The RFU have today shared further guidance for community rugby in England, after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport [DCMS] issued updated guidelines on the return to recreational team sport from Wednesday 2 December.
This includes all friendly fixtures and training for males and females, age grade and adult, for all contact and non-contact rugby below the Greene King IPA Championship and Allianz Premier 15s. It also includes education institutions, however the ultimate decision remains at the discretion of the individual institution.
Organised outdoor rugby activity with approved adaptations for both match play and training is permitted across all three tiers from Wednesday 2 December.
However, it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Government’s latest COVID-19 guidance and RFU guidance to ensure a phased return to play.
Clubs should limit the time spent congregating at a venue before and after rugby activity, so clubs should consider having strict meeting times or staggering start times.
The additional guidance for facilities is as follows and can also be found alongside further Stage E guidance in the resources section of the coronavirus hub:
Changing rooms and showers
- Changing rooms and showers can be used across all tiers.
- Clubs must identify a maximum capacity for each changing room based on its size and the requirement to manage usage to ensure social distancing is achieved at all times.
- The amount of time each person spends in a changing room must be kept to a minimum and restricted solely to changing (no team talks or celebrations etc).
- Good hygiene must be promoted and facilitated and enhanced cleaning practices must be in place in all changing rooms.
- Participants should still be encouraged to arrive changed, and shower at home where possible.
Travel to participate in rugby activity
- Adult players living in Tier 1 or Tier 2 can travel within and between Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas to train or play.
- Adult players living in Tier 1 or Tier 2 cannot travel into a Tier 3 area to train or play.
- Adult players living in Tier 3 can travel within their own specific Tier 3 area to train or play.
- Adult players living in Tier 3 cannot travel into another Tier 3 area, nor into a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area, to train or play.
- Age Grade players may, due to Government exemptions for U18s, travel across all tiers to train or play. However, to protect all involved, we strongly recommend that wherever possible training and match play follows adult guidelines.
- Age Grade players can be accompanied by one parent or carer from, or into, a Tier 3 area to train or play.
- Volunteers (including coaches and match officials) may travel across all tiers where necessary to enable participation to take place. However, to protect all involved, we strongly recommend this is kept to an absolute minimum.
- Additional exemptions are in place for people with disabilities. Click here.
Which Tier is each club in? Find out here.
- Clubs in Tier 1 and 2 are permitted to accommodate a limited return of socially distanced spectators but must follow the rule of six.
- In Tier 1, the number of outdoor spectators allowed is limited to whichever is lower in a socially distanced and groups of six environment: 50% capacity, or 4,000 people.
- In Tier 2, this number is limited to whichever is lower in a socially distanced and groups of six environment: 50% capacity, or 2,000 people.
- In Tier 3, no spectators are permitted.
- For the avoidance of doubt, people must not travel out of a Tier 3 area to spectate in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area.
- In Tier 1, bars and social spaces can operate but must do so by table service (ordered and consumed at the table) and observing the rule of six. Six people from different households are allowed at the same table.
- In Tier 2, bars and social spaces can only operate as if they were a restaurant. This means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal and all food and drink is to be ordered and consumed at the table. Tables can only be same household/support bubble and must be two metres apart from each other. Takeaway must be consumed off the club premises.
- In Tiers 1 and 2, last orders must be at 10pm and bars and social spaces should be fully closed by 11pm. Takeaway service can continue past 10pm, if it is via delivery or click-and-collect.
- In Tier 3, bars and social spaces must be closed except for takeaway or click-and-collect services.
- Clubs should contact their local authority licensing department for any queries.
- All clubs must display a QR code at each entrance to the clubhouse, complete and publish bespoke risk assessments and action plans for their members; and keep records of all visitors for 21 days to continue to support the Test and Trace efforts.
- Clubs should complete this Covid-19 Positive Test RFU notification form in the case of a player having attended training or an individual having visited the club in the 48 hours prior to the date of onset of symptoms/date the positive test was taken.
The RFU asks everyone to strictly follow the UK Government’s national COVID-19 restrictions and encourage any incidents of non-compliance to be reported to the RFU.
If any club or member is found to have breached either RFU or Government restrictions, then disciplinary action may be considered. Please report any concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- More details can be found at our Coronavirus Support Hub.
- FAQs can be found here and will continue to be updated.
- Summary of law variations can be found here.
- We are now at Stage E on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.
- Return to Play webinar support can be found below:
- Latest UK Government Guidance can be found here.