A petition which makes the case for allowing outdoor tennis to continue over lockdown has gained almost 14,000 signatures online.

Launched by the co-founder of a Wandsworth tennis club it campaigns against the closure of tennis courts for at least a month from November 5.

Currently exercise and recreation outdoors will be allowed with your household or on your own with one person from another household.

Ben White, from All Star Tennis, said:

“Given that tennis is a socially distant sport and additional measures can be taken such as no ball sharing there is a very low risk of players spreading the virus and the benefits of playing on the mental and physical health of everyone young and old is unquantifiable.

“I, my colleagues and our community have witnessed first-hand the amazing benefits that being able to participate recreationally has had not only this year but over many many years and hope that tennis can continue to be enjoyed during this challenging time in a safe way.”

Whilst in a statement spokesperson from Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) added:

“The Government have today indicated that they won’t be allowing outdoor tennis courts to open in England during the period of the new national restrictions that come into force from Thursday. This is hugely disappointing for all those who love tennis up and down the country.”

Cabinet Member for Community Services and Open Spaces, Steffi Sutters, said:

“We would obviously like to keep all our sports and fitness facilities open to the public because we recognise the enormous benefits of outdoor play and leisure activities, particularly for residents' mental well-being.

“We certainly have some really excellent tennis courts and sports pitches and I want local people to be able to use and enjoy them as much as possible – but we are about to enter a new national lockdown that’s designed to limit the spread of this deadly disease and so we would urge people to be patient, observe the lockdown rules and we’ll reopen all our sports facilities as soon as we can.”