Now that Greater Manchester is in tier 3 lockdown, we wanted to provide some further clarification regarding quarantine/self isolation guidance, should any of the players test positive for covid-19, following any sessions/games you attend.
This message also represents a change to previous guidance that we’ve provided as a club, and an explanation as to why.
At the time of the Chargers Vs NQ Rebels game (20th September), where a player later tested positive for COVID-19, we had asked all players who played to self isolate.
This was because we did not feel as a club that we had been provided with enough clarity and transparency from England Touch to confidently implement their guidance. We therefore took the decision to err on the side of caution, asking all people who played to isolate for 14 days. We also asked the participant who tested positive to add all other participants and referees to NHS track and trace system.
Since this time, we have been working hard to clarify several points with England Touch, along with reading guidance from the Rugby Football League (RFL) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU). Note: These three organisations are discussing things regularly too, in the hope to stay aligned when guidance for Touch is concerned.
We have also been pointed to the specific guidance that is being used to guide the England Touch decision making which is shared below.
Another reason we asked players to self isolate was because Touch is regarded as low risk because England Touch have developed a comprehensive risk assessment process, which each registered club must complete, submit and then implement to be allowed to return to play (RTP)
You will have seen we have implemented our own protocols, that everyone must complete prior to attending any of our sessions.
We are happy to make our comprehensive risk assessment available for transparency and so that everyone of us can support its implementation.
During the above mentioned game, we were unable to confidently say that the every player followed guidance which makes touch low risk, for example sanitising hands before, every 15 mins (and the ball) and when leaving the session. Plus there was lots of people gathering post match whilst having a drink too.
To mitigate this in the future, Chargers will be organising and taking a lead role in ensuring all safety protocols are implemented during games with other teams. This includes ensuring other teams follow this guidance, as a condition of playing against our players.
Consequently, if a player tests positive with COVID-19, we would not be asking the whole team to self-isolate. We wanted to clarify this given the regular sessions we run, along with the up and coming friendly games and to put peoples minds at rest.
Some additional guidance will be provided following this message, which is tournament specific and we hope this will put players at ease to know we are providing the safest environment possible.
Tier 3 Update:
Following the introduction of tier 3, for touch, there is no change to the guidance for approved recreational sports.
Sport England have just circulated this update - https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus#latestgovernmentguidance.
It is however worth noting any changes in travel. At the moment there is no legal restriction, other than advice stating that travel should be minimised and you should not travel into or out of a very high alert area. Additional guidance can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-very-high?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae#travel.
From an England Touch perspective (and RFL and RFU) they are not making any changes to their current RTP plans. This is under constant review and if any changes were to come in, we would notify the everyone via WhatsApp and email as soon as practicable.
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with Gregg or Becci - email@example.com