Guidance for clubs ahead of Alert Level 0
The first competitive community rugby matches in Wales since March 2020 are set to take place around Wales on August 7, a date which is set to coincide with Wales’ move to Alert Level 0 – providing public health conditions remain favourable.
This means that clubs can amend their current protocols and adopt the latest Welsh Government guidance PROVIDING they have completed an internal risk assessment and adhere to the measures they put in place which will be specific to their own facilities.
While Level 0 means that there will no longer be a legal requirement to comply with certain measures such as face coverings and social distancing, the Welsh Rugby Union, along with the National Sporting Group, strongly urges clubs to assess their own circumstances when completing their risk assessment to ensure they can provide a safe environment for players, volunteers and spectators for training and matchdays.
An extensive Level 0 guidance document has been produced and sent to clubs to assist them in this process and further webinars have been held/ will continue to be held.
– Clubs may re-open changing rooms and showers for training and matchdays PROVIDING they have completed an internal risk assessment of their facilities and implement appropriate safety measures
– Social distancing and face coverings are still recommended in all indoor settings including changing rooms, gyms etc
– Numbers in changing rooms should be strictly limited with staggered arrival times and usage
– Team talks and referee checks should take place outdoors
– No huddles
– Matches to be played under Modified Laws
There is an emphasis on staying local in the early stages of the forthcoming Cup competitions, with most matches taking place against other clubs within the same WRU District. However, when coaches are required, clubs must adhere to the coach operators’ protocols and face masks are recommended when travelling with anyone outside of household bubbles.
Before clubs re-open changing facilities, they must have completed a Legionella risk assessment and obtain results from a UKAS accredited lab to confirm its absence. Funding has been provided to all clubs who own and operate their own facilities to complete this process.
In addition, rigorous cleaning must take place after each usage of indoor facilities, especially changing room areas. Guidance has been provided to clubs in this regard.
Spectators should be encouraged to adhere to all Welsh Government, club and Track & Trace protocols
Players are still required to complete the COVID symptom checker on the WRU Gamelocker ahead of every training session and matchday.
WRU Community Director Geraint John said, “We are thrilled to be in a position in Wales to further ease restrictions on community sport. As we continue to progress through our Pathway to Participation and look forward to the first competitive matches in 16 months for community rugby, clubs will be able to welcome more supporters back to their grounds and host other clubs in a more manageable way.”
WRU chair Rob Butcher added; “We are very grateful to our clubs, teams and their army of volunteers who have been essential in helping us to restart rugby gradually, safely and successfully in recent months. We ask everyone in the game to assist these volunteers over the coming weeks and months in adhering to the recommended guidance but also our rugby values so that we can continue to work towards returning to the full game we all love.”