Covid-19 Update 7th May

POSTED:

Update 7th May 2021

Athletics Ireland continue to engage with the Sport Ireland Expert Group in advance of the reopening dates below to provide additional information and clarifications as required.

We are finalising a return to activity roadmap with the Expert Group that will be graduated and progressive in nature commencing with restricted competition from the 7th June 2021. Note there is no competition to take place prior to this date.

We look forward to sharing this roadmap with all in the coming days once signed off by the Sport Ireland Expert Group.

We thank you all for your patience as we negotiate the final stages of our Covid19 restrictions exit.

 

Key Notes

Training

  • From May 10th outdoor training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people can return.

 

Competition

  • Outdoor (non-elite & club) matches and competitions may recommence on June 7.
  • Such competition must take place without spectators.
 
Update 6th May 2021

Please find attached new practical covid guidance for the sports and physical activity sector. We await further clarification re competition resumption from the 7th June 2021.

Individual Indoor Training Guidance

 

Update 30th April 2021

From 19th of April

Elite sport: High performing athletes, as approved by Athletics Ireland and Sport Ireland, can resume.

 

From 26th of April

  • Outdoor sports facilities can reopen (for example: pitches, golf courses and tennis courts, other facilities as appropriate).
  • Activities should take place between a maximum of two households. Facilities including club houses and any indoor facilities (for example: changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms), apart from essential toilet facilities must remain closed. There should not be any return to team sports or training activities.
  • Underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 can resume.

 

From 10th of May

Outdoor training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people

 

The Covid 19 pandemic guidelines continue to develop and our knowledge of how best to manage living with the virus also continues to grow. This summary sheet is designed to streamline the Athletics Ireland guidelines for all Clubs and members in one page.

Covid 19 is still with us and we need to be ever vigilant regarding contact tracing, social distancing and hygiene. Non-contact outdoor training is permitted for children in pods of 15 including coaches. Non-contact outdoor training pods for under-age members and must have at least two Garda vetted adults present throughout. There should be at least one adult of each gender with mixed parties.

All Clubs are required to appoint a Lead Club Covid Officer and advise Athletics Ireland of their Lead Officers contact details. Please email the contact details of your Lead Club Covid Officer to kieronstout@athleticsireland.ie. However, you may train as many additional Covid Officers as you see fit to support Club activity. The Club Covid Officer is a standalone role and should not be an active coach involved in a training session.

Additionally, it is critical to complete a Club Risk Assessment and to discuss this document with the Club committee.

Please display Covid health promotion posters at the Club.

For Club members note the following steps in order to attend your club.

  1. Book all sessions online using the Athletics Ireland Covid booking app HERE
  2. Maintain social distancing during training at all times.
  3. Carry a bottle of hand sanitiser and use regularly.
  4. If using equipment wipe clean before and after use with an appropriate cleaning agent.
  5. Do not attend training in your club if you feel unwell or are displaying any Covid symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or loss of smell or taste.      

New public health measures announced: The Path Ahead can be found at the following link.

HSE Guidance on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 can be found at the following link.

 
Update 23rd April 2021

Athletics Ireland awaits confirmation and guidance on the return to activity for clubs for underage aged children from Monday the 26th of April. Non-contact outdoor training is permitted for children in pods of 15 including coaches. Non-contact outdoor training pods for under-age members (under 18 years of age) must have at least two Garda vetted adults present throughout. There should be at least one adult of each gender with mixed parties.

Level 5 restrictions

Exercise and sporting events

Training

People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise.

Training can resume for National Governing Body sanctioned and organised adult intercounty National Gaelic Games Leagues not including under 20 or minor competitions.

High performing athletes, as approved by Sport Ireland, can resume from 19 April.

From 19 April

Elite sport: High performing athletes, as approved by Athletics Ireland and Sport Ireland, can resume.

From Monday the 26th of April

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen (for example: pitches, golf courses and tennis courts, other facilities as appropriate).

Activities should take place between a maximum of two households. Facilities including club houses and any indoor facilities (for example: changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms), apart from essential toilet facilities must remain closed. There should not be any return to team sports or training activities.

Underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 can resume.

Matches and events

Professional, elite sports, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events only are permitted to continue behind closed doors.

No other matches or events are to take place.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are closed.

Further details on level 5 restrictions can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/

HSE Guidance on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 can be found at the following link:

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself-and-others.html

 

Update 8th April 2021

Athletics Ireland reminds all affiliated members that only elite athletes in receipt of official exemption letters from Athletics Ireland High Performance department can travel to events within and outside the island of Ireland.

All elite exempted athletes that plan to travel outside Ireland should inform the Athletics Ireland High Performance Director of their travel plans and details of the event or camp they are planning to travel to.

There is a Government Advisory in operation against all non-essential international travel. Travel restrictions are in place to protect public health and to mitigate the risk of new variants of COVID-19 entering the country. Details of these measures are available on the travel section of the gov.ie website. Full details on travel in Covid times can be found at the following link.

Government guidance on level 5 restriction has been updated. Full details of updated level 5 restrictions can be found at the following link.

The Athletics Ireland Covid Group continue to work closely with the Sport Ireland Expert Group in regard to providing our members with regular updates and information during this difficult time. We are coordinating regular, on-going discussions with key stakeholders on a return to competition as soon as possible and we thank you all for your patience regarding this challenging matter.

HSE Guidance on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 can be found at the following link.

 

Update 6th April 2021
Confirmed list of sites for Walk-In Testing Centres

Please find below a list of Walk-In Covid-19 Testing Centres, which are opening this week. We would ask you to please circulate these through your club network and on social media to support the identification of asymptomatic cases in the community.

Current locations and dates

  • Crumlin GAA, Club House, Lorcan O’ Toole Park, Park Crescent, Crumlin, Dublin, D12 NX33 from 10 April to 17 April.
  • Mulhuddart, Cumann Naomh Peregrine, Blakestown Road, Dublin, D15 PW80 from 10 April to 17 April.
  • St Joseph’s Health Campus, 3 Mulgrave Street, Limerick, V94 C8DV from 10 April to 17 April.
  • Waterford IT College Street Campus, Cork Road, Waterford, X91 YO74 from 10 April to 17 April.
  • Ballyfermot Sports Complex, 33 to 39 Gurteen Road, Redcowfarm, Dublin, D10 K598 from 10 April to 17 April.

A full updated list is available here.

Update 31st March 2021

Government guidance on level 5 restriction has been updated. Full details of updated level 5 restrictions can be found at the following link.

 

Your guide to the new changes

If you have received the second dose of the vaccine more than 2 weeks ago, you can meet with other fully vaccinated people from 1 other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 2 metres apart. This measure comes into place immediately.

If you have received the second dose, you have to wait 2 weeks until you can meet other fully vaccinated people indoors.

 

From 12 April

Activity Guidance

  • Schools In-school teaching to fully return
  • Meeting other households: You can meet 1 other household outside but not in your garden or theirs
  • Travel:   You can travel within your county or within 20km of your home if crossing county boundaries
  • Construction: All residential construction can restart as well as early-learning and childcare projects

 

From 19 April

Activity  Guidance

  • GAA: Training for and playing of National Governing Body sanctioned and organised adult intercounty National Gaelic Games Leagues not including under 20 or minor competitions
  • Elite sport: High performing athletes, as approved by Sport Ireland, can resume. (AAI elites are high-performance athletes who have an exemption to continue to train. These athletes have a letter of exemption from the AAI High Performance Director).

 

From 26 April (subject to prevailing public health situation)

Activity  Guidance

  • Outdoor sport: Outdoor sports facilities can reopen (for example: pitches, golf courses and tennis courts, other facilities as appropriate)
  • Outdoor attractions: Outdoor visitor attractions can reopen (for example: zoos, open pet farms, heritage sites). Amusement parks are not permitted to open
  • Underage sport Underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 or fewer can restart
  • Funerals: Maximum attendance at funerals will increase to 25

 

The Athletics Ireland Covid Group continue to work closely with the Sport Ireland Expert Group in regard to providing our members with regular updates and information during this difficult time. We are coordinating regular, on-going discussions with key stakeholders on a return to competition as soon as possible and we thank you all for your patience regarding this challenging matter.

HSE Guidance on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 can be found at the following link.

 

Update 12th March 2021

To All Stakeholders,

We are very conscious that our membership is anxious to return to training and competition when the Government allows us to exit the current Level 5 lockdown. We continue to discuss and lobby for a return for athletics on a weekly basis with representatives of the Sport Ireland Expert Group and other key decision makers. We do note that in the recently released Resilience and Recovery Covid19 document that there is provision for a return to activity for outdoor, non-contact training in pods of 15 at Level 4. We see this as a very positive development for our sport.

We greatly appreciate the patience you have all shown during these pandemic times and we commit to regular, transparent communication with our stakeholders. We will share any developments on the re-opening of sport from the Sport Ireland Expert Group as we receive them.

Update 25th February 2021

The Athletics Ireland Covid Group continue to work closely with the Sport Ireland Expert Group in regard to providing our members with regular updates and information during this difficult time. We are coordinating regular, on-going discussions with key stakeholders on a return to training and competition as soon as possible and we thank you all for your patience regarding this challenging matter. On February 23rd, the Government published the updated Covid-19 Resilience and Recovery document, and this can be accessed at the following LINK.

The country remains at level 5 until April 5th and all sporting activity is on hold awaiting further guidance from Government. Full details of level 5 restrictions can be found HERE.

 

Level 5 - Exercise and sporting events

Training

People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise. This must be within 5km of your home.

No indoor or outdoor exercise group activities, including those involving children, should take place.

Outdoor golf and tennis are not permitted.

Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes. No indoor or outdoor gatherings involving “individual training” except for professional and elite sports. (AAI elites are high-performance athletes who have an exemption to continue to train. These athletes have a letter of exemption from the AAI High Performance Director).

 

Matches and events

Professional, elite sports, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events only are permitted to continue behind closed doors.

No other matches or events are to take place.

 

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are closed.

 

Update 29th January 2021

Government guidance on level 5 restriction has been updated. Full details of updated level 5 restrictions can be found HERE.

 

Exercise and sporting events

Training

People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise. This must be within 5km of your home.

No indoor or outdoor exercise group activities, including those involving children, should take place.

Outdoor golf and tennis are not permitted.

Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes. No indoor or outdoor gatherings involving “individual training” except for professional and elite sports. (AAI elites are high-performance athletes who have an exemption to continue to train. These athletes have a letter of exemption from the AAI High Performance Director).

 

Matches and events

Professional, elite sports, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events only are permitted to continue behind closed doors.

No other matches or events are to take place.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are closed.

The Athletics Ireland Covid Group continue to work closely with the Sport Ireland Expert Group in regard to providing our members with regular updates and information during this difficult time. We are coordinating regular, on-going discussions with key stakeholders on a return to competition as soon as possible and we thank you all for your patience regarding this challenging matter.

 

Update 22nd January 2021

AAI Covid-19 Guidance – 22/01/21

The Athletics Ireland Covid Group continue to work closely with the Sport Ireland Expert Group in regard to providing our members with regular updates and information during this difficult time. We are coordinating regular, on-going discussions with key stakeholders on a return to competition as soon as possible and we thank you all for your patience regarding this challenging matter.

Covid-19 Athletics FAQ’s

1. Can members run and exercise in public parks?

Yes, on an individual basis and not in groups. Persons may exercise in pairs being mindful of others and keep a social distance between other park users. Avoid congregating in groups when exercising outdoors. Please be mindful of pedestrians at all times. Remember that exercise can only be taken with one other person under level 5 restrictions.

 

2. Can athletics clubs open their facilities for individuals to use for exercise?

No, all clubs must remain closed at this time. The only exception is for a small group of high-performance athletes who have an exemption to continue to train. These athletes have a letter of exemption from the HPD. Access to facilities by high performance athletes should be agreed locally with the club.

 

3. Are AAI registered club members covered by AAI insurance when exercising from home?

Yes, if the session is part of a coordinated programme supplied by their club, the AAI personal accident insurance is in place. Additionally, all AAI registered members participating on a live virtual club training session facilitated by their club coach are also covered under the AAI personal accident insurance cover.

 

4. What are the international travel guidelines?

Athletics Ireland is following the Department of Foreign Affairs guidelines as per the EU Traffic Light System. Note all guidance can be found HERE.

 

Current Government guidance for level 5 for exercise and sport is as follows:

Exercise and sporting events

Training

People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise.

No indoor or outdoor exercise group activities, including those involving children, should take place.

Outdoor golf and tennis are not permitted.

Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes. No indoor or outdoor gatherings involving “individual training” except for professional and elite sports.

 

Matches and Events

Professional, elite sports, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events only are permitted to continue behind closed doors.

No other matches or events are to take place.

 

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are closed.

 

Full details of level 5 restrictions can be found HERE.

 

Update 4th January 2021

Dear Sport Ireland Stakeholder,

As you will be aware, on December 30th 2020 the Government announced a revised Level 5.

During this period people are asked to stay at home, except to travel for work, education or other essential purposes.

The below should be noted in relation to sport & exercise. Full details on those measures can be viewed here:

1. Sporting facilities (Indoors & Outdoors), gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools must close. 
2. Activity is restricted to individual training/personal exercise within 5 km of home.
3. Individuals may meet with one other household in outdoor settings when taking personal exercise. 
4. Exemptions to Training & Matches apply to certain professional, elite sports, horse-racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events. Such events should take place behind closed doors.
5. No other matches or events are to take place.

Sport Ireland will continue to provide updates to the Sector as and when they arise.

Note – Athletics Ireland has formally requested the Sport Ireland Expert group to keep outdoor facilities open for individual training for those living within 5km of their club and we will revert if there is any update on this matter, unfortunately at this time All athletics clubs must close.

In regard to AI insurance covers in place during Level 5 lockdown and club closure. Athletics Ireland have negotiated that all registered AI members will be covered by their AI personal accident insurance whilst undertaking club approved training in an individual capacity for injury resulting from an accident. Additionally, all AI registered members participating in online virtual coaching sessions by approved club coaches will also be covered by their AI personal accident insurance.

 

Update 31st December 2020

To All Athletics Ireland Members,

From midnight last night Ireland entered a new Level 5 lockdown with very strict guidelines in place to limit the spread of the virus due to its increasing spread. We await specific athletics implications from Sport Ireland but note the following advice below which can be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/

We request that all our members follow the latest government advice during this challenging time and please ensure that you all stay safe and healthy.

Exercise and sporting events

Training

  • People may meet with people from one other household in outdoor settings when taking exercise.
  • No indoor or outdoor exercise group activities, including those involving children, should take place.
  • Outdoor golf and tennis are not permitted.
  • Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes. No indoor or outdoor gatherings involving “individual training” except for professional and elite sports.

Matches and events

Professional, elite sports, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events only are permitted to continue behind closed doors.

No other matches or events are to take place.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools must close from close of business on 31 December.

 

No organised indoor or outdoor gatherings should take place.

 

Update 22nd December 2020

Ireland is moving to Level 5 from the 24th December 2020.

Training and matches

No training or matches should take place, with the following exceptions:

  • non-contact training in pods of up to 15 may take place outdoors
  • professional, elite sports, horse-racing and greyhound racing are permitted to continue behind closed doors

All other training activities should be individual only.

No exercise or dance classes are permitted.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools may remain open for individual training only.

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/

 

Update 22nd December 2020

To Our Members,

We wish to assure you all that we are working extremely hard for our membership to facilitate a return to competition as soon as government guidelines allow. Just this week we have submitted our second formal proposal in recent weeks to the Sport Ireland Expert Group for athletics to facilitate a safe return to competition in a format acceptable at Level 3. As a non-contact, outdoor sport we believe that we can facilitate safe training and competition in a gradual and structured manner within government guidelines. We have submitted evidence and noted our experience at supporting this approach.

Our internal Covid Group has provided you with weekly/fortnightly updates and we continue to lobby and engage proactively with many groups to support our cause. From weekly meetings with the Sport Ireland Expert Group, monthly meets with the Minister of Sport and collective lobbying with key decision makers to name but a few strategies. We all want a return to competition for all as soon as possible and we are all frustrated by some of the inconsistent government decisions in regard to a return to sport.

On a positive note we are one of the few Olympic sports that facilitated Championships over the Summer and we will continue to facilitate events for our exempted High Performance athletes e.g. The 30Km High Performance Walks time trial this weekend just gone. We are also delighted to have published competition dates for National Cross Country and National Indoors that we are working towards.

We have also lobbied hard to allow training to continue for School aged children during the recent lockdown and this has allowed us all to support the physical and mental well-being of members during the dark winter months.

As you can appreciate the R number is currently going in the wrong direction to support a prompt return to competition but we must all act in the best interests of our nation and follow the government advice which has our best interests at heart. We wish all our members a safe and Merry Christmas and please be patient during this exceptionally challenging time for our nation and our sport.

Best Regards

Hamish Adams                                   Georgina Drumm
Chief Executive Officer                       President

 

Update 18th December 2020

Covid-19 Athletics FAQ’s

1. Our club plans to host a ‘fun run’ over the festive period, is this possible?

Provided all government guidelines are strictly adhered to i.e. pods of 15, social distancing, no congregating before or after the run and the run is only for club members it can proceed in a responsible manner.

2. Can our club host an indoor committee meeting at this time?

No organised indoor gatherings should take place.

3. Can a club use its indoor facility at this time for training?

Indoor training for up to 50 persons can take place if space allows for individual training only. Indoor group coaching or training should not take place at this time.

4. Do we still need to record participants attendance and complete the health screening form?

Yes, for contact tracing purposes the attendance record and health screening form should be completed by each member attending for training.

 

Government Covid Guidance from 1 December through the Christmas holidays to January 2021.

Source: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/5b068-ireland-placed-on-level-3-of-the-plan-for-living-with-covid-with-special-measures-for-a-safe-christmas/

From 1 December, under Level 3, as set out in the Plan for Living with COVID-19:

  • weddings with up to 25 guests are permitted (same as current provisions)
  • funerals with up to 25 mourners are permitted (same as current provisions)
  • no organised indoor events should take place, other than as provided below
  • gatherings of 15 people may take place outdoors
  • non-contact training may take place outdoors in pods of 15
  • only individual training should take place indoors and no exercise or dance classes are permitted
  • no matches/events may take place except professional and elite sports, approved inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and approved equestrian events, all behind closed doors
  • gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools may reopen for individual training only
  • nightclubs, discos, and casinos should remain closed
  • hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs may open with services limited to residents only
  • non-essential retail and personal services may reopen
  • people should continue to work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person
  • public transport capacity is limited to 50%

From 1 December:

  • households should not mix with any other households outside those within their bubble
  • people should stay within their county apart from work, education and other essential purposes

From 4 December:

  • restaurants and pubs operating as restaurants (serving a substantial meal) may reopen for indoor dining with additional restrictions, (including requirement for meals to be prepared on site, inside the premises). This includes access for non-residents to restaurants in hotels
  • higher, further, and adult education should remain primarily online

Adjustments for the Christmas Period

From 1 December:

  • places of worship to reopen for services with restrictive measures, subject to review in January
  • museums, galleries, and libraries to reopen
  • cinemas to reopen
  • wet pubs to remain closed except for takeaway/delivery

From 18 December to 6 January:

  • households can mix with up to two other households
  • travel outside your county to be permitted

From 7 January, the measures put in place prior to 18 December will apply, subject to ongoing review of the trajectory of the virus. The measures for cross-border travel will be the same as for travel between all other counties, that is, from 1 December, people should stay within their county apart from work, education and other essential purposes while from 18 December to 6 January, travel outside the county is permitted.

It has further been agreed that the use of face coverings is now recommended in crowded workplaces, places of worship and in busy or crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation.

 

Update 4th December 2020

Covid -19 Guidance – Sports Training Update

Further to the Government Guidance issued last Monday 30th November please note that Individual sports training only can take place Indoors if conducted in line with the guidance below.

No traditional group style indoor classes should take place for any sport.

 

Defining Individual Indoor Training

To assist the sector the Expert Group recommends the adoption of the ‘pod of one’ concept. This concept can be defined as ‘Individual, physically distanced, non-contact activity, completed in a pre-defined area, within a controlled environment and without the sharing of equipment.’

The following additional risk mitigation measures are also recommended for protocol adoption.

  • · Staggered start and finish times combined with appropriate entry, exit and traffic management protocols to limit the interaction of participants at any one time.
  • · Prebooking of activity is essential.
  • · Reduction in the overall duration of the activity.
  • · Participants arrive ready to train and leave immediately (no changing room or shower use).
  • · Additional signage, hand sanitization stations and deep cleaning implemented.
  • · No equipment sharing in any circumstances.
  • · Activity should take place in a predefined area which is visually marked out and directionally signed.
  • · The space required in this area should reflect the nature and intensity of the activity and the space must have a risk assessment completed prior to use.
  • · There should be in excess of 2m social distancing between each of the predefined areas. The Cleaning & Ventilation of facilities should be conducted in accordance with the Governments most recent Work Safely Protocol.

              - Max 50 persons within a facility at any one time for individual training, this is assuming the facility size allows for 50 persons operating in a socially distanced manner.
              - At Level 3 people must stay in their County apart from work, education, medical and other essential purposes.

 

One to One Training

In the event of one to one training between a participant and instructor/coach, the following additional items to those outlined above should also be implemented.

  • · Any demonstration of equipment or technique should ensure that a minimum of 2m social distancing is maintained.
  • · Individual equipment should not be shared.
  • · In the case of fixed equipment, cleaning of such equipment must be completed immediately after demonstration and before the individual participant uses.
  • · There should be no hands-on adjustments or physical contact during training sessions.
  • · Coaches and trainers are asked to refer to the HSE guidance on wearing of face coverings.

 

Additional Points:

  • · Indoor activity during Level 4 will be dictated by whether certain sporting facilities can open. Currently Level 4 requires Gyms/leisure centres and swimming pools to close.
  • · This guidance applies to the indoor sporting activity of National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) and the Network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs).
  • · The training must be supervised by a coach or a trainer accredited by NGB / LSP.
  • · Any club or group that is not in a position to apply these measures or enforce them should not hold training sessions.
  • · This continues to be on an opt-in basis for participants.

 

Guidance for Outdoor Training Sessions:

  • · Non-contact training only in pods of up to 15.
  • · For Adult training outdoor sessions, coaches/support staff should be included in the pod sizes. For example, the ratio of 1:14 is acceptable once the coach has completed their Sport Ireland Covid-19 Officer online training. However, if the coach who is present has not completed this online training, a qualified person from within the club (i.e. a club Covid-19 officer) should also be present, changing the ratio for the scenario used above to 2:13.
  • · Non-contact outdoor training pods for under-age members (under 18 years of age) MUST have at least two Garda vetted adults present throughout. At least one of these adults MUST have completed the Sport Ireland Covid-19 officer online training. There should be at least one adult of each gender with mixed parties.
  • · Coaches may oversee multiple pods however should not be directly involved in the activity or in close contact with multiple pods.
 
Update 4th December 2020

AAI Covid-19 Travel - Updated Policy – Effective 04/12/2020

Further to our guidance on the safe return to sport after travel outside the island of Ireland, the Irish Government have now implemented the EU Traffic Light System for Travel within the EU/UK area. Ireland has now implemented the new EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU/EEA. However, current Government advice for travel to these countries is ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Government general advice for any other overseas travel remains ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or in some cases, ‘do not travel’.

 

Advice on restricting movement

Ireland is implementing the new EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU / EEA (+ UK). In general, you are requested to restrict your movements for 14 days if you arrive into Ireland from another country. This applies to all travellers entering the State, including Irish citizens coming home and people with no symptoms. In line with the EU traffic lights approach, the request to restrict movements does not apply to travellers from green regions, or those arriving from Northern Ireland.

Currently, all passengers entering Ireland from orange, red, and grey regions are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days.

 

Restricting your movements means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. Government information and advice on the new system for safe travel to Ireland is available HERE.

In accordance with this advice the new policy for return of athletes, volunteers and staff after travel to the EU/UK is detailed below:

 

  1. For athletes, volunteers and staff returning from GREEN ZONE region of EU/UK, no restrictions apply.
  2. For athletes, volunteers and staff returning from an ORANGE, GREY or RED ZONE region of the EU/UK (excluding Northern Ireland) the following restrictions apply:

           - On arrival in Ireland, athletes, volunteers & staff should ‘Self-Restrict Movements’ for a period of 14 days.

           - A Covid Test can be taken on DAY 5 post return to Ireland.

           - A test result should be available on Day 6. If the result is POSITIVE, isolate immediately and await further instruction from public health teams.

           - If the result is NEGATIVE, no further restrictions apply.

           - Athletes, volunteers & staff having a DAY 5 test returning a NEGATIVE result on Day 6, may return to training or competition on DAY 7.

There is no change in the guidance for athletes, volunteers and staff returning to Ireland from all other regions other than the EU/UK. Athletes, volunteers and staff should ‘Self-Restrict Movements’ outside their sporting activities for a period of 14 days.

 

What does ‘Self-Restrict Movements’ mean?

The request to restrict your movement means:

  1. do not go to work, unless you work on your own and can completely avoid other people
  2. do not go to school or college
  3. do not use public transport
  4. do not have visitors at your home
  5. do not visit others, even if you usually care for them
  6. do not go to the shops or pharmacy unless it is absolutely necessary - where possible, order your groceries online or have some family or friends drop them off
  7. do not go to gatherings such as weddings or funerals - information is available on bereavement and grief during COVID-19
  8. do not meet face-to-face with older people, anyone with a long-term medical condition or pregnant women

 

Update 30th November 2020

The nation moves to Level 3 from tomorrow, Tuesday 1st December and the key implications for our sport are detailed below. The full Level 3 restrictions can be found HERE.

We also wish to note that Athletics Ireland are committed to delivering competition as and when government guidelines allow. A huge amount of work by our Board, Committees and Staff continues behind the scenes in terms of planning and logistics to roll out competition not to mention the lobbying of relevant stakeholders to ensure the views of athletics are represented at the highest level.

 

Quick Guide to the Christmas Levels

Sporting Measures in Place from 1st December

Outdoors: Non contact training only in pods of up to 15 (for example: golf, tennis, horse riding, hunting, Gaelic games, soccer, outdoor basketball). There is an exemption for professional and elite sports and approved inter-county Gaelic games.

Indoors: Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes (for example: no ballet, gymnastics, basketball, racketball, squash, zumba, drama).

 

No matches or other sporting events should take place, with the following exceptions:

  • professional and elite sports
  • approved inter-county Gaelic games
  • horse racing and greyhound racing
  • approved equestrian events
  • approved coursing events

These should all take place behind closed doors.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can open for individual use only, with protective measures in place.

 

Update 20th November 2020

Covid FAQ 

Covid Testing, restricting movements and self-isolating

Q1. Should I get tested? How do I receive results?
If you develop sudden onset of any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell, loss of taste, change in taste you should self-isolate and contact your GP. They will assess you and determine whether you need a COVID-19 test, and make the necessary arrangements. You must self-isolate while awaiting the test result.

You may also be asked to have a test if you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case. In this instance, the HSE contact tracing team will contact you and arrange a test for you.

You should restrict your movements for 14 days if you have been identified as a close contact irrespective of the test result or how many tests you have that are negative.

You will get the results of your test either by text or by phone call. Further information can be found on the HSE website here.

Q2. What is the difference between self-isolation and restricted movement?

Restricted movement
Restricted movement means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible by staying home. It is also sometimes called ‘self-quarantine’. It means that you stay at home and:

  • Do not go to work
  • Do not use public transport
  • Do not have visitors in your home
  • Do not go to the shops or pharmacy, unless absolutely necessary
  • Keep away from older people, anyone with an underlying medical condition and pregnant women

When to restrict movements:

  • When you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case. You will need to restrict your movements for 14 days from last contact with the confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • If a someone you live with is awaiting a COVID-19 swab test result.
  • When advised by a Health Care Professional.

For all travel off the Island of Ireland please follow the Dept Foreign Affairs advice found at www.dfa.ie

 

Self-isolation
Self-isolation means staying at home and completely avoiding contact with all other people, including other people in your household.

When to self-isolate:

  • When advised by a Health Care Professional
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19   
  • While awaiting the result of your COVID-19 test if you’re symptomatic.
  • If you have had a positive COVID-19 test result, regardless of whether you had symptoms or not.

 

Q3. How long do I need to restrict my movements or self-isolate for?

  • If you are awaiting a COVID-19 test should self-isolate until you have the test and the result.
  • If the test result is positive for COVID-19 and you have symptoms you should self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms, the last 5 days of which must be fever free.
  • If the test result is positive for COVID-19 and you do not have symptoms should self-isolate for 10 days from the day the swab was taken, the last 5 days of which must be fever free.
  • People who are identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case need to restrict their movements for 14 days from day of last contact with the confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • In all instances, people who reside in nursing homes, residential care facilities, or people who are hospitalised with COVID-19 need to self-isolate for 14 days if they are confirmed to have COVID-19, the last 5 days of which must be fever free.

                          - If they had symptoms they must self-isolate for 14 days from the day the symptoms began, the last 5 days of which must be fever free.
                          - If they have no symptoms they must self-isolate for 10 days from the day the swab was taken.

  • Staff that have tested positive for COVID-19 who work in hospitals, nursing homes or residential care facilities who are not hospitalised with COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days, the last 5 days of which must be fever free.

Q4. What happens if I am a close contact of a case of COVID-19 and I develop symptoms?
If you have been notified that you are a close contact and develop any symptoms of COVID-19 you must change from ‘restricted movements’ to self-isolation in your home and contact your GP to arrange a test. Stay in self-isolation until you receive your test result. Remember that as a close contact you are at significant risk of being diagnosed with COVID-19 if you become symptomatic. Assume you have COVID-19 until you are told otherwise by a health professional.

 

Update 9th November 2020

Dear Sport Ireland Stakeholder,

Please find attached HPSC summary update on the efficacy of visors compared with masks and face coverings. Any additional queries on the content should be raised directly with the HSPC via  +353 1 8765300 / hpsc@hse.ie.

Some key recommendations include:

  • In public settings, when considering the options of cloths face coverings compared with visors, expert opinion and international guidance generally favours cloth face coverings.
  • There is a rationale and laboratory evidence in particular for favouring cloth face coverings over visors where the wearer is at a higher level (standing) than those potentially exposed at a lower level (sitting).
  • However, there is evidence that visors do reduce exposure to droplets to a certain extent and may be an alternative in certain circumstance includingPeople with breathing difficulties

                                          - People who are unable to remove masks/face coverings without help
                                          - Anyone with particular needs who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the mask/face covering
                                          - In settings where people who have learning difficulties or hard of hearing or deaf are present.

  • Where cloth face coverings are used, it should be of multiple layers of suitable fabric and correctly applied. Further information on the handling and care of cloth face coverings can be found here.
  • Where visors are used they should cover the entire face (above the eyes to below the chin and wrap around from ear to ear) and be correctly applied. Further information on the handling and care of visors can be found here.

 

Update 6th November 2020

Athletics Ireland Covid FAQ – level 5

  1. What athletes can train during level 5? All elite athletes (definition below) and school going children and young people aged 18 years or below can attend club training.
  2. How many children can train together? Pods of 15 including the coaches can train outdoors together socially distanced and following good hygiene etiquette.
  3. How many pods are allowed in an outdoor setting? Multiple pods can train where space allows for social distancing.
  4. What is the definition of an elite athlete? Senior international athletes are defined as elite.
  5. Can school going children and elite athletes travel beyond 5km to attend training? Yes, they can.
  6. Can coaches travel beyond the 5km limit to deliver training sessions:  Yes, coaches are allowed to travel over 5km to attend club training sessions.
  7. Can athletes and coaches cross county boundaries? Yes, if travelling to a club training.
  8. Can we use indoor facilities for training? No, indoor facilities remain closed under level 5.
  9. Do we have to continue using the Athletics Ireland booking app and health questionnaire before every training session? Yes, for contact tracing purposes the booking app and the health questionnaire should be used before each training session. See the following link for the booking app HERE.
  10. Can athletes and coaches cross from the six counties into the Republic? Yes, for the purpose of delivering a club training session for school going children 18 years or younger and elite athletes.
  11. Does all equipment e.g. hurdles, javelins, shots, etc., require sanitising before and after use?  Yes, the guidelines regarding sanitising equipment remain in place. 
  12. Can adults train collectively in groups?  No, only individual training for adults is allowed.
  13. Can competitions or matches take place? No, competitions or matches cannot take place in level 5.
 
Update 27th October 2020

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has today published further guidance for non-contact training for school-aged children. Please see HERE.

While the Guidance references Governing Bodies of Sport, it will also extend to Programmes Organised by Local Sports Partnerships.

In addition please see various Government Info graphs on L5 Restrictions HERE.

 

Update 22nd October 2020

Ireland is now at Level 5 of the Framework for Restrictive Measures. Level 5 is expected to be in place for the next 6 weeks. The Government’s guidance on Level 5 is clear, with the risk to public health meaning that individuals are asked to stay at home, with certain exceptions.

With regard to sport, the restrictions applicable in Level 5 are as follows:

  • No training or matches should take place with the following exceptions:

            - Non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15
            - Professional, elite sports and senior inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and greyhound racing are permitted to continue behind closed doors

  • All other training activities should be individual only.
  • No exercise or dance classes are permitted.
  • Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools closed.
  • Exercise within 5 kilometres of home.

 

Facilities

As they are not recognised as essential services, the decision of Government is that all gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools and other sports facilities must close in the Level 5 restrictions. This includes both indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

It is permitted to open sports facilities for training sessions and scheduled matches for the exempted categories of sport, i.e. high performance, professional and senior inter-county Gaelic games. It will also be permitted to open outdoor sports facilities for structured training sessions by school aged children, i.e. those aged 18 years and younger, in pods of no more than 15, under the supervision of designated coaches and in compliance with approved COVID-19 protocols and all relevant public health guidance.

During these training sessions it will only be permitted for participants and relevant coaching and support personnel to be present. In the case of children’s sport, parents will be permitted to attend for child safeguarding purposes, however they will be required to comply with social distancing and other public health advice.

 

Professional & Elite Sport

Professional and elite sport must adhere to comprehensive protocols, which ensure extraordinary levels of control and compliance are in place. Professional and elite sport is defined as follows;

  • Professional sports people or sports people who participate within professional competition.
  • A Member of a high performance team funded by Sport Ireland.
  • Those who compete at major international events including European and World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is advised that these are senior athletes only within one of the following categories:

            - Athletes on the 2020 International Carding Scheme
            - Players on the 2020 Team Ireland Golf Scheme
            - Senior riders in Show-Jumping, Eventing & Dressage
            - Senior team players in Hockey, Cricket, and Rugby Sevens.

Inter-county sport refers specifically to senior competition organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association or the Camogie Association. It is important to note that protocols as they apply to each sport will be prepared and communicated directly by the respective National Governing Bodies.

 

Non-contact training for school aged children

Specific guidance on non-contact training for school agreed children will be issued by Government. In the interim, the following is advised:

  • Underage activity refers to those in primary and secondary school who are aged 18 years and younger
  • Participants and coaches may travel beyond the 5km limit to attend training. Car-pooling should continue to be avoided
  • Outdoor facilities may open only to allow the activity to take place. Only those participating in and conducting the training session should attend.

 

Update 21st October 2020

Overnight the government have updated the Level 5 Covid guidance to allow parents/guardians an exception to travel greater than 5km to take school aged children to permitted training as provided for in the sporting and exercise section of the link below.

Exercise and sporting events

Training and matches

No training or matches should take place, with the following exceptions:

  • non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15
  • professional, elite sports and inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and greyhound racing are permitted to continue behind closed doors

All other training activities should be individual only.

No exercise or dance classes are permitted.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are closed.

 
Update 20th October

From midnight this Wednesday 21st October Ireland moves to Level 5 of the National Covid Framework. The implications to sport are significant and as we await specific guidance from the Sport Ireland Expert Group we ask all our members to continue to be vigilant in observing all health guidelines and to reduce your social interactions.

The specific sporting advice for Level 5 is below.

Currently the government advice is that you must not travel outside the 5km radius from your home. Hence travel to Clubs for anyone living further than 5km from their Club is not recommended.

 

Training and matches

No training or matches should take place, with the following exceptions:

  • non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15
  • professional, elite sports and inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and greyhound racing are permitted to continue behind closed doors
  • All other training activities should be individual only.
  • No exercise or dance classes are permitted.
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are all closed.

 

Elite high performance sport is defined by Sport Ireland as covering those who are:

  • Professional Sports People
  • Member of a high performance team funded by Sport Ireland.
  • Those who compete at major international events including European and World Champions, Olympic and Paralympic Games. Specifically, the athletes and players associated with this priority list which includes: Athletes on the 2020 International Carding Scheme.

The complete Level 5 measures can be found HERE.

 

Update 16th October 

The government has decided that from midnight Thursday, 15th of October, the counties of Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan will be placed on Level 4 under the Plan for Living with COVID-19.

The rest of the country remains at Level 3. Due to the deteriorating situation with the virus across the country, the Government has decided to increase the level of restriction nationwide as provided for under Level 3 in a number of areas:

  • no visitors to home or garden, with the exception of visits for essential purposes (e.g. family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, and in particular those who live alone).
  • in outdoor settings away from home/garden, up to 6 people from no more than 2 households can meet while maintaining strict social distancing – including for outdoor exercise and dining.

 

Key Restrictions at Level 3

  • No comp

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