GRASSROOTS football in England is to be suspended from Thursday, November 5 until Wednesday, December 2, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed today.

Elite sport - including the Premier League and English Football League - has been given the green light to continue throughout the four-week Covid-19 lockdown period, but 'non-elite' football looked likely to be put on pause.

Confirming that today, the FA statement says: "As a result of the UK government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions, and subject to Members of Parliament voting tomorrow [Wednesday, November 4] and the publication of bespoke guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the impact on ‘non elite’ football in England will include the suspension of the following during this period:

"All fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System (NLS); all fixtures and training for Tiers 3-7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid (WFP); all fixtures and training for the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues; all fixtures and training for The Barclays FA WSL Academy League; all fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs; all fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs; and all fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.

"Our aim is to ensure that the 2020-21 season is completed at these levels, and will liaise with the relevant leagues in the NLS and WFP and the County Football Associations (CFAs) to provide support and establish appropriate options to do so if required.

"The UK government has confirmed that school sport can continue as an exemption during this period.

"Further updates on fixtures and dates for the 2020-21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup, FA Youth Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase will follow in due course.

"Re-starting football at these levels has taken substantial determination and commitment from stakeholders across the game and we would like to thank everyone for their vital contributions.

"However, health and wellbeing remain the priority, so it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers adhere to the UK government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions during this period.

"We remain in dialogue with the DCMS, leagues, competitions and CFAs and will provide further clarification for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the debate in the House of Commons tomorrow."

Steps 3-6 of the National League System cover Taunton Town in Southern League Premier South (Step 3), Bridgwater Town and Wellington in the Western League Premier Division (Step 5) and Bishops Lydeard in Western League Division 1 (Step 6).

Taunton's FA Trophy match at home to Truro City tonight (7.45pm) will be their last fixture before lockdown comes into force, while the scheduled game between Wellington and Bridgwater tomorrow night has been called off by mutual agreement, after discussions between the clubs.

Teams in the Somerset County League and other grassroots leagues in Somerset also have their fixtures and training sessions suspended, and the same applies for those in the South West Women's League (including Bishops Lydeard, Ilminster Town and Middlezoy Rovers) and the Somerset County Women's League.