Gaelic Games Covid Update
As you will be aware, the Irish Government gave an update in relation to restrictions earlier this week. The advice below for both the Northern and Southern jurisdictions is what will be in place for GAA clubs for the foreseeable future:
Health Questionnaires There is no longer a requirement forparticipants to complete Health Questionnaires before training or games – however it is important to remember that individuals should not attend training, games, meetings or any other activities if they are displaying, or have had within the previous 48 hours, any of the possible symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature, a new continuous cough, unexplained shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell, taste or distortion of taste, headache, runny nose, sore throat or sneeze).
It is also essential that records of attendance are maintained to assist with contact tracing if required.
Dressing Rooms In the South, where all individuals are vaccinated the full use of showers and changing rooms is permitted. However it is advised that time spent in dressing rooms or showers should be kept to a minimum and that where possible, pre-game or half time team talks should take place outdoors.
Where individuals have mixed immunity status the use of Dressing Rooms and Showers should remain pod based (with usage in groups of no more than 6 at any time).
In the North, dressing rooms are now permitted to open but again usage should be avoided or minimised where possible (for example, by arriving in kit and showering at home) and again, time spent in dressing rooms should be kept to a minimum.
In both jurisdictions, where dressing rooms are being used, hand sanitization stations should be in place at the entrance, the areas should be well ventilated (i.e. windows or doors left open), masks should be worn (except if using showers) and no one other than team or support personnel should be permitted entry. Clubs should continue to promote hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette through signage, posters etc. and deep cleaning of shared areas should be carried out on a regular basis.
Use of Gyms In the South the use of GAA owned Gyms will continue to be permitted in pods of up to 6 participants at a time (excludingcoaches). Where groups have full immunity (i.e. fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 within the previous 6 months) the provision for pods of 6 does not apply.
In the North, if more than 15 people are using a Gym at the same time, a risk assessment must be carried out in advance of any usage.
Water Breaks For the remainder of 2021, Water breaks will remain in place for all games,
Attendances – In the South, up to a maximum 100% ground capacity may be used from Saturday, October 23rd. Venue operators are asked to consider a gradual increase to maximum capacities and seek assistance from the National Health and Safety Committee if necessary.
In the North, a risk assessment must be carried out to determine the maximum number of people permitted to attend or participate in an outdoor sporting event. Further information and assistance are available from Comhairle Uladh as required.
The use of facemasks is recommended at all games.
Indoor meetings Clubs and Counties should continue to give consideration to conducting online meetings where possible.
Where indoor meetings are being organised, in the South, club and county committee meetings (including County Conventions, AGM’s etc.) can take place indoors once all participants are considered immune (i.e. fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 within the previous 6 months). Consideration should be given to room densities, meeting durations and ventilation when planning such events.
Where participants have mixed immunity status, indoor meetings must be conducted in pods of 6 people with the overall number of pods having regard to the size of venue and with substantial social distancingin place between individual pods. To any independent onlooker it should be clear that pods are completely separate groups operating independent of one another, with no interaction or sharing of equipment and no opportunity for them to mix or stray into one another’s group or meetingspace.
In the North, club and county committee meetings may be held indoors subject to a risk assessment being carried out in advance by the organizer, to determine the maximum number of people permitted to attend. The organiser must also take all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus.
A person responsible for organising a gathering must, if requested to do so by a relevant person, provide:
• a copy of the risk assessment, and
• an account of the reasonable measures taken
Indoor meetings of15 people or fewer in the 6 Counties do not need a risk assessment.