still avoiding physical contact and maintaining social distancing. Individuals should follow Government guidance relevant to their own impairment or health condition.

Please be reminded, if an individual is symptomatic, living in a household with a possible Covid-19 infection or if you're classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home.

The FA continue to work closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Sport England in order to set out good practice guidance for those responsible for delivering different aspects of grassroots football and will provide further updates as guidance information is shared.

 
Coronavirus Update
Frequently asked questions

I’m booked onto a course/workshop with the Essex County FA. Is this course now cancelled?

In-line with the current suspension of all grassroots football, our education programme is also postponed until further notice. Once we have an idea of timescales for re-scheduling these courses, we will be in contact with all impacted learners in due course. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact our Coach Education Team.

I have started a course. What happens now?

A few of our courses were part-way through at the time activities were postponed. Once we have an idea of timescales for re-scheduling these courses, we will be in contact with all impacted learners to discuss the options available in due course. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact our Coach Education Team.

When will there be an update about my course?

We will provide updates, both through our website and by E-Mail correspondence, as further information is available. We will be carefully following Government and FA advice in the coming weeks to ensure we take the best possible action moving forward.

Will my re-scheduled course/workshop run in the same way as the one I booked?

Every effort will be made to ensure courses follow a like-for-like delivery structure, including the course tutor(s). Work has already started on this. We appreciate that individual learner circumstances may change due to the current climate. If this is the case, please contact your Course Organiser to discuss this further.

What support is available to coaches during this period?

Fortunately, there are many sources of information available to coaches across the game, to aid personal development. We’ve outlined a few below and will continue to share ideas and resources via Twitter at @EssexCoaches.

CPD (Continuing Professional Development): new material added throughout the year
The Boot Room: the new home of coaching resources
The FA Coaching Community - Hive Learning: connect with coaches from all levels of the game
Other Online CPD: you’ll need your E-Mail Address and password to sign-in
FA Playmaker (launching in July): perfect for those interested in coaching or leading activities
Inclusion & Anti-Discrimination: helpful documents, resources and guidance
England DNA: playing and coaching philosophy of the England teams
FA Grassroots Guide: download the file below for a handy grassroots guide to youth football
FA Talent ID: Level 1 can be completed online
FA Player: countless clips and highlights to review
FA Matchday App: organise your football life
YouTube: FA Learning: direct access to the latest coaching webinars, sessions, interviews and ideas to stay active
#FootballsStayingHome: from tips to staying safe and healthy, to football activities to keep your body and mind active, explore how you can make the most of football staying at home

I've started an FA Level 1 course. How can I access my online learning modules?

In March 2020, the FA Learning system was updated. A new website now exists and online modules can be found in the 'My Learning Record' section of 'The Learner Dashboard' at www.falearning.thefa.com.

If you have any questions, please contact our Coach Education Team.

What if I have a Safeguarding concern for an under-18 or adult at risk?

The normal processes still apply. If you have an immediate concern outside office hours, the Police or another agency should be notified. The department is fully functioning, and can be reached via E-Mail or telephone. Even though football is currently suspended, we would stress that all normal reporting processes must continue, and that contact should be made immediately (or as soon as possible) to the department.

Guidance for Engaging with Children Aged Under 18 in Football - Virtual Interactions

We encourage all leagues and clubs to familiarise themselves with these new guidance notes to keep abreast of best practice when engaging with children aged under 18 in football.

Online Procedures for Coaches/Managers
Online Tips for Parents/Carers

I’ve booked onto a Safeguarding Children Workshop or a Welfare Officer Workshop. What is happening regarding my workshop?

In-line with the current suspension of all grassroots football, our programme is also postponed until further notice. Once we have an idea of timescales for re-scheduling these courses, we will be in contact with all impacted learners in due course. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact our Safeguarding Team.

Workshops: How will this affect my/the club’s position for 2020/21 affiliation?

This is subject to review depending on the progress of Covid-19. We will be liaising with The FA to have a better understanding for this period and the impacts of individuals not being able to complete the workshop. By way of assistance, please see below the period of validation for a certificate:

Safeguarding Children Workshop - three years
Welfare Officer Workshop - does not have to be renewed after completion
Safeguarding for Committee Members - four years
DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) - three years

If you have previously completed a Safeguarding Children Workshop in person (three hours), you should be able to renew via the online self-recertification.

FA DBS

The FA are implementing temporary changes to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks in football for the period which football is suspended due to Coronavirus, up to and including the start of the 2020/21 season. These changes are outlined below, and will apply to all roles in football.

This decision has been made in light of the current cessation of football activity, difficulties regarding online ID verification for the purposes of renewing a DBS check and demand on the DBS service due to the current health crisis.

1. All volunteers carrying out regulated activity with under 18s (in accordance with DBS guidance) require an Enhanced DBS with a check of the Children’s Barring List before they commence their role within football. This is current practice, and will remain in place. However, we ask that new DBS checks are not submitted (from today onwards) whilst football activity remains suspended. For the avoidance of doubt, volunteers will not be permitted to carry out regulated activity with under 18s until they have obtained a DBS check. The FA will provide a further update on processing new DBS checks in due course when there is further clarity on when football activity will resume.

2. All individuals whose DBS checks are due to expire between 1st March 2020 and 1st October 2020 will not be required to renew their DBS checks until one year after the scheduled date of expiry. The FA currently requires DBS checks to be renewed every three years, in accordance with industry standards and best practice. However, we have made an informed decision to extend that to four years, in these limited circumstances, on the basis of the current health crisis, associated difficulties in DBS check renewal and the fact that these individuals already hold a DBS check which has been accepted by The FA.

a. The FA are currently proposing an end date of 1st October 2020, based on the fact that this season’s grassroots footballing activity has ended and the assumption that pre-season will commence with the start of the youth season starting in September 2020. However, as circumstances develop, this date is potentially subject to change.

b. The FA’s proposals outlined above are applicable to all DBS checks completed through The FA.

c. The FA’s Whole Game System will be updated to reflect these changes.

Please note that the changes outlined above are temporary, and The FA reserves the right to review and amend the position, including to reflect changes in legislation and/or statutory guidance with respect to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic and further clarity on when football activity will resume. The above changes are made to support the footballing family in the immediate term and to support a return to football activity in the longer term whilst ensuring The FA’s commitment to safeguarding remains in place.

What if my DBS expires?

We are in regular communication with The FA, and have received guidance on this process. We are aware that individuals will be receiving notifications of their DBS expiry date and will be looking to renew.

Due to the difficulties around verification in the present climate, it is not currently possible to verify your DBS. At this time, we would ask for your understanding but, if you have any specific concerns, please do contact our Safeguarding Department. We are mindful this is a fast-moving and changing landscape and individuals and clubs will want to be in the best possible position.

How do I commence new, or renew an existing, DBS application?

No new FA DBS checks should be undertaken at this time. We are in communication with The FA and we receive updates, which will be shared.

You may already notice that, if your DBS is due to expire between 1st March 2020 and 1st October 2020, the expiry date on your FAN made have been updated. Please read the above section on FA DBS. We will continue to share all updates as well as the processes which will be put in place for DBS checks upon the return to football.

Will my re-scheduled course/workshop run in the same way as the one I booked?

Every effort will be made to ensure courses follow a like-for-like delivery structure, including the course tutor(s). Work has already started on this. We appreciate that individual learner circumstances may change due to the current climate. If this is the case, please contact your Course Organiser to discuss this further.

Can my club access any specific support during this time?

We've created a ‘Covid-19 Club Resource Guide’ containing information, tips, tools and ideas to help keep clubs functioning and working as best they can during the coming weeks and months. The guide features Covid-19-specific information, such as funding support which clubs can explore. Click here to view/download the PDF document.

How does Covid-19 affect my Charter Standard Annual Health Check?

The Annual Health Check (AHC) window has been extended until 30th April. Please continue to work closely with your local Football Development Officer who will support you through the process.

Wildcats

As an FA recreational programme, these are postponed-in line with the current guidelines on grassroots football. All centre operators have been notified of this. We encourage all participants to continue to liaise with their respective Wildcats Centre Lead and keep up-to-date with the latest news via this website.

Mars Just Play Centres

As an FA recreational programme, these are postponed-in line with the current guidelines on grassroots football. All centre operators have been notified of this. We encourage all participants to continue to liaise with their respective Just Play Centre Lead and keep up-to-date with the latest news via this website.

Facility Bookings

We have been contacted by a number of clubs/teams about the facility bookings they have in place, and the possibilities of support to claim money back for unused bookings. We advise that you liaise directly with the facility operator over the coming weeks to understand what their position is. You may wish to refer back to your terms and conditions of hire as a starting point to dialogue.

Covid-19 Funding Support

The Government and Sport England have set out details of support for organisations who are experiencing financial difficulties as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak. If your club is registered with HMRC you should explore the Government options first. For those clubs who are unincorporated, and operate as a members club, please explore the Sport England funding.

Government Support

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by Covid-19. This includes a package of measures to support businesses, including:

* a statutory sick pay relief package for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
* a twelve-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England   
* small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
* grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
* the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
* a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity amongst larger firms, helping them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
the HMRC ‘Time to Pay’ Scheme
* Covid-19: Support for businesses

The HMRC website is advising that local authorities will be writing to you if entitled to the grants, and at which level (£10k or £25k) shortly but, if you haven't heard when everyone else starts receiving their notices, you should contact the local authority to whom you pay your business rates. More details can be found by following this link.

Has anyone in grassroots football tried to apply for Government funding yet?

The Thurrock Association Sunday League, who operate the Lakeside Sports Ground, have been working hard on exploring the opportunities and have been keeping us updated with their progress. You can find a link to this case study here.

Sport England Community Emergency Fund

The Community Emergency Fund aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need. It's specifically targeted at organisations who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short-term financial hardship, or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing crisis.

The types of organisations eligible include local sports clubs forced to close at short notice (but who are facing ongoing costs around maintenance and utility bills) and voluntary and community sector organisations who deliver or enable sport and physical activity.

What it will fund:

The fund has been developed to help community sport and physical activity organisations meet their obligations, in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of Coronavirus. This might cover expenditure on:

* rent
* utility costs
* insurances
* facility or equipment hire
* core staffing costs (including casual workers) which cannot be met elsewhere by other Government funds

Key points to note:

* grants of between £300 to £10,000 are available
* Sport England expect that applicants will have exhausted all other Government funding sources before applying to this fund
* given the enormity of the current crisis, there will be a lot of interest, so we encourage clubs to look at this as soon as possible - Sport England are likely to get more applications than they are able to fund, so they will direct funds to where they’re most needed

For further information, and to start an application, please follow this link. We are keen to hear from clubs/leagues who progress with an application as we’d like to develop a case study to share with everyone.

Small-Sided Leagues

All Essex County FA-affiliated football activity has been suspended, which includes small-sided leagues. Nationally-affiliated small-sided providers have been advised to adhere to FA and Government recommendations.

Essex County FA Girls Regional Talent Centre

As an FA programme coordinated and delivered by the Essex County FA, all fixtures and training have been suspended, in-line with current guidelines on grassroots football. We encourage all players/parents/guardians to continue to liaise with centre staff, and to keep up-to-date with the latest news via our website.

Summer Tournaments

We fully appreciate that, for most clubs, their summer tournament/festival is their biggest fundraising opportunity ahead of a new season. Some clubs have already affiliated their respective event with us. In the current climate, if the event needs to be rescheduled to a later date, this can be done without the need to complete any further online form. We will refrain from sanctioning any further tournaments until there is more certainty around when grassroots football can resume. If you have any queries, please E-Mail beth.morrell@essexfa.com.

FA Club & League Football Forum Webinar

The FA recently held their third webinar on ‘How to Plan During Times of Uncertainty’, exploring a club and league business continuity plan. You can watch this webinar on the Essex County FA YouTube Channel here: https://youtu.be/XDkvLLuv3vU. This is also the place to watch other club webinars such as 'How Do We Know We've Made' and 'What We Stand For: Developing a Vision and Values at Your Club'.

Muckle: Impact of Covid-19

An updated version of Impact of Covid-19 resource for clubs and leagues can be found via this link, then by clicking on ‘Muckle Legal Helpline’. The revised version now includes information on sponsorship contracts.

I’m currently booked onto an FA Referee Course which has now been postponed. Will I get a refund, or will I be offered a space on a future course?

In-line with the current suspension of all grassroots football, our referee education programme is also postponed until further notice. Once we have an idea of timescales for re-scheduling these courses, we will be in contact with all impacted learners in due course. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact our Referee Team.

Will my re-scheduled course/workshop run in the same way as the one I booked?

Every effort will be made to ensure courses follow a like-for-like delivery structure, including the course tutor(s). Work has already started on this. We appreciate that individual learner circumstances may change due to the current climate. If this is the case, please contact your Course Organiser to discuss this further.

I haven’t completed my FA Referee Course, as I still need to referee my five training games and/or attend a Unit 6 session. What are my next steps?

Please E-Mail referees@essexfa.com and we can let you know your next steps, depending on how many games you’ve refereed.

I’m currently booked onto the Referee Workshop for the BBC Essex Senior Cup Final, which has now been postponed. Will I get a refund, or will my booking be valid for the rearranged date?

Once a rearranged date has been confirmed, we will look to honour your booking. If you’re unable to attend the rearranged date, please contact our Referees Team.

FA DBS

The FA is implementing temporary changes to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks in football for the period that football is suspended due to Coronavirus, up to and including the start of the 2020/21 season. These changes are outlined below, and will apply to all roles in football.

This decision has been made in light of the current cessation of football activity, difficulties regarding online ID verification for the purposes of renewing a DBS check and demand on the DBS service due to the current health crisis.

1. All new referees, referee coaches, observers and mentors registering to officiate within youth football who will be carrying out regulated activity with under 18s (in accordance with DBS guidance) require an Enhanced DBS with a check of the Children’s Barring List before they commence their role within football. This is current practice, and will remain in place. However, we ask that new DBS checks are not submitted (from today onwards) whilst football activity remains suspended. For the avoidance of doubt, volunteers will not be permitted to carry out regulated activity with under 18s until they have obtained a DBS check. The FA will provide a further update on processing new DBS checks in due course when there is further clarity on when football activity will resume.

2. All individuals whose DBS checks are due to expire between 1st March 2020 and 1st October 2020 will not be required to renew their DBS checks until one year after the scheduled date of expiry. The FA currently requires DBS checks to be renewed every three years, in accordance with industry standards and best practice. However, we have made an informed decision to extend that to four years, in these limited circumstances, on the basis of the current health crisis, associated difficulties in DBS check renewal and the fact that these individuals already hold a DBS check which has been accepted by The FA.

a. The FA is currently proposing an end date of 1st October 2020, based on the fact that this season’s grassroots footballing activity has ended and the assumption that pre-season will commence with the start of the youth season starting September 2020. However, as circumstances develop, this date is potentially subject to change.

b. The FA’s Whole Game System will be updated to reflect these changes.

Please note that the changes outlined above are temporary, and The FA reserves the right to review and amend the position, including to reflect changes in legislation and/or statutory guidance with respect to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic and further clarity on when football activity will resume. The above changes are made to support the footballing family in the immediate term and to support a return to football activity in the longer term whilst ensuring The FA’s commitment to safeguarding remains in place.

At this time, we would ask for your understanding but, if you have any specific concerns, please do contact our Referees Department.

My FA Safeguarding Children is up for renewal. How can I update this?

At the moment, all County FA courses and workshops have been postponed until further notice. However, if you’re eligible to renew your FA Safeguarding Children online, please follow this link to our guidance on how to renew your FA Safeguarding Children Certificate.

Am I still able to referee small-sided football (i.e. PlayFootball, Soccersixes etc)?

All Essex County FA-affiliated football activity has been suspended, which includes small-sided leagues. Nationally-affiliated small-sided providers have been advised to adhere to FA and Government recommendations. All Essex County FA-affiliated referees have been advised to adhere to this guidance.

Will the 2019/20 season be extended?

The FA have made the decision that all grassroots football has now stopped for season 2019/20. Discussions are to be taken by each league/competition as to what should happen to conclude the season. We are liaising with competitions and providing guidance.

Can we train or play friendlies?

All grassroots football activity was suspended on 16th March following Government and Public Health England advice about the necessity for social distancing. This includes participation in training sessions and the playing of friendly fixtures.

Does this suspension include Walking Football?

The suspension from football is for all levels, and does include Walking Football. Walking Football within Essex is a summer competition and, after discussing this with The FA, the season has only just, or was just about to, begin. There is the ability - depending on the time we are in the current isolation period for - that the league can continue as normal.

Is our insurance still valid if we choose to train?

The Essex County FA have informed that all clubs should not train until The FA lifts the suspension of all grassroots football. Clubs and teams who ignore this instruction may not be insured and may not be able to make any claims against their policies.

What is happening with this season's County Cup Finals?

All County Cup Finals scheduled for March and April have been postponed until further notice. The Essex County FA will seek to rearrange these as soon as it is safe to do so.

Will this affect affiliation for the 2020/21 season?

The affiliation window for the 2020/21 season is currently scheduled to open in May 2020. You can find out more in this news article.

Is the disciplinary process continuing to function?

Current discipline investigations from matches which took place prior to the suspension of grassroots football are continuing, as these fixtures did take place, and includes cautions and misconducts. Clubs or individuals are advised to contact a member of the Governance Team as soon as possible if they have any concerns regarding ongoing discipline, investigation, caution or misconduct cases.

Is my suspension still in place?

Match-based suspensions which have been imposed as a result of a red card offence, or following a misconduct hearing, will remain in place, with the suspensions to be served once the suspension on grassroots football is lifted.

Where a term-based suspension has been imposed by a discipline commission, these will continue to run during the period that football is not being played. Should an individual have received an Interim Suspension Order, this also remains in place. There are cases which are currently being considered by Discipline Commissions and, if there is a period suspension which is being imposed, the implementation of the suspension is being deferred until such time as football can officially begin again.

I’ve purchased BBC Essex Senior Cup Final tickets. What are my options?

In the current climate, the final is postponed. Work is being undertaken to re-arrange the final subject to Government guidelines on movement restrictions. Subject to the final being played, tickets which have already been purchased will be honoured. If the final is not played, or you cannot attend the re-arranged final, then all tickets will be refunded. If there are different individual circumstances, please E-Mail mark.wallis@essexfa.com.

What is the situation relating to the Personal Accident Insurance which has been required to be purchased?

We have received confirmation from Bluefin any Personal Accident Insurance purchased through them remains in place, subject to clubs complying with the Government and The FA measures in place. The expiry date for the insurance remains as 30th June 2020 so, if the Government measures change, the insurance will still be valid.

From the information which has been provided, Bluefin will be adjusting premiums for season 2020/21 to reflect any period of inactivity. If any club/team has specific queries regarding this, then please contact Bluefin via (0345) 872 5060 or nationalgame@bluefinsport.co.uk.

Update 15

Friday 15th May, 11:00am

FA GUIDANCE ON PERMITTED GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL ACTIVITY DURING COVID-19
Social Distancing Guidelines Must be Followed

The FA has today issued guidance to all grassroots football and informal football activity outside the professional game.

Consistent with Government advice, published on Wednesday 13th May, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:

* playing football individually (e.g. practice of individual skills or fitness activities)
* playing football with your family or other people living in your household
* an individual can play football with one other person who is not from their household
* coaching an adult player one-to-one

All social distancing guidelines must be followed. Additionally, maintaining a grass or artificial football pitch is permitted, as long as social distancing and appropriate hygiene practices are adopted.

If an individual is symptomatic, living in a household with a possible Covid-19 infection, or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home. The following football activity is not permitted at this time, consistent with Government guidelines:

* coaching a child (under 18) from a different household one-to-one. In order to comply with The FA’s safeguarding policy, a child must have a parent/carer with them, which doesn’t comply with Government social distancing requirements
* two or more people from one household playing with one person or more from outside their household

The FA will continue to work with the Government and Sport England in order to provide guidance to grassroots football as the Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy moves to the next phase. Government advice can be accessed at www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation.

 
An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

FA Activity Guidance

update 14

Wednesday 29th April, 5:00pm

New and existing football clubs and competitions in Essex who register for the 2020/21 campaign will be able to do so at no cost as the Essex County FA Board have confirmed affiliation will be provided free of charge, offering financial support during the extra challenges faced as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

To complete affiliation, clubs require Legal (Public) Liability and Personal Accident Insurance. We will also continue to pay 100% of the Public Liability costs for all eligible grassroots clubs as part of their affiliation and, in addition, will contribute 50% towards Personal Accident cover up to the minimum requirements. The overall pledge amounts to around £160,000. Click here to read the full news article.

Free Affiliation

update 13

Tuesday 28th April, 5:00pm

We've created a new ‘Covid-19 Club Resource Guide’ containing information, tips, tools and ideas to help keep clubs functioning and working as best they can during the coming weeks and months.

The guide features Covid-19-specific information, such as funding support which clubs can explore. Click here to view/download the PDF document.

update 12

Wednesday 22nd April, 9:00am

This morning we've added further updates to our Frequently Asked Questions section on this page, relating specifically to the 'Football Development' section where we have new club development guidance and webinars.

We'd recommend returning to this page on a regular basis for the most up-to-date details. We're committed to keeping Essex grassroots football fully informed during this difficult time. An accessible version of this web page can also be found via this link.

Coronavirus Update

update 11

Tuesday 14th April, 10:00am

Recently we detailed that the Thurrock Association Sunday League, who operate the Lakeside Sports Ground, have been working hard on exploring the opportunities of Government funding.

The league have been keeping us updated with their progress, and they’ve provided us with the following positive update: “I can now confirm that Lakeside Sports Ground has received the £10,000 grant under the Government’s extended retail scheme. I am also told that the “furloughed” worker scheme will be up and running at the end of this week.”

update 10

Thursday 9th April, 6:00pm

The FA have today released a statement confirming the FA Council has ratified the decision to end the 2019/20 season at grassroots level.

Read the full statement from The FA here: www.thefa.com/news/2020/apr/09/fa-council-statement-090420.

update 9

Wednesday 7th April, 9:30am

Further updates have been published to our Frequently Asked Questions section on this page this morning to reflect new information on Safeguarding and Referees, specifically relating to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Checks.

We'd recommend returning to this page on a regular basis for the most up-to-date details. We're committed to keeping Essex grassroots football fully informed during this difficult time.

update 8

Thursday 2nd April, 12:00pm

Today we've published updates to the Frequently Asked Questions section on this page to reflect new information on Coach Education (Courses and Workshops), Safeguarding, Football Development, Referees and Governance.

As part of our pledge to keep Essex grassroots football fully informed during this difficult time, we'd recommend checking this page on a regular basis for the most up-to-date details.

update 7

Thursday 26th March, 3:30pm

The FA has today released a statement to bring clarity to the conclusion of this season’s competitions.

Furthermore, we can now confirm that The FA has decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019/20 season. Read the full statement from The FA here: www.thefa.com/news/2020/mar/26/national-league-system-womens-football-pyramid-grassroots-covid-19-update-260320.

Coronavirus Update

update 6

Thursday 26th March, 2:00pm

The Prime Minister has reinforced the single most important action we can now all take, in fighting Coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

The campaign to raise awareness of this message has launched across TV, radio as well as digital and social channels. You can visit the Public Health England website to download materials and help amplify the message or, alternatively, you can share the posts from the Essex County FA Twitter and Facebook feeds: 

Public Health England Website
@EssexCountyFA on Twitter
EssexFootball on Facebook

Every Mind Matters have also released expert advice and top tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak. It includes guidance if you’re feeling worried or anxious. Again, you can visit the Every Mind Matters website to access this information or, alternatively, you can share the posts from the Essex County FA Twitter and Facebook feeds: 

Every Mind Matters Website
@EssexCountyFA on Twitter
EssexFootball on Facebook

Every Mind Matters

update 5

Tuesday 24th March, 3:00pm

In-line with the Government’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 outbreak and FA and Essex County FA guidance for all grassroots football in Essex to be postponed for the foreseeable future, we intend to provide timely updates, as well as answers to a number of FAQs across all aspects of the game.

If your query is not covered on this page, please contact one of our team. We will be encouraging our stakeholders to read through our FAQ section to see if their query is covered here. To keep you informed throughout this period of uncertainty, we have provided department updates.

update 4

Thursday 19th March, 4:00pm

The FA has today released a statement confirming an extension of the 2019/20 season indefinitely in relation to professional football.

In addition, the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 30th April 2020. Click here to read the full statement from The FA.

update 3

Wednesday 18th March, 5:00pm

CORONAVIRUS: LOCAL ESSEX FOOTBALL PLAYS ITS PART
Grassroots Thanked for Commitment and Dedication

During these unprecedented times, both locally and globally, we wish to say thank you for the commitment, dedication and patience members of the grassroots community have collectively shown, and we wish everyone across football good health.

This is a fast-moving scenario, which started with us putting our own competitions on hold and allowing leagues and competitions to follow suit and postpone their own games. This has since developed into an overall suspension of grassroots Essex football.

The focus has to be on public health, and football continues to play its part. The FA and the Essex County FA will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time. The FA are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review.

We’re aware that clubs will be suffering many financial troubles due to Coronavirus, County Cup Finals will need to be rescheduled and it’s going to be a challenge to fit matches in. We must all work together to get to a point where things are back to normal again as soon as possible.

County Office and Remote Working

Throughout this recent period since COVID-19 has affected England, The FA and the Essex County FA have taken Government advice, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. Current advice is that organisations should ‘work from home’ where possible.

For the foreseeable future, staff at the County Office in Chelmsford will be working remotely from home in the interests of safety, and to play our part in reducing the potential spread of the virus. Staff can still be contacted as normal, though E-Mail is the preferred method at present.

There are a number of ‘unknowns’ in football at the moment, but the staff at the Essex County FA are committed to supporting you. We will issue a weekly update to keep you informed of the latest developments in local grassroots football.

Coronavirus: The Facts

COVID-19 is a new illness which can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called Coronavirus. People with either of the following symptoms are advised to stay at home:

* a high temperature - you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
* a new, continuous cough - this means you've started coughing repeatedly

Current advice is not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. Individuals are asked to keep up-to-date with, and follow, Government and Public Health England guidance, which includes:

* promote best practice for hygiene, ensuring cleaning is effective and soaps are provided (plus sanitiser, where possible)
* anyone with flu-like symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering

Update 2

update 2

Monday 16th March, 9:00pm

GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL IN ESSEX SUSPENDED
All Essex-Affiliated Competitions Postponed

Following the Government’s announcement today (Monday) about the Coronavirus outbreak, recommending for people to avoid social contact and gatherings where possible, and in-line with Football Association advice, the Essex County FA are suspending all affiliated football in Essex for the foreseeable future.

This suspension includes all matches (including friendlies) and training sessions until further notice. Throughout this recent period since COVID-19 has affected England, The FA and the Essex County FA have taken Government advice, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all.

Both will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time. The FA are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review.

Update 3

UPDATE 1

Friday 13th March, 2:00pm

ESSEX COUNTY FA COMPETITIONS POSTPONED UNTIL AFTER 3RD APRIL
Safety Precautions in Place following Coronavirus Outbreak

All Essex County FA Cup fixtures and coach education courses have been postponed until after Friday 3rd April in alignment with the professional game, following the Football Association’s statement regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

In Essex grassroots football, it is a league/competition’s decision, at this time, if they wish to continue playing or to postpone their respective competitions as autonomous bodies within the game. This is in-line with Government advice at this time.

It is not felt that grassroots fixtures need to be cancelled as a matter of course at the present time, although some may need to be if teams are self-isolating and are unable to play, or if teams are concerned about playing and the league/competition agrees to postpone. Sports are asked to keep up-to-date with, and follow, Government and Public Health England guidance.

Update 1

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