GAA Covid Advisory Group – Advice to Clubs in the 26 Counties (August 21st 2020)
The relevant updated Government advice on Sport, issued on Tuesday August 18th 2020, is as follows:
“Sporting events and matches can continue to take place but behind closed doors with:
• strict avoidance of gatherings, including social gatherings, before or after events
• strict adherence to 2 metre physical distancing before and after events, during breaks in play, on the sidelines and avoidance of team huddles
• limits of 15 apply to groups outside including training sessions (with exception of elite/professional sports and horseracing). There should be no mixing between groups”
The additional implications of the above for Gaelic Games are as follows:
Games behind closed doors As games must now be played "behind closed doors", this means only essential personnel should be in attendance. No more than 40 persons per team should be allowed access to games for the moment. This figure should include all players, management, coaches, ancillary backroom personnel and officials.
The 80 team personnel (40 per team) is in addition to essential match day personnel such as Match officials (Referees, Linesmen, Umpires), Media, Streaming personnel and required event officials (stewards etc.)
The restrictions on the playing of games in Kildare remain in place until Government clarify the situation.
Underage games Consistent with our advice of Wednesday, August 19th, the Government have now confirmed Parents/Guardians attending training or games in a safeguarding /supervisory capacity are not classified as spectators; however strict social distancing and public health guidelines should be adhered to at all times. In that context, one parent/guardian per child is permitted to attend at a sporting event, including a game or training session, should they consider it necessary.
Any person wishing to attend our underage training or games including coaches, parents, players and spectators shall be subject to the provisions of the Code of Behaviour (Underage).
For the purpose of clarification, it is the coaches and other responsible adults, trained and vetted to oversee our games at underage level, who are responsible, on behalf of our Clubs, for the organising of our games at this level.
The Government have undertaken to provide further protocols in this context which will be issued in the coming days.
Training/Cúl Camps Team training and Cúl Camps can continue on the basis of no more than 15 people (including coaches) in a designated area of the field once sufficient space is available and public health protocols are followed.
Training in Counties Laois, Kildare and Offaly should continue on a non-contact basis, in groups of no more than 15 people (including coaches) in a designated area of the field, until Government restrictions specific to those Counties are relaxed.
(Note: Underage groups must be comprised in accordance with the ratios provided for by the Code of Behaviour Underage).
Meetings Indoor club or committee meetings should be avoided where possible but when they must take place, should involve no more than 6 people and should adhere to the guidelines outlined previously by the GAA’s Health and Safety Committee, including the need for 2m social distancing
Control Measures All Clubs are reminded of the need to adhere to the following control measures in the interest of the health and safety of our members and broader society:
• Continue to follow general Public Health guidelines
• Practice good hygiene by washing hands and using sneezing and coughing etiquette
• Observe 2 metre physical distancing off the field, before and after events, during breaks in play and on the sidelines
• Follow GAA protocols by not using changing rooms or other enclosed spaces
• Gyms on GAA property must remain closed
• Travel to training / matches with members of own household only
• Continue to submit Health Questionnaires ahead of training and games
• Do not attend training or games if feeling unwell
• Continue to record attendances at training to facilitate contact tracing
• Members who arrive back in Ireland from a country not on the government's green travel list should follow Government advice in this context (i.e. restrict their movements for 14 days) and are not permitted to present for Gaelic games activities until the 14 days has elapsed.