Later today Boris Johnson will address the nation as he outlines the Road Map that will determine how the country could return to normality. School reopenings has always been seen as the first indicator and that appears likely to be given the go-ahead to start from Monday 8 March.
Stage 2 is now being widely published as starting 3 weeks later on Monday 29 March and there are increasingly strong indications that outdoor sports will be permitted from that date. Whether that will extend to competition bowling remains to be seen but hopes are high that some form of bowling along with a range of other outdoor sports such as golf and tennis will be permitted.
A limit of the number of people allowed to participate at any one time may exclude team bowling but it is definitely the first step in returning to our sport. Indications are that outdoor sport groups of 6 may be the initial limit for such gatherings. It wouldn't be too big a jump to expect that team bowling could return a month later to allow leagues to establish their fixture programmes to start from the beginning of May.
Optimism is one thing, reality another and we await Boris addressing the nation at 7.00pm this evening to learn what the Road Map will involve. Past practice indicates that the high-level objectives will be released by the Prime Minister to be followed the following day by the detail which provides the level of information we need to see which hoops we have to jump through before we can begin bowling again. Personally I'm eager to learn of when I can have my haircut again but I expect to be bowling before that happens.!
Extract from the official website Gov.uk posted this morning.
Due to the current, relatively uniform spread of the virus across the country, restrictions will be eased step-by-step across the whole of England at the same time.
The roadmap seeks to balance between social and economic impacts, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country.
Outdoor settings are known to be lower risk than indoor, so outdoor activities will be opened earlier than indoor ones.