A detailed document outlines phased approach to returning to training and playing.
Guidance developed in full collaboration with union chief medical officers, International Rugby Players and infectious diseases experts
World Rugby has published guidelines for the safe return to rugby activities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic via its player welfare website Click Here to visit playerwelfare.worldrugby.org/covid-19
Developed by medical experts following consultation with union chief medical officers, competition owners and players, the guidelines are intended to assist unions, clubs and competitions in creating a framework and policy for return to rugby activity within their respective jurisdictions.
Unions and competition owners will need to comply with local laws and policies implemented by government or local authorities in relation to COVID-19, including social distancing and travel measures.
For the avoidance of doubt, this does not mean that matches will have to be played behind closed doors until a vaccine is available – the strategy will be determined by the respective national government directives.
The guidelines have two core sections containing important information.
The first section provides safety information to everyone involved in the game including players, coaches, support and administrative staff
The second section provides a framework around which national unions can prepare best-practice policies and guidelines for return to activity that are appropriate to their local setting, complying with national guidelines on social distancing and travel restrictions
The guidelines, which are World Health Organization (WHO) compliant, outline three dedicated time-bound return-to-training phases – small group training, full group non-contact training and full contact training.
It also documents the environment for returning to match action in a domestic, cross-border and cross-continent context and processes for facility and stadium preparation.
The guidelines were authored by Falvey, Dr Martin Raftery (World Rugby), Prav Mathema (Welsh Rugby Union), Prof Mary Horgan (consultant physician of infectious diseases) and supported by data collected through regional COVID-19 steering group chairs who consulted with World Rugby’s 124 national member unions.