Chris Booy, Professional Game Board Chair said: “I can confirm that the Professional Game Board which incorporates representatives of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Premiership Rugby, Rugby Players Association (RPA) and Championship Clubs has given provisional authorisation for Premiership and Championship Rugby clubs to move to Stage 1: Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance.
"The clubs will need to satisfy a number of requirements to start Stage 1 as we continue the huge amount of work being undertaken to enable a safe return to training.
"The welfare of the players, management and staff is our only priority, and we look forward to the season resuming when it is safe to do so."
Click here for the DCMS Guidance on Stage 1. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation/elite-sport-return-to-training-guidance-step-one--2
Before starting Stage 1, which allows for individual conditioning (or groups of individuals conditioning) in a performance environment with strict social distancing maintained at all times, clubs will need to provide a written declaration to Premiership Rugby and the RFU that they have met a number of key criteria. These include:
- All players and support staff must undertake an Education Module which will inform a formal "opt in" process for return to training.
- Confirmation of the appointment of both a Covid-19 Manager and Covid-19 Medical Lead
- Clear guidance regarding cleaning and hygiene standards for training facilities.
- The provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate for the setting.
- Confirmation of a daily medical screening for players and support staff, which involves the completion of a symptom checklist and temperature check before entering the training facility.
No timescale has been set for clubs to move to Stage 2 or Stage 3 which involves the safe return of Gallagher Premiership Rugby.