Bowls England Guidance – Update 30th June

COVID-19: Back2Bowls – Reopening of Club Bars and Restaurants 

 We are delighted that many of our clubs have already opened their doors and are confident that the easing of restrictions over the remainder of the 2020 season will provide a great opportunity for clubs to recruit and retain members. 

Already, clubs have innovated to provide social and competitive opportunities for their community at a time when they need it most. 

Some great examples include: 

• Darlington South Park BC (Durham) – Various internal club leagues and knockout events attracting a total of 200 entries 

• Essex County BC (Essex) – 52 members signed up for a roving jack singles league with no marker 

• Farnborough BC (Hampshire) – 48 members have now participated in a total of 511 roll ups 

• Felixstowe & Suffolk BC (Suffolk) – 32 players participating regularly in a club pairs league 

• Sevenoaks BC (Kent) – Brand new socially-distanced triples league up and running 

We have also received positive reports from clubs who have seized the opportunity to recruit new people to our sport, many of whom decided to try bowls as one of the few sporting activities currently available. 

If your club is open, please share with us your experience and success stories. If you are still considering whether to open, we will be pleased to support you – for example by putting you in contact with a club that is already back on the green or providing you with examples of good practice. 

We were pleased that the latest Government announcement permits licensed premises (including bowls clubs) to open from Saturday 4th July in their capacity as bars and restaurants. The bar is the lifeblood for many of our clubs – both in a financial sense and as the heart of social interaction for many members – therefore the opportunity to reopen them is great news. 

Any opening must follow the Government’s guidance for pubs, bars and restaurants and we have prepared this document to assist those clubs who wish to open their bars. Please note, this is our interpretation of the information available to date and, if necessary, we will update further once DCMS publishes its guidance for the sport sector. 

In preparing our guidance, we are aware that every club is different and it is for each club to interpret the Government’s requirements and act accordingly. 

As the Government continues to update its measures to combat COVID-19, we will amend our guidance to reflect any changes that affect our sport. All our current guidance is available at: 


Providing a safe, secure and sanitised environment for players, visitors and spectators – both on and off the green – is vital. 

Every club is different and it is for each club to interpret the Government’s requirements and act accordingly. 

Our guide will enable clubs to begin to plan for the re-opening of clubhouses and/or catering facilities. Government guidance on the easing of restrictions will determine what parts of your facility can open and when. 

The Government has now issued detailed guidance for the reopening of Bars and Restaurants from Saturday 4th July. Clubs should refer to this in advance of opening and ensure compliance. You can find the guidance on the Government’s coronavirus website – click here 

We recommend that all Clubs update your current risk assessments or conduct a one-off Covid-19 risk assessment in order to make sure that you identify and address any unexpected hazards. Sport England has created a series of documents to view/download – click here 

You can also find guidance on the safe provision of food through the Food Standards Agency – click here 

Whilst bar and catering facilities within clubhouses are able to open from Saturday 4th July, changing rooms should remain closed except for allowing access to toilets and handwashing facilities. 

We do not have the resources to provide an assessment on plans for each individual club. 

This checklist is designed to assist clubs who do wish to reopen their bar and restaurant area – it is not an exhaustive list and some of the items highlighted within may not be relevant to your club. 

We recommend that you tailor this checklist to meet your club’s individual requirements. 

1. Capacity, signage, spacing and movement 

Relevant  Completed 
Consider maximum capacity for all areas based upon social distancing requirements and means of managing capacity (e.g. time limits for length of stay) 
Establish a mechanism to collect contact details for all entering the clubhouse and to store the data for 21 days. Ensure compliance with GDPR in collection and storage of details 
Ensure all seating areas (indoor and outdoor) are sufficiently spaced and enable movement of people whilst maintaining appropriate social distancing 
Consider the safe movement of people and queueing mechanism for access and service – including implementing one-way systems and bar areas 
Provide clear signage throughout the facility to guide and inform members and visitors, including any mandatory signage according to government regulations 
Enable cashless payment for any services you are able to provide within government guidelines 
Consider whether to have a member of staff or volunteer at the entrance to manage the number of people in the clubhouse at one time2. Food and beverages 

Relevant  Completed 
Introduce a limited menu with items quick to produce to limit service time and queueing 
Consider how social distancing can be maintained for staff and/or volunteers 
Remove any non-essential objects that users may touch 
Provide only single-use condiments 
Ensure cleaning and sanitisation of glasses and crockery are appropriate 
Provide training for staff and/or volunteers to ensure knowledge and understanding of their responsibilities for maintaining cleanliness and sanitisation 
Ensure compliance with food standards by checking use by dates on all produce 
Check cellar for CO2 leaks and open cellar door and delivery hatches to change the atmospheric air in the cellar (in case of CO2 leaks) 
Clean beer lines 
Check for signs of rodent or insect infestation

3. Hygiene and Sanitation 

Relevant  Completed 
Ensure hand-sanitiser is available at appropriate points and that stock levels are sufficient to regularly replenish 
Ensure all soap dispensers are full and that stock levels are sufficient to regularly replenish 
Ensure paper towels are available and that stock levels are sufficient to regularly replenish 
Regularly clean and sanitise all hard surfaces 
Wedge doors open to avoid the need to touch door handles, where possible 
Provide ventilation to the building by opening windows and doors, where possible

4. Fire-related 

Relevant  Completed 
Check the emergency lighting and fire alarm are operational and that the fire panel is not flagging up any problems 
Review and, if necessary, update building evacuation plans to support appropriate social distancing 
Check all evacuation routes are clear, unlocked and operational 
Visually check fire extinguishers – look for leaks and ensure gauges are pointing to full

5. Plant-related 

Relevant  Completed 
Check kitchen gas auto-safe valve is operational 
Check mains fuse board for tripped RCDs, both before and after turning on bulk of electrical appliances 
Check door locks and windows for signs of forced entry 
Check heating is fully operational 
Ensure ladies feminine hygiene bins are empty

6. Water system-related 

Relevant  Completed 
Follow and implement your locally agreed L8 (control of Legionella bacteria in water systems) safety measures to flush though and disinfect all water outlets 
Regularly clean and disinfect sinks, toilets etc. 
Flush and clean all toilets 
Check building for signs of water leaks – especially older clubhouse buildings



Coronavirus Guidance 


Sport England 

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