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Written Question
Snooker: Coronavirus
18 Jun 2021

Questioner: Daisy Cooper (LDEM - St Albans)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the legal position is that informed the decision to exclude fans who were (a) under 18 years old, (b) vulnerable adults and (c) pregnant from the World Snooker Championship that took place at Sheffield Crucible Theatre from 17 April to 3 May 2021.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

The Ministerial Direction for the World Snooker Championships relaxed a number of Covid restrictions, including rules on capacity limits culminating in up to 4,000 people at an indoor seated venue for the Final.

For each pilot event a Public Sector Equality Duty impact assessment was carried out to consider the impact of this scientific study on groups with protected characteristics, including under 18s, those with disabilities, and pregnant people.

Under 18s were excluded from the World Snooker Championship as participants were asked to consent on the basis of the increased risk of COVID 19 transmission due to the relaxation of some risk mitigation factors (social distancing and capacity limits). It was considered that the disproportionate impact on under 18s not attending was justified.

It was considered that those defined as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, including those who are disabled or pregnant may have been more at risk where the restrictions on social distancing and capacity limits were removed. The Science Board agreed that given the nature of the pilot programme it would not be possible to permit clinically vulnerable people to safely participate. The disproportionate impact of clinically vulnerable people not attending was considered justified on the basis that the policy only applies to pilot events in the programme.

Throughout the Events Research Programme (ERP) processes have been reviewed and adapted. After the World Snooker Championship, following stakeholder consultation and feedback from a number of disability groups, the ERP Science Board reviewed the approach of the ERP with respect to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable individuals attending pilot events. The current position is that the decision to attend an ERP pilot event lies with the individual. All attendees are required to fill out a consent form as part of the sign up process for the research programme. This takes into account the increased risk of COVID 19 transmission due to the relaxation of some risk mitigation factors (including removing social distancing).

Although those under the age of 16 may be competent to agree to provide consent to medical treatment (known as Gillick competence), the Programme's Science Board has recommended that most ERP events will not allow under 16s.


Written Question
Snooker: Coronavirus
26 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Faulkner of Worcester (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they had with the World Snooker Championship, prior to its decision to exclude clinically vulnerable people from attending the event at the Crucible Theatre in May

Answered by Baroness Barran

The Events Research Programme (ERP) is running its first phase of 10-15 pilots in April and May to inform decisions around the safe removal of social distancing at Step 4 of the Roadmap. The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venues, and activities so that findings will support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.

We fully recognise the importance of these inclusion concerns and are reflecting on issues of diversity, inclusion and equality in the Events Research Programme, ensuring the pilot events cover a range of age groups, ethnicities, geographic location and accessibility.

The pilot events are the first steps to helping all members of the public safely back to mass events and these have been developed under a SAGE framework in line with the latest PHE and DHSC guidance.

Our Science Board has reviewed the Events Research Programme’s approach to clinically extremely vulnerable individuals attending the pilot events.

They strongly urge caution for the clinically extremely vulnerable attending the events on public health grounds, however these groups are not excluded from involvement in the pilots.

All attendees are required to fill out a consent form as part of the sign up process for the research programme, given the increased risk of COVID 19 transmission on account of the relaxation of some risk mitigation factors (social distancing and numbers attending).

For each pilot event, a Public Sector Equality Duty impact assessment is being carried out before each event which considers the impact of this scientific study on groups with protected characteristics, including those with disabilities.


Written Question
Snooker: Coronavirus
26 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Faulkner of Worcester (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the decision by the World Snooker Championship to refuse entry to fans that are considered clinically vulnerable to the event at the Crucible Theatre in May, and (2) the consistency of the decision with (a) government guidelines, and (b) equality legislation.

Answered by Baroness Barran

The Events Research Programme (ERP) is running its first phase of 10-15 pilots in April and May to inform decisions around the safe removal of social distancing at Step 4 of the Roadmap. The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venues, and activities so that findings will support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.

We fully recognise the importance of these inclusion concerns and are reflecting on issues of diversity, inclusion and equality in the Events Research Programme, ensuring the pilot events cover a range of age groups, ethnicities, geographic location and accessibility.

The pilot events are the first steps to helping all members of the public safely back to mass events and these have been developed under a SAGE framework in line with the latest PHE and DHSC guidance.

Our Science Board has reviewed the Events Research Programme’s approach to clinically extremely vulnerable individuals attending the pilot events.

They strongly urge caution for the clinically extremely vulnerable attending the events on public health grounds, however these groups are not excluded from involvement in the pilots.

All attendees are required to fill out a consent form as part of the sign up process for the research programme, given the increased risk of COVID 19 transmission on account of the relaxation of some risk mitigation factors (social distancing and numbers attending).

For each pilot event, a Public Sector Equality Duty impact assessment is being carried out before each event which considers the impact of this scientific study on groups with protected characteristics, including those with disabilities.


Written Question
Snooker: Coronavirus
2 Oct 2020

Questioner: Robert Halfon (CON - Harlow)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether snooker clubs are subject to the covid-19 10pm curfew restrictions.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

Sport facilities such as gyms, leisure centres and sport clubs including snooker clubs are not required to close, however, hospitality areas which sell food and drink (such as cafes and bars) must close at 10pm. This does not apply to dispensing machines such as vending or coffee machines. Delivery services and drive-through services can continue after 10pm, where applicable.

Where a sport facility sells food and drink to consume on site, customers must eat and drink at a table.


Written Question
Snooker: Coronavirus
6 Jul 2020

Questioner: Robert Halfon (CON - Harlow)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his timescale is for the reopening of snooker clubs as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Snooker clubs have been allowed to open since 4 July, as long as they can follow the COVID-secure guidelines.