Snooker Clubs and the rules from Thursday 24/09/2020

This is not official advice, but it is the way that I see it.

As the advice from the Government is pretty general, it is somewhat difficult to apply it directly to snooker.

Clubs to close early

Clubs will be obliged to close at 10pm in line with the rest of the ‘hospitality industry’ and other rules such as table service only will apply.

The 10pm close means that some events will have to start earlier and evening events might not take place. Always check with the club before travelling to an event.

Do I have to wear a mask when playing snooker?

Masks will probably be the biggest cause for concern with some snooker players and the question “do I need to wear a mask when playing” is the big one!

As I see it, yes you do. [But see updated guidance from the EPSB below]

The rules say that you should wear a mask unless seated at a table –

Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September).

But, the guidance “Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own” says, under the heading “When you do not need to wear a face covering”

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering:

  • if you are undertaking exercise or an activity and it would negatively impact your ability to do so
  • if you are an elite sports person, professional dancer or referee acting in the course of your employment

So it’s possible snooker players could cite the negative impact, if they feel there is one, and maybe remove the mask to take their shot. I can’t see a negative impact to walking around the table though.

Once again this is putting strain on snooker clubs as businesses. Please support your club and, whether you agree with them or not, stick to the rules!

As at midday we are awaiting the official guidance from the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards as to how the new rules apply to snooker clubs/players.


The EPSB have issued new advice/guidance:

Coronavirus – EPSB Guidance

Masks do NOT need to be worn

  • Face coverings now must be worn to enter all snooker venues.
  • These can be removed once at a designated snooker table or bar table, at players’ discretion.
  • They must be put on again whenever leaving the designated area. Exemptions apply.

Please note that this is guidance only and clubs must also continue to consult their Local Authority and Health and Safety Executive for approval of their club Covid-19 secure protocols.


These measures apply to England – but there may be different rules if you live in an area under local lockdown: and you should check local lockdown rules. If you are in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland, different rules may apply.


See the latest regarding the 10pm curfew