Covid-19 Protocols For Lawn Bowls


COVID 19 Restrictions Eased - 19th August 2021.

Following the decrease in COVID cases in Malaga Province we are all back in Level 2 as of today.
This means that the restrictions of numbers has been eased and with immediate effect the maximum capacity is once more 65% Table capacities are also raised - to 8 per table outside, and to 6 persons per table inside.

A reminder of the agreed Lawn Bowls Covid Protocols introduced last time we were in level 2 (introduced 25th June 2021): (We didn’t really get the chance to get used to these as the level was increased very soon after)

We may forgo the wearing of masks on the green IF we can be certain that we can ensure that safe distance is kept.
Following discussions it was agreed that the only way to be certain that this could be done was to reduce the numbers congregating at each end, which should be kept to a maximum of TWO.
This is obviously no problem for the Skips, or Leads in Pairs matches.
However for Triples matches where there would normally be 4 people in relatively close proximity, this makes keeping the safe distance at all times more of a problem.
Therefore, in Triples matches:
  • when it is the turn of the Leads to bowl, the Seconds must stand at least TWO meters behind the non-bowler, whilst at the same time keeping TWO meters distance between each other and from bowlers on adjoining rinks. On longer Jack lengths this may require them to step off the green entirely.
  • Once the Leads have bowled they must take up the positions their Seconds have vacated.
All other protocols remain in place as they currently stand - hand sanitising, disinfecting equipment, keeping to the right of the rink when crossing over, etc.
It should also be remembered that the relaxation in wearing masks is only allowed OUTDOORS.
Friday 23rd July 2021 - Junta de Andalucia Reintroduce COVID Restrictions
We have just had confirmation of the new restrictions that came into place as of midnight last night, following the move to level 3 throughout Malaga Province.
For Lawn Bowls that brings us back to:
  • wearing masks at all times whilst inside the bowls club
  • restrictions in numbers inside (4 per table, 50% of capacity) and outside on the terrace (6 per table, 80% capacity)
  • maximum green capacity to 55%
  • all the “mask – distance – sanitise” rules we have had in place.
This is for at least 2 weeks until the next meeting takes place on 5th August 2021.

Thursday 15th July 2021 - Junta de Andalucia Reintroduce COVID Restrictions
Following the massive increase in COVID cases in Malaga Province we are all back in Level 2 as of today (15th July 2021).
This means that the restrictions of numbers has once again been introduced and with immediate effect the maximum capacity is once more 65%
This will be in effect for the next 15 days when it will be reviewed.
Table capacities are also reduced - from 10 to 8 per table outside, and from 8 to 6 persons per table inside.
Saturday 26th June 2021 - Spanish Government Relax Mask Rules
As of the 26th June the Spanish National Government is relaxing the rule for wearing masks in public.
From that date you will be allowed to remove your mask outdoors IF the minimum safe distance of 1.5 meters can be maintained.
From a Lawn Bowls perspective, this means we may forgo the wearing of masks on the green IF we can be certain that we can ensure that safe distance is kept.

Following discussions it was agreed that the only way to be certain that this could be done was to reduce the numbers congregating at each end, which should be kept to a maximum of TWO. This is obviously no problem for the Skips, or Leads in Pairs matches. However for Triples matches where there would normally be 4 people in relatively close proximity, this makes keeping the 1.5 meter distance at all times more of a problem.

Therefore, in Triples matches:
  • when it is the turn of the Leads to bowl, the Seconds must stand at least TWO meters behind the non-bowler, whilst at the same time keeping TWO meters distance between each other and from bowlers on adjoining rinks. On longer Jack lengths this may require them to step off the green entirely.
  • Once the Leads have bowled they must take up the positions their Seconds have vacated.
All other protocols remain in place as they currently stand - hand sanitising, disinfecting equipment, keeping to the right of the rink when crossing over, etc.
It should also be remembered that the relaxation in wearing masks is only allowed OUTDOORS.

Finally, whilst the National Government has brought in the new guidelines, the Regional Governments are NOT in favour of doing so. The President of Andalucia, (where the infection rate is once again rising rapidly and currently has the highest number of cases in Spain) has recommended that everyone continues to wear their masks at all times.

The FAB urges everyone to follow his recommendation – we have worked hard to keep safe, it would be unfortunate if we took unnecessary risks at this stage.

5th March 2021
Update
The latest bulletin from the Junta de Andalucia has been published and can be read on the FAB website:
https://andaluzadebolos.org/

For the Clubs here in Malaga Province it has the effect of bringing us all down a level.

The 3 inland clubs (Vale de Guadalhorce) are now at level 2. This means those Clubs are able to open at 65% green capacity.

The 4 Clubs on the Coast (Costa del Sol) are now in level 3. This means those Clubs are able to open at 50% green capacity with no group to be more than 6 people (in effect a triples game). There must be a distance of 3 meters between groups.
The levels will be assessed on a weekly basis and we hope to see a continued fall in numbers of infections enabling us to reduce our restrictions even further.

You can keep an eye on your own town by going to the Junta de Andalucia website on this link:
https://www.mapacovid.es/
4th February 2021
Update
We now have several of our members who have been stopped, shown their letter and their FAB Licence and been allowed to continue.

2021 Licences have now been sent out to all Clubs. Please make sure you have yours with you at all times.
26th January 2021
The President of the FAB has issued a clarification of the rules around the movement of bowlers between provinces in the current pandemic situation. These remarks can be read in Spanish HERE

A PDF version can be downloaded from HERE.

Download a copy of the letter and present it, along with your Federation licence, if you are stopped on your way to or from your Bowls Club.

In English it reads:
The Presidency of the FAB informs the Andalusian and Federated Clubs that in the event of doubts sent by clubs, athletes, technicians and referees by the communications of the General Directorate of Sports Promotion, Healthy Habits and Sports Fabric, on the interpretation of the " Order of January 16, 2021, which modifies the Order of October 29, 2020, which establishes the levels of health alert and temporary and exceptional measures are adopted for reasons of public health in Andalusia and the Order of November 8, 2020, by which alert levels 3 and 4 are modulated as a result of the critical epidemiological situation derived from COVID-19 in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia for the containment of COVID-19, and is left without effect the Order of January 8, 2021, which establishes temporary and exceptional measures for reasons of public health in Andalusia for the containment of COVID-19 in relation to the schedules of activities and services ”.
After making the pertinent consultation with said General Directorate for clarification on the mobility of athletes, technicians and referees, I COMMUNICATE the following:

That Federated athletes of absolute category, high level or high performance, coaches, judges or federated referees with a valid license, to compete or train:

  • They can enter and leave Andalusia.
  • They can move through all the provinces and municipalities.
  • They cannot be accompanied if said displacements occur if they come from a municipality with a perimeter closure, or pass through one of them.
  • That the rest of athletes with a category license not included in the absolute general category and under 16 years of age, or who do not have a valid license, cannot move, neither to compete nor to train, if they reside or are in a municipality with perimeter closure.
  • Those athletes, over 16 years of age, who have a valid sports license from the following quality categories generally belong to the absolute category: 1st, 2nd. 3rd, 4th, regional, veterans and youth, the latter provided they are over 16 years old.


  • In effect, all Federated Lawn Bowlers are classified in the “absolute category” and therefore the order applied to us all. We are able to cross municipal borders to play our sport, even if that border is closed due to the pandemic. You must show your Licence if stopped by the Police. You cannot be accompanied by a non-Federated person.

    It appears, too, that Sports facilities will be excluded from the restrictions imposed by level 2 shutdowns and so can open to allow play to take place. However restrictions in numbers allowed continue to be 40%, with no spectators allowed.

    I would be remiss if I did not add that those Municipalities in Grade 4 level 2 ( most of us from tonight it seems) are being asked by the Junta de Andalucia to STAY AT HOME unless your journey is absolutely necessary. Just because we can travel to the Bowls Club, doesn’t mean we should.
    21st January 2021
    New restrictions were introduced on 16th January that close the borders of Municipalities with a COVID rate of higher than 500.
    All Municipalities in Malaga now exceed those figures and have been closed until at least 1st February.
    In addition the Junta de Andalucia have issued a new set of rules for Sports Facilities and as we are all in Grade 4 / Level 1 catagory these apply to Lawn Bowls Clubs.

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    There is a new restriction until February the 1st on the capacity of sports facilities which has been reduced from 65% to 40%.
    This means that on an 8-rink green only 25 players can play per session, on 6-rink green, 19 players and 4 rink green 13 players.

    The Junta have again confirmed that you cannot cross municipal borders to play ANY sport (as confirmed by this link) unless you are a professional athlete playing at a high level.
    https://andaluzadebolos.org/2021/01/19/aclaracion-sobre-movilidad-deportistas-federados/


    2nd October 2020 - FEB & FAB Protocols Approved by Ministry
    We have just received the new Covid-19 Protocols For Lawn Bowls.
    These Protocols are specifically tailored to our Sport and take into account that the Membership demographic is mainly in the High Risk group.
    These Protocols will remain in place until either a cure or an effective vaccine is available
    It can be downloaded HERE

    FAB COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR LAWN BOWLS

    PROTOCOLS RELATING TO THE PROTECTION AND PREVENTION COVID-19 IN TRAINING AND COMPETITION OF THE FEDERACIÓN ANDALUZA DE BOLOS, FOR LAWN BOWLS

    1. RISK ASSESSMENT
    Lawn Bowls has several advantages in the current Covid-19 environment.
    1. It is an outdoor sport.
    2. There is normally no physical contact between players.
    3. It is possible to maintain the safety distance of 1.5 meters between players.
    4. While the sport is played in purpose built Sports Centers, there is little contact with the general public, limiting the risk of infection largely to those within the Lawn Bowls community.
    The essential risk would lie in the contact with the game material and the possible air transmission between the competitors.
    However, almost all of our current Members fall within the “Veterans” grouping of the FAB, with the overwhelming majority also falling within the Governments “High Risk” age group. This adds another level of risk to the assessment we have to make.

    2. OBJECTIVES:
    Prevention and mitigation of any COVID-19 contagions during Lawn Bowls practice and Lawn Bowling competitions held in Andalusia.
    The main objective is to establish guidelines and instructions to ensure that our sport of Lawn Bowls can be enjoyed with the maximum possible safety to avoid contagion.

    3. PROMOTERS OF THE PROTOCOL:
       3.1 COUNCIL: Ministry of Education and Sports
       3.2. FEDERACIÓN ANDALUZA DE BOLOS.
       3.3. FAB Sports Technical Director: Manuel José Mozas Moreno.

    4. PROTOCOL TO BE FOLLOWED
       4.1 GENERAL PROTOCOL.

    In addition to the Protocols for Sport Centres laid down by the Junta de Andalucia, the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Education and Sports and the general guidelines for Bowling from the Federación Andaluza De Bolos,the following protocols must be adhered to. Where something is mentioned in those Protocols but not in this, then that Protocol must still be followed. Where something is mentioned in this Protocol it takes preference over what may be written in other Protocols.

    (a) All Clubs must produce their own Covid 19 Protocol for their premises. This must include but not limited to, detailed hygiene protocols - what is being disinfected, when, how often and by whom. If your Club is opened outside of Club days what protocols are followed by individuals coming to practice?

    (b) If you have a bar / restaurant these should be included in your protocols and follow the rules laid down by the Junta de Andalucia. Bars and restaurants are not covered by these protocols. If you are unsure of what needs to be covered ask us.

    (c) Each Club must appoint a Covid19 Co-ordinator who will be responsible for ensuring all protocols are being met within your Club. The Co-ordinator will also be responsible for contact the authorities should an outbreak occur or an individual Club member be infected by or come into contact with someone who has come into contact with the virus.

    (d) The Club must maintain a register of everyone who visits the Club, whether to play, spectate or any other reason. The register must contain name and contact details for each individual, along with date and time of the visit and the reason for the visit. This register must be made available to the authorities should an outbreak occur or an individual Club member be infected by or come into contact with someone who has come into contact with the virus. (e) There will be a maximum occupancy of the green of 65% allowed for each session. This refers to the number of people that would normally be allowed on your bowling green, not the number of Rinks. E.g. an 8 rink green would normally have a maximum number of people of 64. A 4 rink green would normally have a maximum number of people of 32. The new maximum would be 65% of that number.

    There is no limit to the number of sessions per day.

    (f) Masks are mandatory at all times. Masks are required because:
    • We are a sedentary sport (we do not run around)
    • We are a high risk age group (over 65 with underlying health issues)
    • We are a Team sport
    Clubs must have spare masks available should they be required.

       4.2 PLAYERS RESPONSIBILITES
    (1) On arrival at the Club you must sanitise your hands. Hand Sanitiser must be made available close to the entrance.

    (2) On arrival at the Club you must submit to a temperature check. Anyone who has a temperature higher than 37.5º cannot enter.

    (3) On arrival at the Club, you must put your name and contact details into a Register, along with the date and time of your visit. You must complete a simple form to answer questions to detect if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.

    (4) The Club must ensure this is maintained and recorded in case of an outbreak.Records must be available for 14 days.

    (5) Extra vigilance must be taken in areas where people congregate (entrance to the Club, ends of Rinks etc.)

    (6) Close physical contact is NOT allowed. Keep the 1.5 meter distance at all times.

    (7) Respiratory hygiene: coughing and sneezing in the elbow flexure, use of disposable tissues, etc.

    (8) Socialising before and after games must observe Social Distancing regulations - i.e. 1.5m between people. Face masks must be worn at all times. Outside terraces may have up to 100% of normal capacity, inside areas up to 65% of capacity, providing distances are maintained.

    (9) Bowls bags and personal equipment may not be touched or shared by anyone other than its owner. They must be held in designated areas.

    (10) Do not share water bottles or the like.

    (11) Food and drinks must not be shared. Putting food on shared platters or shared bowls is not allowed.

    (12) Physical contact is NOT allowed. This includes hugs, handshakes, fist bumps and elbow bumps.

    (13) Maintain a distance of 1.5 meters at all times. If this is not possible – for example behind the head on long Jacks, step off the green when necessary.

    (14) When passing over between ends, keep to the right hand side of the green. If it is required to talk to your own team when crossing over, ensure the 1.5 meter distance is maintained.

    (15) Ensure you make use of hand sanitiser frequently throughout the game.

    (16) Avoid touching other people’s bowls whenever possible. – sanitise your hands if you have to do so. This includes when marking a toucher (use spray chalk if possible), taking shots out of a measure, picking bowls out of the ditch, collecting bowls at the completion of an End. Sanitise your hands frequently!

    (17) Avoid passing the Mat or Jack to another player. If you have to - sanitise your hands frequently!

    (18) One person per rink should accept the responsibility for changing the scoreboard.

    (19) One person per rink should accept responsibility for using the “pusher” - it would make sense for this to be a number 2 rather than a lead as either lead may be required to be setting the Mat and Jack. If it is you - sanitise your hands frequently!

    (20) After each session all communal areas (toilets, changing areas, tables, chairs etc.) must be disinfected.

    (21) The entire Club must be disinfected TWICE per day, when open.

    (22) Limitations and disinfection in the use of changing rooms, toilets and showers that must be cleaned at the start of each day and at least once every 8 hours of use of the spaces. Users will be instructed to clean their hands before and after accessing the toilets.

    (23) There must be posters about frequent hand washing, a safety distance of at least 1.5 meters and the mandatory use of masks.

    (24) The governing body of each Club is responsible for ensuring all protocols are followed. If there is no governing body, then responsibility lies with the Owner.

    Special Circumstances: The 65% occupancy limit does not automatically apply to all Competitions - such as the League, Malaga Provincials, Club Opens etc. Each of these must have an F.A.B. approved Player Safety Plan in place before the Competition is allowed to take place.

    5. SUMMARY

    The risks of contagion can be greatly reduced within the Bowls facilities providing EVERYONE follows these straightforward guidelines that can be summarised as 3 Golden Rules:

    1. CORRECTLY WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES

    2. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE

    3. SANITISE YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY


    Follow these rules and we can enjoy our bowling throughout this pandemic.