For those of you who feel it is time to re-start playing tennis, here is how Mercury plans to re-open tomorrow, Thursday 14th May, based on LTA guidance, which is attached – for Players, Venues and Coaches.
The virus is still a very real threat to everyone’s health, so it is imperative that everyone reads and agrees to adhere to the Club’s new guidelines before booking a court.
If you are feeling in the slightest bit UNWELL you must stay AT HOME and also be aware that asymptomatic transmission is reckoned to be around 47%  so even if you do feel well, you may still be transmitting the virus ie keep your distance at all times (younger players, this includes you too).
Mercury’s new strict guidelines below must be followed 100% or we will have to close the Club again:
  1. We are putting in place a Pay-and-Play booking system instead of sending out our usual annual membership subscription renewal requests.
  2. Until further notice, there won’t be any Club Sessions, Team Matches or Social Events.
  3. Singles Play only will be allowed – either recreational or one-to-one coaching (ie no more than one person and the coach on court and no groups).
  4. No Doubles, even from the same household (why? because we want to avoid too many people being on the courts at the same time.  We know what the LTA is recommending but have decided not to adopt, for now.)
  5. To book a court, or a lesson, for 50 minutes only please contact Danny via our new covid email address: and allow 24 hours notice.  Texts or WhatsApp messages to 07921 675206 please.  Kirstein, Danny’s wife, will be helping to administer, so you may receive a message back from her.  Please do not contact me about bookings or payments.  (50 minutes is the recommended length of time for bookings, to allow players to leave before new players arrive at the courts.)
  6. Advance payment of £10 per person transferrable online before playing on the court you have booked (ie. £20 for a court): either direct to Mercury Tennis Club, account number 66571790, sort code 51 50 11, or via Paypal to
  7. Guests are allowed, as long as playing with an adult member, the cost per court the same as for members ie £20 per court, payable in advance.
  8. Children under 16 must play with an adult but no siblings allowed on the court at the same time, or watching.  Children over 16 can play singles with each other if pre-booked.  No guest children allowed.
  9. Courts will be available to be booked throughout the day, Monday to Sunday, from 9am until 7pm.  Please start and finish promptly.
  10. If playing recreationally, please each person remember to bring your own balls marked with your initials or name as it is important to avoid shared surfaces – and please take all rubbish away with you as the bins will be removed.
  11. If you can, wear a disposable glove on your non-dominant hand, so that you minimise touching the balls and remember to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving home and bring hand sanitiser with you (and sunscreen!).
  12. If you are having a lesson, then only the Coach will handle the balls.
  13. The Clubhouse will remain closed so please bring your own water and make sure you go to the loo before leaving home please!  We are trying to minimise the risk to those of us who have to do the cleaning…
  14. No communal racquets will be available to borrow, nor any other equipment ie the shed is out of bounds except for the coaches.
  15. If you are the first person to arrive at the Club, you will have been given the numerical CODE to the PADLOCK to open the courts.  If you are leaving the courts when no-one else is there, please CLOSE the gates and re-lock the padlock using the code you were given.
Please note that this code will change frequently and only those who have pre-booked and pre-paid for courts will be allowed to play.  Anyone breaking these rules will not be permitted to play.  We have to be this strict as we have to avoid people just turning up looking for a court and undermining the Government’s guidance for not gathering in larger groups than two at a time. Also, while there are courts in session, please leave the main gate OPEN so that players can come and go without having to touch it – there is a wedge-shaped stone at the bottom of the steps you can use to keep the gates from swinging shut.
Also, as the entrance path to the Club is narrow, please show consideration when others are arriving or leaving and avoid close contact.
We realise that this is quite a different way of running the Club, but given the very uncertain circumstances we all still find ourselves in, we think it is the only controllable system – with your help.
Warnings apart, we hope that some of you will now be able to get back on the court and enjoy the, yes, beautiful game of tennis.  Remember too to warm up gradually as it’s been a while.  Finally, I would like to draw everyone’s attention to how hard Danny has been working since lockdown started to keep the courts playable and the lovely green but burgeoning surrounds in check as our new groundsman, Robert, has been in isolation. Photo follows of Danny and one-off helper working yesterday to clear the courts after the gale force winds earlier this week.
Pay and Play Rules during Covid-19 times