Bath players and staff isolate after ground closure
CLUB ACTION: Bath have closed their training ground after a number of players and coaching staff tested positive for the coronavirus, the English Premiership club said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Premiership clubs are on a two-week break, with a decision on whether Bath’s January 29 match against southwest rivals Bristol goes ahead set to be made next week.
Meanwhile, Bath’s players and coaching staff will self-isolate, with team training cancelled for the forseeable future.
Britain is gripped by its third and deadliest wave of the virus, blamed on a new strain believed to be highly infectious.
“This morning, Bath’s training ground has been closed after a number of players and staff returned positive results following the weekly COVID-19 testing programme,” read a club statement.
Bath Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper said those fit to do so would focus on their forthcoming fixtures but not at the expense of player well-being.
“This is an anxious time for us all and the mental as well as physical health of our people and their families is our priority,” he said.
“Our planned training sessions have been cancelled and those able to train from home will now do so.
“My team and I are focused on doing all we can to be ready to play our up-and-coming fixtures, but I must reinforce I will not allow the health of our people to be compromised.”
Bath will carry out additional testing on Thursday for all players and rugby staff, and again on Monday.
Bath said that, in common with other clubs who have been affected by the virus, their training ground would be cleansed.
Any players found to have tested positive – or traced to close contact of those testing positive – will isolate for a minimum of 10 days.
Several Premiership matches have been cancelled due to clubs being affected by Covid-19.
Unlike their English football counterparts, Premiership officials have decided against postponing fixtures.
Instead, four points are awarded to the club who were not responsible for the forfeit while two go to the team affected by the virus.
When this month’s final two rounds of European club fixture were suspended because of virus concerns raised by French authorities, the Premiership decided against bringing forward domestic league fixtures to fill the gap.