High fives and fist bumps allowed again as RFL relaxes coronavirus regulations

The Rugby Football League has relaxed its tough stance on try celebrations in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 4:40 pm
The Rugby Football League has relaxed its tough stance on try celebrations in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions. Picture: SWPic

The league clamped down on unnecessary contact during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and imposed fines for players breaking the new regulations.

However, the decrease in the number of infections has prompted the league to suspend fines already handed out this season for low-level transgressions such as high fives and loosen some of the rules.

However, hugging and handshakes will remain forbidden and scrums will remain absent from games for now.

A spokesperson said: “The RFL’s Covid Working Group met on Monday and there was a unanimous desire to recognise the changed landscape and also the efforts of players and clubs so far in 2021.

“We have had minimal positive tests and no postponements.

“A number of changes have been made to our Covid protocols in recent weeks to reflect the greater knowledge of the transmission of the virus – with the relatively low risk of outdoors transmission – as well as the easing of Covid restrictions more widely across society.

“It therefore feels the right time to relax slightly the restrictions on celebrations and, on that basis, it’s only fair to suspend the punishments that have been handed out for low-level breaches so far this season.

“The message we are sending to players and clubs is one of thanks and congratulations but also the importance of continued vigilance and discipline, and the need to avoid any complacency.

“The easing of lockdown restrictions will lead to a greater risk of transmission in society – and our priority must be doing all we can to ensure that players are not made unavailable either by positive tests, or as close contacts through test and trace analysis.

“We’ll therefore be focusing on higher risk situations. Hugs, pile-ons and handshakes will remain forbidden and the subject of possible compliance action, whereas high fives, fist bumps, and fleeting hand taps will no longer be followed up.”