Update on 01 April 2021:
While club teams received the go-ahead to return to play on Monday, 12 April, schools rugby will be able to resume with matches a little later, on Friday, 23 April.
The decision was made following an announcement by the Department of Basic Education that it had made an Amendment of Directions in terms of Regulation 4(3) under the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002), published in Government Gazette No. 44339 of 27 March 2021, indicating that schools can resume matches and national tournaments without spectators, subject to compliance with the relevant health and safety measures.
In accordance with SA Rugby’s return to play protocols, which places player safety and welfare as key priorities, clubs have received the green light to advance from contact training back to playing matches.
However, this is based on the provision that all COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to and that every club player must have completed the compulsory four-week non-contact training and four-week contact training window.
Schools rugby players, meanwhile, may resume contact training for four weeks – following six weeks of non-contact training – with the vision that they return to play at the earliest on Friday, 23 April.
Original blog – 11 March 2021
South African schoolboy rugby enthusiasts will be holding thumbs that the Minister of Education gives the go-ahead to resume playing under Covid-19 Lockdown Level 1, via an announcement early next week.
The normal Covid-19 measures of wearing masks, social distancing wherever practical, using hand sanitizers, temperature screening and health and safety questionnaires will be part-and-parcel of activities.
The big developments are expected to be:
- No spectators.
- Only one entrance point to grounds.
- No more than 250 key personnel in attendance at outdoor events (100 limit for indoor events) : including athletes, technical officials, volunteers, medical team, media/broadcasting team, and stadium workers.
Fewer people will be allowed if the venue is smaller and cannot ensure the 1.5m apart social distance standard.
It is worth remembering that Lockdown regulations are not long-term arrangements. The levels can go up overnight and with winter creeping closer, the best advice anyone can offer is maintain a high degree of self-discipline and please be honest and be considerate of those you come into contact with.