Monday, March 1

Can you still play tennis during the UK coronavirus lockdown?

The British Government’s decision to lockdown the UK in response to the coronavirus outbreak has seen many left wondering what they can and can’t do as their one piece of exercise each day.

The first day of lockdown Britain saw police having to split apart games of football and cricket, while all golf courses have been shut in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Many have turned to exercise to occupy their time after being told on Monday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to remain at home apart from essential travel, with all of those able to work from home told to do so and avoid seeing friends, family and occupants of other households to stop coronavirus spreading from home to home.

Under the updated guidelines, people can exercise no more than once a day which includes running or walking with people in your own house, such as partners, children or housemates. 

But many have asked whether they can perform basic tasks such as swimming, climbing and playing tennis, with individual governing bodies issuing instructions on what can and can’t be completed.

Can I play tennis?

The Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body for all tennis in Great Britain, announced the closure of all tennis clubs and courts following Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday that the UK was being placed in lockdown.

An LTA statement read: “Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday evening (23 March) all tennis facilities and courts should be closed, and tennis coaching and activity should be put on hold with immediate effect.

“The National Tennis Centre is closed, and all activity delivered by the LTA remains suspended for the foreseeable future, including all LTA organised coaching sessions, programmes and training courses. We have also now extended the cancellation of all LTA staged and LTA approved competitions (grade 1 to 6) up to 31 May 2020.”

Can I still use public courts?

No. As part of the closures, all courts have been ruled shut, meaning that you cannot play tennis against friends and family even if you live with them.

It was clarified on Tuesday following initial confusion that tennis is classed as a social gathering and should not be used as a means of performing the one piece of exercise permitted each day.