COVID-19: Additional Guidance for Lawn Bowls

2nd July, 2020

We welcome the further easing of restrictions that the Government has announced, particularly with regard to bars and restaurants, which will enable more of our clubs and members to enjoy a game of bowls over the coming weeks and generate much-needed income.

We released a checklist for clubs on the re-opening of bars and restaurants as part of our ‘Back2Bowls’ guidance.

The Government has also published additional information for the sport sector, and we wish to share the following key points with you (applicable from Saturday 4th July) to help you return to the green safely.


Social distancing
Social distancing guidelines must be followed between people from different households. This means a distance of 2m between people from different households, or 1m plus mitigations (such as face coverings or avoiding face-to-face contact) where 2m is not possible. We recommend that players maintain social distancing of 2m.

Shared equipment
Try to avoid using shared equipment whenever possible. If you are sharing equipment, for example jacks/mats, you should wash your hands thoroughly before and after use. Should measuring be necessary, players (or marker if used) must use their own measure.

Changing Rooms/Toilets
Indoor facilities, apart from toilets and throughways, must remain closed. When accessing and leaving toilets you should wipe down areas of contact, wash hands thoroughly, use paper towels where possible and avoid touching any surfaces in transit.

Travelling for bowls
You can travel, however we recommended you to use your own club wherever possible. You should not travel in a small motor vehicle with someone from outside your household (for example you should not give a lift to any players from outside your household nor accept one). You should also consider all other forms of transport before using public transport.

Clinically vulnerable people (such as people aged 70 and over)
The advice for clinically vulnerable groups has changed. If you are in this group, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Therefore although you can meet people outdoors you should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people
If you are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable, you should follow the guidance for those shielding. This has been updated to advise that you can now consider taking safe exercise outdoors and meeting up with one person outside your household, always maintaining social distancing and robust hand and respiratory hygiene.


Large gatherings
It will be against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place. We therefore recommend that clubs limit the number of people on site at any one time to 30.

Rinks and formats
Clubs should take account of various items as part of their reopening procedures. This includes the maximum number of people that each club feels it can manage on the premises safely at any one time (see large gatherings), rink usage and permitted formats. The Government guidelines permit up to six individuals from different households to play on a single rink.

Communicating clearly and consistently
Communicate clearly and regularly with members to set out what you are doing to manage risk, and what advice you are giving to individuals to do likewise.

NHS Test and Trace
You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of all visitors to your club for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your club, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that information if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

Flexibility and innovation
Clubs should be ready to strengthen or relax measures at short notice (for example in the case of a ‘local lockdown’). Clubs are encouraged to think creatively about how best to organise bowls within the Government’s guidelines. We will be sharing examples of good practice at our clubs over the coming weeks.

Bars and restaurants
Bars and restaurants, including any food or drink facilities inside a clubhouse, can open in accordance with the latest guidance. If bar/catering facilities are open respect social distancing whilst queuing for food and drink. Ensure clear signage is in place so people can find their destination quickly. Look at how people walk through your club and consider how you could adjust this to reduce congestion and contact. For example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible. Using outside premises for queuing where available and safe, for example car parks.

Do not share food items, cups, plates or eating utensils with anyone else. Consider mandating contactless or at least card payment, to avoid handling cash. Ensure social distancing between customers and servers when food or drink is handed over, and consider using screens.

Keeping members and visitors safe
The Government has published guidance to help workplaces operate as safely as possible. You should refer to this guidance.

Relevant points are:

  • Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
  • Maintain social distancing by re-designing spaces or by opening more entrances and exits
  • Reinforce cleaning processes, cleaning more frequently and paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards
  • Provide clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene to visitors on arrival; for example, signage and visual aids

Keeping facilities and equipment clean
Cleaning protocols should be put in place to limit coronavirus transmission in public places. You are advised that touch points (e.g. handrails and gates) should be particular areas of focus for increased cleaning.

Maintaining hygiene, through handwashing, sanitisation facilities and toilets
To help everyone maintain good hygiene, consideration should be given to the following relevant items:

  • Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm. Consider how to ensure safety messages reach those with hearing or vision impairments
  • Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards
  • Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in addition to washrooms
  • Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved
  • Enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection
  • Using disposable paper towels in handwashing facilities where possible
  • Minimising use of portable toilets
  • Provision of automated hand sanitising dispensers in public places

If you have any questions, please e-mail: We are here to help and we will endeavour to respond within three working days.




Coronavirus Guidance

Sport England – ‘How we can help’
Club Matters (Club resources including reopening toolkit, risk assessment and social distancing guide)

General guidance

Guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19

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