Leinster Rugby has this morning announced the submission of detailed plans to Government for a proof of concept test event, to assess the use of rapid antigen testing as a solution for the safe return of spectators to matches at the RDS Arena.
With matches in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup scheduled for the coming weeks, a trial match could take place as early as next month, May 2021.
Details of the comprehensive plans, which have IRFU approval and are a direct response to the Government’s Rapid Testing Group’s recommendation to immediately implement antigen trial events, were submitted to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media on Friday, 9th April and include:
- Leinster Rugby would host a match where a pilot scheme for rapid antigen testing to detect COVID-19 would be trialled with a limited number of 2m socially distant spectators.
- Pre-match antigen testing would take place by appointment and would be on site at the RDS.
The chosen rapid antigen testing system is EU approved and can successfully detect Covid-19 and all variants of concern.-
- The antigen tests would complement existing Covid-19 guidelines already in place at the RDS Arena for staff and teams.
- The capacity for this proof of concept match at the RDS Arena will be capped at 2,000 spectators, just 11% of the normal match-day capacity.
Since the resumption of professional sport, 11 Leinster Rugby matches have been played behind closed doors at the RDS Arena, with no incidences of Covid-19 reported as a result of these games taking place.
The capacity for the trial game would be a maximum of 2,000 spectators, just 11% of the normal RDS Arena match-day capacity.