Rugby league and government-19: crowds, vaccines, scrum and the trip to France in 2021

Covit-19 has once again started wreaking havoc.

As the number of cases rises, several reports suggest that new restrictions could be implemented any day.

Inevitably, any changes are likely to affect the start of the rugby league season, which is still more than a month away.

Some minor changes have already been made. Leeds Rhinos have reduced their friendly pre-season partnership with Wakefield Trinity to 9,999 to avoid the need for a COVID passport test or a negative sideways running test.

For now, the authorities have a chance. Especially in the current and emerging scenario, there is a view that the preparation of plans before the government announces its plans is currently unfavourable. Suddenly after the start of the year there will be big meetings around the covit and the new session.

But as the season draws to a close, officials will once again be challenged to try and manage the restrictions.

For now, the current state of the game and the challenges it faces.


As we’ve seen throughout the outbreak, it’s worth noting that things can change quickly. So in a few days everything can change.

But as it stands, clubs are currently grappling with logistical challenges to host next season’s meeting.

Under the new rules implemented earlier this month, rugby league fans have the option to prove their vaccine status or submit proof of a negative side running test for their team to see.

Participants must provide documents to participate in any event held by more than 10,000 people or at an outdoor venue attended by more than 4,000 people.

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Clubs are already trying to fight back before the season, as thousands of fans will now have to find a logical way to verify their passports, verify validity when testing match tickets and with negative lateral flow tests. Documents have to be proved. for admission.

While each club handles this a little differently, for some clubs it is better to talk to their local councils and have a better understanding of the restrictions behind them. Decisions regarding seating and standing facilities are unclear.


When the field returned in 2022, the RFL took its color on the mast.

At the time, he stated that if 85% of the players were doubly vaccinated, Scrum would be restarted.

The growing importance of the Omicron version, however, adds to the problems with the government’s acceptance that one must get their booster vaccine in order to be fully vaccinated.

Therefore, the RFL Rules Committee may reconsider its position on the issue.

There is also the matter of respecting the 85 percent limit.

Loading Vaccines

Right now, the number of double vaccinations in the Super League and Championship is expected to be just over 80%, but they are yet to reach their target of 85% by 31 December.

But the problem spreads more than melee returns.

Before France tightened its travel restrictions again (and later), the rules in force meant that people who had not been vaccinated twice had to wait at least two days before traveling across the country. Had to self-isolate. , Individuals who are required to provide only one negative test within 24 hours of travel.

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This was a concern for clubs as not all of their vaccinated players could play, and it is now a policy in the Super League to rent a plane on match day and then before returning to the UK.

Simply put, not all non-vaccinated players can play in France. This problem is even more prevalent for the Catalan Dragons and the Toulouse Olympics, which play in the UK every week.

These rules have given clubs new impetus, requiring their players to be vaccinated so that they can play when they need to travel. But some players may not be able to play due to the rules of the day as it is time to land two jobs before the start of the season.

But the Omigron version made matters even worse. Anyone who has been double vaccinated does not need to be isolated if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. However, if someone tests positive for Omicron, all close contacts, regardless of the vaccine, will be forced to isolate. Of course, we have been told that vaccination will reduce the chances of catching the virus, so there are obvious issues for clubs to contend with as a single Omega case at the club could lead to multiple potential stops and postponements.

great french problem

Unfortunately, the intensity of travel restrictions has increased in recent days.

On Friday evening, the French government announced that no one could enter or leave France, regardless of their vaccination status, without “necessary reason to travel”.

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As a result, the Rugby Union Champions Trophy list has been wiped out by several cross-channel matches.

Elite matches are not exempt from the rules and there are clear issues with Catalans and Toulouse if those rules are followed.

There is still hope that the holiday season will ease issues surrounding the new change and restrictions could be eased for the new Super League season. However, there are obvious challenges if they do not.

These talks will take place after the new year, but again it is fair to say that there are unnecessary government issues at play.

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About the Author: Piers Parker

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