Rules of Engagement

Until a vaccine is developed for COVID-19 the team environment will be quite different. Every person involved in a rugby team or game will have a responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Personal hygiene, self-isolation with symptoms outlined above, social distancing, group numbers and restricting travel are the most effective means of prevention of the spread. In the team environment you will need to be even more careful to avoid exposure and spread. Outlined below are your responsibilities that will remain relevant until a vaccine is developed.

Your 10 Rules of Engagement for safe management of COVID-19 are:

1. Education - familiarise yourself with the measures being implemented by your Union or Club.

  • This document is supported by an online module which your Club will need you to complete. Your Union, Competition or Club will have a variety of information available to help you to understand where possible how best to protect yourself as you return to activity.
  • In the interest of your own safety and that of your colleagues, you will need to follow these guidelines.
  • Once completed you can download confirmation of completion and present this to your Club.

2. Daily screening - until further notice you will be required to:

  • Complete a symptom COVID-19 questionnaire before leaving home (appendix 1). This will require you to identify if you have any of the common symptoms of COVID-19 (see above). If you do, you should remain at home, contact your team doctor or primary care doctor.
  • Have your temperature checked prior to entering the facility. If your temperature is above 37.5C you will be sent home and advised to contact your team doctor or primary care doctor.

3. Adhere to hygiene rules

  • More frequent hand washing, regular disinfection of heavily used areas and surfaces and the use of gloves can reduce the risk of infection. In some situations, such as in the gym or during meetings, the use of face masks should be considered.
  • At home you should also either sanitise or wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap (or use a hand sanitiser) whenever you go and come from your house
  • Avoid touching high-contact surfaces such as door handles, public computer keyboards etc.
  • Use hand sanitisers which should be available on entry and in all rooms at your Club
  • Avoid spitting or clearning nostrils
  • Use the crook of your elbow or a tissue (always dispose of used tissues) when coughing or sneezing
  • Do not share water bottles or use team water bottles
  • Do not use communal nutritional supplements

4. Observe social distance rules – office, gym, medical room/ training field (when non-contact training)

  • A distance of at least 1 meter between the people present helps to significantly reduce the probability of virus transmission. Due to the movement involved in sports, the distance should be increased to 1.Sm when exercising.
  • Office, gym and medical room facilities should be arranged to facilitate at least 1m separation between individuals. Dispersion of respiratory droplets is aided by ventilation. Where possible any communal areas should be well ventilated.

5. Reduce body contact to a minimum

  • Shaking hands, clapping hands, embracing and cheering or mourning in a group is to be completely avoided. Until PST measures are reduced, physical contact (including competitive games) must be avoided, so initially only individual training can take place.

6. Change and shower at home

  • The use of changing rooms and showers in sports halls and sports clubs should be suspended until further notice from your Club.

7. Temporary suspension of car pooling

  • While social distancing measures are in place, the formation of carpools for training and competitions should be avoided – unless travelling with an existing housemate. The use of minivans is equally unsuitable. Your Club will apply specific policies for travelling to matches when competitive rugby resumes.

8. Refrain from events such as general meetings and celebrations

  • In order to comply with the distance rules, no social events should be held.
  • While social distancing remains, team meetings should be held outdoors or in spaces which allow for 1 person per 4m2
  • Other options include digital/online meeting resources

9. Reduce the size of training groups

  • While social distancing and public gathering restrictions are in place, teams will need to train in small groups which are aligned to government measures in place at that time (eg groups of <5, <10). When small groups train, sessions should be staggered with no overlapping between groups. Smaller groups limit infection risk, and should an infection occur, the number of people who need to potentially quarantine is limited.

10. Where possible, outdoor activities are more safe

  • Sports and exercise in the fresh air make it easier to keep to distance rules and reduce the risk of infection through the permanent exchange of air. The risk of contracting COVI D-19 during outdoor activities is considerably lower than during indoor activities.

If you have any questions having read this document, ask for clarification. Your Club/Union may have a nominated COVID-19 manger or a trained medical professional who can help. If these are not available your local public health authority may be able to provide the information you need. It is important that you understand all the risks associated with returning to rugby.

Your Club will be employing several safety measures at Club facilities to aid this process.