The UK government has advised that everyone in the UK should now avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to fight coronavirus. Whilst it has not issued any ban on public gatherings of any size either indoors or outdoors at this stage, the advice is to avoid non-essential contact with others, including going to sporting events, pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues.
BBC link: https://blindsport.uk/NoMassGatherings
As a result, Metro Blind Sport will be suspending all face-to-face activity until at least after Easter and possibly the end of April.
Information regarding specific Metro Blind Sport activity is detailed at the bottom of this statement.
The decision has been taken in the interests of our members, coaches, volunteers, supporters and the wider visually impaired communities. This decision is also in alignment with many of the sport governing bodies.
Where possible, members are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments.
Metro Blind Sport will continue to review and monitor government advice and will provide updates on the impact to our organisation in the coming weeks. We appreciate that the current situation will undoubtedly place our members in a difficult situation and we are working on the best way to help alleviate the situation and will update you as plans evolve.
Social distancing and advice
Social distancing measures (as defined by Public Health England as spending more than 15 minutes and within a 2-metre distance talking to someone) are now advised not only if we test positive or have symptoms, but in day to day life. As well as current travel advice, the current UK government is advising anyone with a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature and those they live with need to self-isolate for 14 days.
NHS advice on infection control – Link here: https://blindsport.uk/NHSAdvice
Government’s advice if you have symptoms – Link here: https://blindsport.uk/GovGuidance
At Risk groups
The latest advice from the government’s chief medical adviser is that those over 70 currently do not need to be self-isolating. However, in the coming days, every Briton over the age of 70 and those in at-risk groups over the age of 70 will be advised to be “largely shielded from social contact” for 12 weeks to help protect themselves.
Those with underlying medical issues such as high blood pressure, lung complaints and weakened or compromised immune systems are more likely to develop serious illness as a result of the disease.
Anyone with a higher risk from viruses such as cold or flu should take sensible steps to reduce the risk of picking up infections. Click here https://blindsport.uk/NHSAdvice for NHS advice on infection control – it is summarized below:
• wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds • always wash your hands when you get home or into work • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
Click here for the government’s advice if you have symptoms: https://blindsport.uk/GovGuidance
Metro Blind Sport activities that are cancelled
Wednesday 18th March and the 1st April
Friday 20th March and the 3rd April
Thursday weekly sessions until at least the 23rd April
Saturday 11th April
Saturday 4th April, the 11th April and the 18th April Partially sighted football league tournaments are cancelled in March and April
The season is likely to be delayed and updates will be provided from BCEW
Friday 20th and 27th March
Sunday 22nd March
Metro Annual Athletics Open
This is currently not cancelled but we will be reviewing the situation in two weeks with further advice
As we have mentioned, we will keep our members updated on any changes as and when they occur and keep you informed when we recommence activities. Our thoughts are certainly with you at these unprecedented times. Stay safe and we will be in contact.
CEO Metro Blind Sport
Chair Metro Blind Sport