The IRFU wish to advise clubs and schools of rugby activity permitted as per Level 5 of the Government of Ireland Plan For Living With COVID-19. These guidelines are effective from midnight Wednesday Oct 21st to midnight Tuesday December 1st.
Ulster Rugby will play its next two home professional fixtures – scheduled to take place over the next four weeks – behind closed doors. This decision is in line with the views of the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor in Northern Ireland who have indicated that it would be unwise for large gatherings to take place at this time.
The decision will be reviewed ahead of the Guinness PRO14 fixture at home to Scarlets on Sunday 22 November.
The latest development in the professional game follows from last week’s announcement, made alongside the IRFU, that all rugby activity below elite level in Northern Ireland will be suspended for four weeks. Clubs in the Republic of Ireland will enter Level 5 government restrictions at midnight tonight, with the IRFU guidelines for operating at this level outlined below.
Ulster Rugby and the IRFU recognise that regulations in Northern Ireland currently permit non-contact outdoor sporting activity for up to 15 people from different households, but have decided to respect the medical advice and suspend all activity with immediate effect, in the spirit of doing the right thing for the sport and the community – helping to keep players, coaches, referees and volunteers safe.
Ulster Rugby and the IRFU continue to be in proactive dialogue with government to secure the necessary hardship funding for the sport at all levels.
Level 5 Guidelines For Rugby Clubs & Schools
Effective from midnight Wednesday Oct 21st to midnight Tuesday December 1st
No training should take place, with the exception of non-contact training for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15.
All other training activities should be individual only.
Exercise within 5 kilometres of home.
*Details on exemptions are available below.
No matches permitted in clubs or schools.
Shower & Changing facilities to remain closed.
Spectators are not permitted.
Parents/Guardians attending in a safeguarding /supervisory capacity are not classified as a spectator. However, strict social distancing and public health guidelines should be adhered to at all times. In that context, one parent/guardian per child is permitted to attend should they consider it necessary. (Source: Sport Ireland Practical Guidance on Covid-19 Measures)
All Parents/Guardians must complete a Pre-Rugby Personal Assessment Declaration Form prior to arriving on site.
HEALTH & SAFETY:
Clubs must ensure their COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan is up to date in line with the latest government guidelines.
A Risk Assessment should be carried out where appropriate for activities not previously included.
Non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15, including tag or touch rugby.
These exemptions apply to all schools rugby players in primary and post-primary schools as well as club players from mini to U18 age-grades (inclusive).
Coaching or taking school aged children to permitted training is exempt from domestic travel restrictions.
Remember the following:
- Pre-Rugby Personal Assessment Declaration to be completed before every session.
- Training is on an opt-in basis for all participants.
- Strict avoidance of gatherings before or after.
- Strict adherence to 2 metre physical distancing before and after, on the sidelines and avoidance of team huddles.
- Hand sanitisation facilities available at all times.
- Good coughing and sneezing etiquette.