Coronavirus update

Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

Last updated on Friday February 26 at 10.50am 

Please note, this is an ever-changing situation and our advice may change at short notice. We recommend that you check our website regularly for the latest advice.

February 23 update

Please note, the current situation remains as outlined in the January 5 update below, that all club, league, competition or coaching activity is not permitted. However, following the Government announcement on 22nd February 2021, we have outlined what we believe are the key steps for returning to table tennis activity.

There still needs to be consideration as to what stage of the Ready to Return roadmap will apply at each of the outlined dates below and what level of activity will be permitted, such as whether local leagues and competitions are permitted immediately after the dates outlined.

Therefore, please keep an eye on the Table Tennis England website for further information, which will be provided later this week. Please bear in mind that these are our current understandings of restrictions and these may change subject to Sport England’s updated FAQs being shared. We have added more detail to the Ready to Return official guidance document, which can be found here.

No earlier than 8th March

  • Outdoor table use, club, league or competition activity not permitted
  • Under-18 sport can take place at school as part of educational provision, or as part of wraparound care, but should not otherwise take place at this time.

No earlier than 29th March

  • Play on outdoor tables and organised outdoor sport permitted for bubbles of six adults or two households, or groups of 15 children
  • Indoor play not permitted for children or adults

No earlier than 12th April

  • Table tennis indoors to re-start for children under the age of 18 and Disabled People in bubbles of up to 15 (more information about the stage of the Ready to Return roadmap that we return to and the type of activity that is permitted, i.e. training/competition, will be released once Sport England and the DCMS have published their updated Q&A document). It has been confirmed that the exemption for under-18s includes young people who were under 18 on 31st August 2020.
  • Play for adults indoors not yet permitted, unless with someone from your own household

No earlier than 17th May

  • Table tennis indoors to re-start for adults in bubbles of up to six people, or from two households (more information about the stage of the Ready to Return roadmap that we return to and the type of activity that is permitted, i.e. training/competition, will be released once Sport England and the DCMS have published their updated Q&A document).

No earlier than 21st June

  • Remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones

We are seeking clarification on a few areas, including one-to-one coaching, which was previously permitted for adults before larger adult groups were able to re-start. It is unclear at this stage whether this will be the case again but we will keep this page and the official guidance document updated on the Ready to Return pages of the website, as soon as that clarity is available.

January 5 update

Following the Government announcement regarding lockdown 3.0, all clubs, league, competition or coaching activity stops with immediate effect.

This includes all previous exemptions with regards to indoor and outdoor play. The only table tennis that is able to continue is within your own home if with members of your own household or support bubble.

We therefore move back to Stage 1 of our Ready to Return pathway. We will confirm as soon as we can what stage of the ready to return roadmap we will be able to return to once lockdown 3.0 ends.

Remember, there are a range of ways to keep active on the play at home section of the website. For general advice on coronavirus, please visit our advice section.

Please stay safe as we wait for our sport to resume. If you have any questions please contact our helpdesk.

For clubs and leagues where the Government announcement will create further financial challenges, please ensure you take a look at the Sport England funding pots now available. Table Tennis England is offering support to clubs with submitting a bid.

Any coaches or clubs who would like to talk about their options and their next steps, please do not hesitate to get in contact via our helpdesk, or by requesting a one to one session with one of our development team on the link here.

We will continue to provide updates on what the latest Government announcement means for our competitions over the coming months.

Please see the current guidelines and timescales connected to the return of national competitions, plus our refund policy, by clicking here.

Elite athletes

Elite athletes are exempt from the current lockdown for the purposes of training and competing. For the avoidance of doubt, elite athletes are defined by DCMS as someone who is one or more of the following:

  • an individual who derives a living from competing in a sport
  • a senior representative nominated by a relevant sporting body
  • a member of the senior training squad for a relevant sporting body
  • on an elite development pathway.

Table Tennis England have further defined this as a person identified by the National Men’s or Women’s Coach who is a potential player (or sparrer for players) in the Commonwealth Games, Birmingham 2022 who can train in a specific training venue, currently the David Ross Sports Village at University of Nottingham.

Table Tennis England will also recognise those players defined by the other Home Nations as elite for the purposes of accessing the current elite training venue

Only players meeting both DCMS and Table Tennis England definitions will be cleared as elite athletes.


When any updated Government guidance is published, we will move as soon as we can to consider what it means for table tennis across the country. We will aim to respond to any changes promptly but we may have to wait for the Government to provide the precise details of their guidance and advice.

Our series of stages through which we anticipate table tennis activity outside of the home resuming are below:

  • Stage 1 – Play and exercise at home and limited outdoor play (where we are now)
  • Stage 2 – Limited club activity
  • Stage 3 – Preparing for localised competition
  • Stage 4 – Local competition resumption
  • Stage 5 – Restricted national competitions

In all matters, the health and wellbeing of all our members, volunteers, suppliers and staff remain the key priority for the Board of Table Tennis England at this time of uncertainty and change.

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