Given the current exceptional rise in infection rates of Covid 19 and the increased risk of community transmission, the GAA has taken the decision that there will be no collective training permitted for inter-county teams for at least the remainder of the month of January.
In addition, Club and County gyms must stay closed until further notice.
As previously advised, and under the current Government Regulations in both jurisdictions, neither training nor games are permitted at club level currently.
Breaches of any of the above provisions will be dealt with under Rule 7.2 (e) “Misconduct considered to have discredited the Association”.
The full wording of this Rule and potential penalties are included as an Appendix 1 below.
Current Level 5 restrictions in the South will run until January 31st at which point the GAA will review the current situation and further advice in this context will be provided.
The GAA has issued advice to clubs and counties for activities that are permissible and not permissible in 2021 until further notice.
Under Level 5 of the plan for living with Covid-19 and the current restrictions in the North, individual training only is permitted for GAA clubs.
Neither adult or underage teams may train collectively, club games are not permitted, and GAA club grounds must remain closed.
At inter-county level, it remains the case that collective training for senior inter-county panels may only recommence from January 15th. However, given the current growth rates in virus transmission, this date is under review.
For the moment senior inter-county players may train on an individual basis only in club or county owned gyms and no training is currently permitted for any other panels such as U-20 or Minor.
See below for the full list of club and inter-county specific guidelines.
Advice to Clubs and Counties – for activities post Dec 31st
CLUB SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
Club Games and Training
In level 5 and under the current restrictions in the North, individual training only is permitted – neither adult nor underage teams may train collectively.
GAA club grounds must stay closed.
Club games are not permitted
Use of Indoor Team Facilities
Dressing rooms, showers and all other indoor training facilities should remain closed for club activities.
Club Gyms must remain closed until further notice.
No indoor meetings can be held.
All officer Training must be delivered online. Outdoor coaching education courses are not permitted.
Club Bars must remain closed until the current restrictions are lifter.
Indoor Events on GAA Property
No organised indoor gatherings can take place under the current restrictions.
Commercial use of indoor halls (for example by state bodies – e.g. HSE/Schools is permitted where agreement was in place prior to March and relevant insurance are in place.
These are the only instances in which indoor activity is permitted on GAA Club property.
Outdoor Events on GAA Property
No outdoor gatherings on GAA property are permitted.
Exception: Walkways may stay open for use by the community with social distancing in place.
INTER COUNTY SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
Training and Games at Senior, Minor and U20
The GAA’s intention remains that collective outdoor training for Senior inter county panels only may re-commence from January 15th. However, given the current growth rates in virus transmission, this date is under review. If there is any change to this as a return to collective training date, Counties will be informed as soon as possible.
For the moment, Senior inter-county players may train on an individual basis only in Club or County owned gyms.
No training is currently permitted for any other panels (e.g. Minor/U20)
Further information on the completion of the 2020 Minor and U20 competitions will issue in January.
ADVICE FOR 2ND LEVEL SCHOOLS AND 3RD LEVEL INSTITUTIONS
Games and Training
Neither competitive nor challenge games are permitted in 2nd Level schools.
Training is permitted during school hours and as part of school approved P.E programmes only.
Neither games nor training are permitted to take place at 3rd level
Appendix - Advice for Use of GAA Club Gyms
The following advice – taken from the Ireland Active Framework for Safe Operation should be followed when opening Gym facilities:
• Social distancing of 2m should always be maintained
• Participants should not congregate before or after activities, and facilities should design internal flows to reflect this.
• Facilities should plan for a maximum of 1 person/4 square metres* (2mx2m) and in accordance with government advice on maximum capacities for indoor activities.
• Ensure adequate ventilation, avoiding recycling of air to avoid possibility of infection, in accordance with HSE/HSA guidance
• Carry out frequent cleaning of surfaces and wipe downs of contact surfaces with single use disinfectant wipes or strong disinfectants and microfibre cloths.
• Users should not share towels, water bottles etc.
• All of the standard infection control guidance from the HSE should be heeded.
• There should be no hands-on adjustments or physical contact during training.
• Spacing of exercise machines/equipment should be undertaken to ensure 2m distance between equipment. An alternative may be to use every second piece of equipment or the closing of certain stationary equipment to ensure 2m distancing.
• Equipment which is 2m apart should not be placed where exercisers are facing each other.
• Spin bikes should be staggered and spaced 2m apart to avoid spray back.
• Loose equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, free weights etc. should be used by one exerciser and cleaned in between each use by users/staff.
• Booking of time slots should be employed in order to enable safe management and recording of users in the facility.
• Where spotting of weights is being undertaken, face coverings should be worn
All areas, within the gym, where social distancing is particularly challenging should be kept closed - Players should not enter the gym facility prior to their assigned reservation
Adequate signage and reminders should be provided at entrances and in strategic places within the gym providing instruction on social distancing, hand hygiene, use of cloth face coverings or masks, and cough and sneeze etiquette.
The GAA’s Management Committee has today endorsed a decision to suspend all GAA Club games at all levels with immediate effect and until further notice.
The decision has been taken in the interest of public safety following a number of incidents that have been brought to our attention in recent days. In particular, post-match celebrations and a lack of social distancing at certain events have proved disappointing and problematic.
This directive applies to all ages and all grades across the island.
Club Social Centres / bars are also to close.
Training will continue to be permitted as per the guidelines outlined for the relevant levels in the Government's National Framework for Living with Covid 19 and relevant guidelines in the Six Counties.
The GAA will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days and weeks, regarding changes in government guidelines, before liaising with our units accordingly.
The Association would also like to acknowledge all of those units who have worked diligently in complying with the public health advice around the staging of our games and training sessions since activity resumed.
More than ever, we ask that you continue with this approach regarding training sessions.
The Government has announced that, from tomorrow, crowds of 200 people will be allowed to attend GAA matches where the capacity of the stadium is over 5,000.
GAA grounds with a capacity of less that 5,000 may hold matches with an attendance of up to 100 people.
These new measures apply in 25 of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland, with Dublin the sole exception. Attendances at GAA matches in venues in Dublin where the capacity is over 5,000 have been capped at 100.
Outdoor training can take place in pods of up to 15, though senior club championship teams and inter-county teams can train together in greater numbers.
All of these guidelines are under Level 2 of the government long-term plan for Covid-19.
If the virus is suppressed sufficiently in individual counties, then they will be permitted to move to Level 1 which would allow crowds of up to 500 in a stadium which holds over 5,000.
If the virus is not sufficiently controlled in an individual county then that county would move back to Level 3 which would mean only inter-county and senior club championship matches would be permitted, and those would be played behind closed doors.
Currently in the six counties up to 400 spectators are permitted to attend GAA matches.
Following the release today of the Government’s Resilience and Recovery 2020-21: Plan for Living with COVID-19, the FAI, GAA and IRFU have set up a working group to bring a collaborative approach to the development of a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to stadia. The group, which will include representatives of Sport Ireland and will be chaired by Martin Murphy, Stadium Director of Aviva Stadium, will develop a common set of guidelines and protocols, by:
Working with the Statutory Authorities essential to the safe delivery of major sporting events
Engaging with Government agencies on the considerations and parameters applying to the number of people permitted at outdoor public gatherings
Accessing international best practice and learnings from governing bodies which have been running spectator ‘return’ programmes over the past number of months
The group will present its plan to the Sport Expert Group, set up by Sport Ireland. Group Chair, Martin Murphy, said.
“Sport plays a hugely important role in Irish society and by working together the FAI, GAA, and the IRFU will bring their collective expertise and learning to develop a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to the sports events they love and miss deeply. The number one consideration for this group is to seek a series of protocols which would allow spectators back into sporting fixtures in a safe way, while complying fully with Government Health guidelines. Spectators are more than fans, they are an intrinsic part of any sporting occasion; they are the family and friends of the men and women who are representing their town, their county, their province or their country. They are part of the sporting culture of our nation which is so critically important to our overall wellbeing.”
Friday 21 August 2020
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.
Wed 19 August 2020
Today the combined Gaelic Games associations issued brief statements following the Government announcement yesterday. In short, they are awaiting clarification from the Government and HSE and will issue an update in due course.
In the meantime, all of our games are to be held ‘behind closed doors.’ with no spectators allowed. Team managers/mentors have all been informed of the maximum numbers.
Team training should continue for the moment on the basis of no more than 15 people (including coaches) in a designated area of the field.
While it may seem like a step backwards, it is important to follow all the advice so that we continue to enjoy our games.