Snooker clubs in England can’t open on July 4 – Government confirms

Snooker clubs in England will NOT be able to open in their full capacity from July 4, it has been announced.

The sport’s governing body – the WPBSA – has been given further information from the Government after it “urgently seeked clarity” over the guidelines issued last week.

Last week the Government ruled that pubs and restaurants would be able to open from July 4 – a day dubbed as ‘Super Saturday’ – provided they meet rules and regulations to prevent the risk of coronavirus.

But it is not good news for snooker clubs in England which have been closed since March and were hoping to get back to business this weekend.

The Government says licensed premises can only open from July 4 “in their capacity as bars and restaurants but not for indoor sport use.”

This means that snooker fans in England must wait longer before being allowed to play in clubs. A date for when snooker clubs can open properly is yet to be announced.

A statement from the WPBSA said: “We understand that this guidance will come as a disappointment to clubs that had planned to open as snooker clubs from 4th July and together with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Snooker we remain in dialogue with government to ensure that snooker facilities will be able to be used as soon as possible.”

Cueball Derby. Picture by Nigel Slater

Just days ago WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson spoke of his disappointment over the lack of clarity from the Government as to when snooker clubs could return to business.

“We are aware that snooker clubs all over the world are currently working hard to ensure that they will be able to re-open safely as soon as it is possible to do so,” he said.

“This includes clubs within England, in particular members of The 147 Club scheme which played a key role in the preparation of proposals submitted to the Sports Minister on 13 May, which contained detailed procedures that we believe will allow clubs to re-open safely.

“It is therefore extremely disappointing that we have not received clarity from government to be able to advise clubs in England and the UK to be able to open safely at this stage.”

 

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