Reduced coronavirus restrictions will bring England players closer

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England players will be able to get closer during the national anthems (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Archive)

England will be operating with reduced coronavirus restrictions for the Autumn Nations Series after the Rugby Football Union confirmed that players and staff are above the required vaccination target.

Eddie Jones’ squad and management team have reached the 85 per cent minimum that allows for the relaxation of social distancing and mask wearing in camp.

It means there will no gaps between players during the national anthems, no limit to the numbers allowed into rooms at the team hotels and the squad will be able to travel to matches on one bus rather than the two or three used last autumn and in the Six Nations.

And those involved in a campaign comprising Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa at Twickenham beginning on November 6 will be allowed to leave their base during down time to get coffee and sit outside. However, social distancing in public areas must be observed.

An extensive testing programme will remain in place with all players and staff needing to supply negative PCR results before entering the team environment.

In addition, a minimum of three lateral flow tests must be taken each week, including on the day before each game. Daily Covid-19 wellness checks will also be carried out before leaving bedrooms.

Visitors to camp are to be minimised and those who do enter will be required to undergo PCR testing ahead of their arrival.

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