Boost for Welsh rugby as clubs welcome supporters back – safely.
Many clubs have been closed for much of the year due to the storms and then the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with local and national lockdowns affecting their off-field operations. However, the easing of restrictions in Wales following the Firebreak lockdown has given Welsh Rugby a much-needed boost. Working to Welsh Government guidelines, many clubs are keen to open their doors so that supporters can watch Wales’ Autumn Cup games together, news that will boost club finances and provide a much-needed morale lift for fans. New WRU Chairman Rob Butcher has spoken on behalf of community clubs across Wales, some of whom have decided to open their doors this evening as Wales take on Ireland. He said, “While some clubs have decided to stay closed for now, others have worked very hard to ensure their clubhouses are ready to welcome supporters back at this time. Many clubs rely on income from their bars and hospitality revenue on international weekends, and staff and volunteers within those clubs have done everything they can to ensure they are ‘good to go’ in accordance with Welsh Government guidelines. “It’s important income for the clubs, and I’m sure many supporters will also be thrilled to be able to come together again to watch Wales in their local rugby club, while adhering to the protocols clubs have put in place. “The regulations mean supporting Wales in a more measured way than perhaps we are used to – such as keeping noise levels down and remaining seated. If that is what is required to ensure the safety of our communities and so that clubs can remain open throughout this period, then that is what we need to do as a sport. Mike Prosser, Barry RFC Chairman said, “It was an absolute breath of fresh air to open our club house last Friday and to sit in each other’s company, have a quiet pint or two and watch the Wales v Ireland game. Thankfully the result did not detract from the enjoyment had by all. We are living in a time that we will hopefully never see again so we have to make the most of this and abide by the rules. “I would like to thank the management committee members and bar staff at the club who have worked so hard to put all the protection measures in place inside the clubhouse and for the continued support of our members. It is not financially viable to open the clubhouse on a regular basis but will be opening every Saturday for a socially distanced get together.” Welsh Government guidance in relation to hospitality venues broadcasting Wales’ autumn internationals include : * Controlled entry – keep walk-ups to a minimum and use booking systems wherever possible. The rule of thumb for time slots is two hours. However, in the case of TV broadcasts, venues might consider it safer for some people to complete the broadcast rather than encouraging multiple bookings at different premises within a local community. * Maintain 2 metres between each group of people where possible * Keep broadcast sound levels at background level to avoid customers having to raise their voices to be heard * Avoid shouting, dancing or singing * Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors (not fire doors) * Ensure physical distance where up to four people from different households are sat together Full Welsh Government guidance for TV screenings: https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/WalesGuidance