Scottish Rugby Threat Management Group Update
Dominic McKay, Chief Operating Officer & Dr James Robson, Scottish Rugby CMO
We are delighted to say this week has been an encouraging step in the right direction. Yesterday the First Minister unveiled Scotland’s next steps out of lockdown, announcing the relaxation of several restrictions from Monday 29 June which will certainly assist our plans for a return to rugby, elite and community. The changes to lockdown in Scotland for the remainder of Phase 2 and early Phase 3 are as follows:
- Monday 29 June:
- Street access retail can reopen once guidance is implemented.
- Outdoor sports courts and playgrounds can re-open.
- Thursday 2 July:
- Scottish Government to announce any change to current 2m physical distancing rule. It is expected that based on scientific advice, Scotland will adopt the 1m+ approach, with mitigations that England and Northern Ireland have already announced.
- Friday 3 July:
- 5 mile travel distance restriction removed across Scotland.
- Monday 6 July:
- Outdoor hospitality allowed (subject to physical distancing and public health advice).
- Friday 10 July:
- People can meet in extended groups outdoors with physical distancing.
- Monday 13 July:
- Organised outdoor contact sports for children and young people (subject to guidance) can resume.
- Wednesday 15 July:
- Indoor hospitality subject to physical distancing and public health requirements.
To see full details of the indicative dates please visit the relevant Scottish Government web page here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-scotlands-route-map-indicative-dates-remainder-phase-2-early-phase-3/pages/2/
Whilst we welcome these changes given the positive direct impact it will have on our sport, we remain focused and committed in our planning to pursue the safest route to a return to rugby. The health and wellbeing of our people remain of paramount importance in our decision-making, therefore we would like to take this opportunity to urge everyone to continue to adhere to the current public health guidance and sport guidance. We fully understand this has been an anxious time for everyone, however whilst lockdown is easing, it is imperative that we do what is right for our people and our sport and remain cautious in our approach. We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to you all again for your continuous support, it has been critical in enabling our TMG to carefully navigate the best way forward, and we greatly appreciate your ongoing patience as we continue to map out our future in the safest way possible.
Please find below the weekly update from the Threat Management Group.
In Scotland we are now in the 8th consecutive week of a continuous decline in the number of COVID-19 related deaths, whilst the number of positive cases in hospitals and new positive cases are also dropping. It is encouraging to see this sustained decline which has enabled the Scottish Government to make such major changes to lockdown rules and the preservation of this will certainly support our plans for resuming “normal” service.
On Monday we commenced Phase 1 Return to Training, with both Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors players participating in voluntary fitness sessions at BT Murrayfield throughout the week. The process has so far been successful, with players and coaches praising the outstanding work of the Return to Train sub-group which enabled this to happen.
The success of this first stage of returning players to training has certainly been reassuring and given the TMG and its various sub-groups the confidence to continue building upon our robust plans for the future.
Particularly for the Return to Rugby Clubs & Schools group, who continue to develop their roadmap for a return to train for clubs and community. Updated Phase 2 Return to Rugby documents will be released later today via our Club Comms and website outlining specific guidance for clubs and schools coming into effect from Monday 29 June and we hope to provide further clarification as we progress discussions with the Government.
Furthermore, yesterday (Thursday) we met with Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, along with Scottish Rugby colleagues. In the meeting we explained our current plans for the sport at all levels and we proposed the use of BTM as a potential test venue with circa 1000 spectators on Saturday 22 August for the Warriors v Edinburgh 1872 PRO14 match.
We are pleased to announce that the Cabinet Secretary, supported by Scottish Government’s National Clinical Director, Professor Jason Leitch and Andy Sinclair from Active Scotland, agreed to consider a formal Scottish Rugby plan for a BT Murrayfield test event in August, subject to agreed public health mitigations.
This is a welcome sign and demonstrates the dedication of the Government to get sport in Scotland, elite and community, back up and running as soon as is practical.
Overall, this week has been a positive step in the right direction for our sport, our people and our society as a whole.
Though, in a time of constantly changing and varying government guidance across the UK we remain in consistent communication with the Scottish Government, sportscotland and the events industries across Scotland to ensure we keep making informed and proactive decisions to enable a safe resumption of our sport as soon as possible.
Again, thanks to everyone for your constant support of Scottish Rugby and the work of the TMG and we very much hope to give you more detailed updates as we continue to move forward.