Six Nations

French give Six Nations coronavirus plan green light

France centre Virimi Vakatawa. (Photo by Andy Buchanan/AFP)
France centre Virimi Vakatawa. (Photo by Andy Buchanan/AFP)

The French government on Thursday gave its support to health protocols drawn up by Six Nations organisers which would allow the tournament to go ahead as planned despite the Covid-19 pandemic, sources confirmed to AFP.

This green light from the country's sports ministry will allow an exemption from seven-day quarantine, a decision justified by the presence of a secure bubble and closer monitoring.

This decision can, however, be revised in the event of the health situation deteriorating, the source said.

France are due to travel to face Italy on 6 February, Ireland on 14 February and then England on 13 March.

They have two home games against Scotland and Wales on 28 February and 20 March respectively.

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu had said she needed further "guarantees" from other governments to allow France to face Ireland and England.

There were also concerns that both Scotland and Wales could have to isolate for a week prior to their matches.

However, France will now benefit from an exemption from quarantine on their return while Scotland and Wales will also be exempt when they travel to Paris.

The Six Nations' traditional February-March slot came under a cloud when this month's final two pool rounds of European club competition were cancelled after the French government said it was unsafe for French clubs to travel when a new Covid-19 variant was becoming increasingly widespread in Britain and Ireland.

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