The NI Executive, at their meeting on 1 April 2021, confirmed that structured outdoor training for sports organisations, in groups of up to 15 people (including coaches), can resume in the ‘Six Counties’ on Monday 12 April 2021.
This is a cautious first step on the pathway out of lockdown and the following on-pitch group numbers apply;
Adults (18+) – one group size limit 15 on the pitch
Age 13-18 – maximum two groups of 15 on the pitch (no mixing of groups)
Age 12 and below – maximum three groups of 15 (no mixing of groups)
Contact training should be kept to a minimum and the playing of matches is not permitted.
It is essential that both Executive and GAA protocols are observed at all times in particular clubs should ensure that they;
- Refresh risk assessments/action plans.
- Promote HANDS-FACE-SPACE messaging via signs.
- Keep records for contract tracing.
- Build training plans building up from Pod cohorts (15) to full squads over time.
- Modify training practices to build from limited contact to close contact over time.
- Enforce rules on no spectators (including parents) dropping children off should be present during training.
- Keeping all indoor facilities (except toilet/medical) closed at all times.
- Ensure that each person attending training has completed the GAA online health questionnaire prior to attending – this must be done for every session
For more detailed guidance on the GAA’s Covid-19 roles and responsibilities see the link below.
An updated version of the GAA Return to Train/Play guidance is being finalised by the GAA’s Covid Advisory Group and this will be issued to clubs in the near future.
Inter-county senior training is scheduled to re-commence on Monday 19th April while outdoor non-contact training at underage level (again in pods of 15 people or less) is scheduled to re-commence in the ‘26 Counties’ on Monday 26th April.
Having GAA activity return to our fields is a positive and most welcome development but we remain in a pandemic and there is an onus on everyone to minimise risk and to play their part in ensuring that all protocols are observed. By doing this we will ensure that there is no further undue delay in our desire to ensure a full return to GAA activity at the earliest possible opportunity.