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England Touch has a range of information and advice for clubs, players and referees alike with regard to looking after themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.

Return to play - updated 09/07/20

England Touch is now focusing on a staged return to play to give clubs and regions guidance for a responsible and managed process towards playing friendly fixtures and then competitions.

England Touch’s management has noted and welcomed the UK government’s announcement of July 9th, 2020, with the latest return-to-play guidance for team sports.

The government has requested that all sports provide a structured assessment of the transmission risk and mitigations which will be put in place to minimise said risks in order to take the next steps towards full training and competition.

As the national governing body for Touch, England Touch will be liaising with Sport England as to how best we can achieve a suitable set of guidance documents.

We are also committed to liaising with both the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League, who have social Touch offerings, so that all three bodies can work positively to the same end, which ultimately is to get people playing and teams competing in as safe an environment as possible.

There are six stages in our Return to Play plans - 1. Prepare, 2. Train, 3. Play, 4. Local, 5. Regional, 6. National.

Currently we are in Stage 2. This remains so despite the latest government announcement and we urge clubs to continue to socially distance and remain non-contact at training.

CLICK HERE to download the Return to Play guidance sheet

Training advice

As of Monday, June 1st, six individuals from different households can meet outside for socialising and exercise, while still observing social distancing guidelines.

Outdoor spaces for exercise – parks, rugby clubs, etc – are able to be used, and while there is no restriction on the distance you can travel public transport should be your last option and private transport (aside from running or cycling) should only be with people from your own households.

Clubs may now be exploring options to re-start their training programmes, so England Touch has put together the following advice:

  • Before doing so, please ensure any training is done in a safe space and you conduct your own risk assessment. CLICK HERE for our risk guidance document and CLICK HERE for an example risk assessment from Nottingham Touch Club
  • Training groups should consist of no more than six people and this includes any coaches, or other personnel that might be present. We recommend that the same six people stick together at every session, with drills two metres apart
  • Scale your training depending on your available space. We don’t recommend separate groups of six meeting at the same venue even if they are kept apart. Arrival times must be staggered, and if your space is limited you should consider having multiple sessions during the week.
  • Whoever runs your session must keep a register of who attends which session, including telephone numbers and emails, for contact tracing purposes
  • One person should be responsible for the equipment, including balls and cones, and this should all be washed before and after sessions.
  • Wash your hands regularly, with soap and/or suitable hand sanitiser available
  • Do not share water bottles, etc
  • Arrive dressed to train and do not use changing rooms and showers
  • Safeguarding – parents, etc, need to be watching sessions from their cars and not pitchside. Any training involving Under-18s must be group-based
  • Even if the host venue’s bar is open for takeaway drinks and food you must consume them off the premises and not socialise after your session

This advice is specifically for clubs – as per our previous guidance, if you are having an informal throwaround in the park amongst your group of six then respect social distancing and wash the ball you use before and afterwards, as well as your hands before and afterwards.

Finally, if you are showing any coronavirus symptoms whatsoever then do not train, and if you develop symptoms after a session you must inform whoever ran your session so they can inform others for self-isolating purposes.

These include:

  • Persistent dry cough
  • Persistent high temperature
  • Persistent loss of taste and/or smell

CLICK HERE for the government’s latest guidance regarding a phased return to outdoor activity.

We are England Touch

We are the players. We are the supporters, willing us on. We are the medals, waiting to be won. We are the touchdowns, waiting to be scored. We are the men and women of all ages. We are the talent of today. We are the potential for tomorrow. We are one team. We are England Touch