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England to benefit after reaching an 85 per cent minimum target

By PA
(Photo by Ashley Western/MB Media/Getty Images)

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

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It means there will be 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.

Those involved in an England campaign under Jones that comprises Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa at Twickenham – beginning on November 6 – will also be allowed to leave their base during downtime to get coffee and sit outside. However, social distancing in public areas must be observed.

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Ex-England skipper Chris Robshaw guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload
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Ex-England skipper Chris Robshaw guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload

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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