Return to Sport Expert Group
The Government's Covid-19 Return to Sport Expert Group Expert Group has positively reviewed phase one protocols in respect of the following sports:
· Athletics (outdoor training)
· Open Water Swimming
· Tennis (outdoor)
In all cases, participants in sporting activity must respect the current public health guidelines.
Groups of up to 15, including trainers and coaches, may return to non-contact outdoor training activity (but not matches) while maintaining social distancing at all times.
You may travel within your own county, and up to 20 kilometres from your home if crossing county boundaries.
Social distancing including physical separation of 2 metres must be observed at all time.
Participants are advised to consult their GP prior to engaging in any new sporting activity.
If participants have received a positive test for COVID-19 or believe that they may have been infected with coronavirus, they are advised to consult their GP prior to resuming any sporting activity.
IThe Expert Group met for the third time on Wednesday, June 3 where it considered a number of return to train protocols from sporting organisations. The Expert Group made a number of observations around the next phase of the process, again reiterating the need for sports organisations and their memberships to pursue their sports in strict compliance with the conditions of their detailed protocols and always respecting the public health advice.
A statement from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, said cricket and hockey were now in a position to resume and follow the 14 other sports that had already restarted under phase one of the Government’s roadmap. The Expert Group had assessed those protocols last week as being compliant with the roadmap and the public health advice.
On this occasion, the Expert Group emphasised that the resumption of permitted sporting activity under phase 2 related to team sports training (but not matches) where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact. The focus is on team training, not on the playing of team games.
A statement said the Expert Group confirmed that training matches, friendlies, competitive fixtures or competitions in individual or team sport are not included under phase two; these will arise in later phases.
The Expert Group also clarified that fitness activities and classes that are held in an organised and controlled manner can be undertaken outdoors only from the beginning of Phase 2, on the basis that the group concerned does not exceed 15 people including coaches and trainers, that social distancing can be maintained, that there is no contact, and that the people concerned had not travelled beyond the permitted limits.
The Expert Group also advised on the need for organisers of sport and fitness activities to maintain an electronic log of those attending classes for potential contact tracing purposes, as well as minimising the use of shared equipment in accordance with pre-defined health and safety hygiene protocols. Many National Governing Bodies of sport and other representative sporting bodies have successfully prepared detailed protocols for their affiliated clubs and members, which the Expert Group considered to be an excellent, informative reference source for private operators.
The Expert Group is to invite national sports bodies to submit protocols for phase 3 sports, in respect of which a guidance document will be circulated in advance. It is envisaged that all protocols on the return to sport will reflect and respect Sport Ireland’s strategic priorities regarding women in sport and ensuring in particular that there is a gender balanced return for all participants.