Given that the whole of Hampshire will be in Tier 4 from today, and following on from the Government announcements today on the delay of secondary school age children returning to schools and colleges to allow for mass-testing:
Hampshire RFU recommends that all Hampshire rugby clubs delay any planned return to rugby for their youth teams (U6 - Colts) until after this date - 18th January 2021 - to allow mass-testing in schools to take place, so that hopefully any positive cases (and, in particular, asymptomatic cases) will have been identified and informed of the need to isolate. We feel that this move in the current climate is appropriate.
This recommendation has been sent out in full consultation with the County RugbySafe lead and Management Board Chairman.
Additionally, it may be prudent for ALL team managers to send out a message to parents explaining this, and asking parents to ensure that any of their children in school years 7 to 13 have completed their school testing before attending rugby training. 
This should apply before ANY children return to rugby (including younger primary school age children in U6 to U11's, if they have older siblings in their households.)
If clubs are returning to training for any of their Youth teams after the 18th January 2021, the following should be noted:
Current advice is that rugby youth teams (U18 and younger) in Tier 4 can continue to train at Stage E, strictly maintaining current guidelines with respect to:
  • distancing, 
  • disinfection of all shared equipment (which should be minimised to balls/cones and tag belts wherever possible), 
  • sanitisation breaks every 15 minutes, 
  • disinfect players' and coaches' hands before and after session, 
  • no use of changing rooms/showers unless for emergency use, 
  • minimise pitch-side spectators unless safeguarding required (ie for younger children) and then ensure at least 5m away from training area and at least 2m away from each other, max 1 parent per player
  • coaches/referees to minimise face to face contact with players, 3 secs or less if within 1m, try to maintain 2m when speaking to players/giving feedback
  • maintain session attendance lists for 3 weeks
  • avoid ALL use of tackle pads and bags (too much of a transmission risk at present)
  • STAY local (keep travel to a minimum) - do not travel into/out of Tier 4 to train or play



If all these are strictly followed, we currently still have our Sports Exemption and to date this has not changed, but this should continue to be closely managed and will also be subject to any RFU Guidance updates before or after 18th January.

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