|As Christmas approaches, and concerns continue to grow around the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the RFU has introduced flexibility around this weekend’s Community Game fixtures to give clubs and players options. The below applies to level 3 and below in the men’s game and level 2 and below in the women’s game, for the weekend of 17-19 December 2021.
Fixtures scheduled for the weekend of 17/18/19 December
• Matches can go ahead as normal this weekend if both teams are happy to play.
• Should either club involved in a scheduled fixture this weekend wish to postpone, they can do so without sanction. Both clubs must contact their respective organising committee as soon as possible, and at the latest by 1200 on Friday 17th December. (Clubs must not postpone their fixture via Electronic Matchcard). The postponed fixture must be played on the next available weekend as determined by the Organising Committee.
• To postpone a fixture for clubs in the Men’s and Women’s English Club Championship (RFU Leagues) they must adhere to the following process:
1. Submit a Covid declaration form
2. Include ‘concerns about Covid’ as the reason for the postponement
3. For this weekend – 17/18/19 December 2021 – there is no requirement to provide additional supportive information for the Covid declaration.
If clubs do decide to play fixtures this weekend, we would advise sensible precautions should be taken to protect members and players. In line with public health advice, we would suggest:
• Encouraging players, coaches, members, match officials, to undertake Lateral Flow Tests ahead of attending and to self-isolate if the test is positive, and take a PCR test to verify the result.
• Minimising use of changing rooms – encourage players to arrive in kit. If changing rooms or treatment rooms are required, facemasks must be warn and rooms should be ventilated where possible.
• Minimising use of social spaces, ventilating where possible and keep spacing within rooms.
• Implementing regular cleaning protocols of communal areas and toilet facilities.
• Ensuring hand sanitisers are readily available.
• Reminding members to follow government and public health guidance on mask wearing.
• Minimising travel with other people.
We want to ensure rugby clubs have easy access to guidance over the Christmas period.
Alongside government guidance, which can be found here, and Sport England guidance here, you can find information, resources and FAQs on our England Rugby Coronavirus Hub which will be updated if government advice changes. Please check back regularly.
If you can’t find the information you are looking for please contact us ClubSupport@RFU.com
We will continue to monitor the situation and to work closely with government and public health experts and further guidance will be issued post Christmas. The safety of all players, coaches, officials and volunteers remains the priority.