As the number of cases of Coronavirus increases in the UK and Ireland, the IRFU has confirmed the 2019/20 domestic season is to conclude in all provinces with immediate effect.
Please find below some useful information for member clubs on how we can prevent the spread of the virus, along with some useful links if you want to find out more detailed information.
This page will be updated on a regular basis, to reflect the latest guidance from Government and Health authorities.
Last updated: 9pm on Monday 6 April
The IRFU has confirmed the 2019/20 domestic season is to conclude in all provinces with immediate effect due to ongoing concerns over coronavirus.
The directive applies to all incomplete national and provincial competitions.
To read the full statement, visit: https://www.ulsterrugby.com/2020/03/irfu-confirms-2019-20-domestic-season-is-to-conclude-with-immediate-effect/
Training and Playing:
All rugby activities across clubs and schools, from minis to adult rugby, must now cease.
All clubs should follow government advice in both the UK and Ireland and practice social distancing. This includes avoiding all large and small gatherings in public spaces – including bars and function rooms within rugby clubs – as infections can spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
The IRFU has announced it will make €500,000 available to clubs in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
To read the full statement, visit: https://www.irishrugby.ie/2020/03/24/irfu-make-e500000-available-to-club-game/
More information on how to apply can be found at: https://www.irishrugby.ie/running-your-club/club-continuity-fund/
The deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 30 April 2020.
The Community Foundation Northern Ireland has established a Coronavirus Community Fund. If your club is supporting the elderly (50+) in any way, you can apply for emergency funding. For more information, visit: https://communityfoundationni.org/grants/coronavirus-community-fund/
For clubs in NI, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a rapid response Coronavirus Emergency Fund to help smaller organisations affected by the impact of the virus. Grants of up to £10k will help recipients to continue to deliver much-needed support in their communities. For more information, visit: https://www.cafonline.org/charities/grantmaking/caf-coronavirus-emergency-fund?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=socialorganic&utm_campaign=GENCAMCVD1920
Halifax Foundation Northern Ireland has changed its criteria, and is now inviting applications from all constituted groups (not only charities) in NI that focus on supporting their community at this time. For more information:https://www.halifaxfoundationni.org/
The Begin Together Fund is open to groups in NI and ROI that support the physical and/or mental wellbeing of their communities. The application deadline is 31st March. However, this may come under review. For the latest information, visit: https://www.communityfoundation.ie/grants/types-of-grants/bank-of-ireland-begin-together-fund-2020
Sport NI is requesting that sporting organisations in NI contact them with information about:
• How coronavirus is impacting you or your organisation.
• The type of help you think would be most beneficial.
To get in touch with Sport NI, please email: Coronavirus@sportni.net
The IRFU are in ongoing contact with Sport Ireland and will provide updates with specific information on how this relates to rugby.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has outlined a number of Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses in ROI. For more information, visit: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/
For further information on good practice for club members who are volunteering during the COVID-19 crisis, Volunteer Now has created a number of resources. Visit: https://www.volunteernow.co.uk/publication/?
NI Business Info has also produced a summary of NI and UK-wide Government support available (last updated on 6th April 2020): NI Business Info – Support Available
Latest Government and Health advice
There is a vast amount of information available regarding COVID-19, but the following websites contain regularly updated information both in the UK and ROI.
The Department of Health Northern Ireland has launched a new Covid-19 NI information app.
The app includes guidance on the symptoms of the coronavirus infection and supports individuals to identify whether they might potentially have the infection. It will also provide advice on what actions people should take if they think they may have coronavirus. The information provided will also help people decide if they need advice from a health or care professional and how best to access that advice should they need it.
More information here: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/news/dedicated-northern-ireland-covid-19-app-launched
The Department of Health Northern Ireland and Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland have also produced this Factsheet.
Downloadable posters for your club
Hygiene etiquette around your club
· Wash your hands properly and regularly.
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
· Put used tissues in the bin and wash your hands.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
· Sanitisation stations should be in use throughout all club areas. These should be set up with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes. Note that the virus can survive for several days on suitable surfaces in suitable environments so surfaces and objects should be wiped down regularly with disinfectant/antiseptic.
· Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
What if someone at my club shows symptoms?
Anyone with suspected symptoms of Coronavirus should follow Government health advice and:
· Isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone.
· Dial 111 in the UK or 112 in ROI to report your symptoms and seek advice.
· In a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) dial 999.
If you have any concerns regarding a potential Coronavirus case at your club, dial 111 in the UK and 112 in ROI and inform Ulster Rugby and the IRFU immediately.