In line with the Scottish Government announcement yesterday (Thursday 18 June), Scottish Rugby has updated the Return to Rugby guidance for clubs and schools.
This Phase 2 guidance comes into effect from today (Friday 19 June) with the specific Government guidance on outdoor pitches applying from Monday 29 June.
From Monday 29 June, clubs will be able to open their outdoor pitches for players (in maximum groups of 8 from no more that 3 households) to undertake training on an individual basis. During this time, indoor areas (including toilets) are to remain closed.
Scottish Rugby will announce further guidance next week to allow clubs to plan ahead for 29 June.
During Phase 2 players cannot participate in traditional rugby activities such as touch rugby or contact games due to the physical distancing measures still in place.
Players must only undertake individual training activities and take responsibility for maintaining physical distancing and regular hand hygiene at all times.
As per the Scottish Government announcement yesterday (Thursday 18 June), a date for the re-opening of outdoor hospitality areas (e.g. rugby club outdoor bar area) cannot be safely set at this stage. The Scottish Government is scheduled to issue a further update on this subject on 2 July.
The Scottish Government has commissioned further advice from the Scientific Advisory Group, based on emerging evidence suggesting communal spaces such as hospitality can present a higher risk of transmission.
Scottish Rugby is working with the Scottish Government to ensure the domestic game can begin a phased return in line with its lockdown restrictions easing and aiming to help clubs through this process. Further information on future phases will be communicated when appropriate.
FURTHER RETURN TO RUGBY INFORMATION
The close contact nature of rugby means that there are unique challenges when it comes to the threat of spreading Covid-19. We ask everyone involved in our game to be patient and empathetic throughout this process, which may require extra caution to be taken to ensure we don’t risk spreading the virus further. This added caution may manifest itself by the community game not moving between phases at the same pace as in other sports.
Please also note that Scottish Rugby Return to Rugby guidelines will, at times, differ from other countries and sports. This is due to the unique set of circumstances we as a community currently face here in Scotland, and the complex nature of returning to a contact sport safely.
While we are all eager to return to rugby, the welfare of our friends, family, teammates, communities to stay safe, protect others and save lives, must remain a priority.
We firmly believe that rugby will provide a vehicle for safe exercise and social connection once the Government’s phased roadmap is implemented.
However, we know that public perception about rugby’s ‘readiness’ to return will be critical, and we, as a rugby community, will need to work together to build confidence and reassure people that rugby is ready.
We will work collaboratively with club, school and community representatives and groups to develop guidelines and resources for each Phase of the Return to Rugby plan.