Covid-19 Update 29th January

POSTED:

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 competition/events.
  • Outdoor training pods of up to 15 socially distanced.
  • Stay in your County except for work, education, or essential services.
  • Indoors: Individual training only. No exercise classes can take place.
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools may remain open for individual use only.

 

Key Restrictions at Level 4

  • No competition/events.
  • Outdoor training pods of up to 15 socially distanced.
  • Stay in your County except for work, education, or essential services.
  • Indoors: Individual training only. No exercise classes can take place.
  • Gyms, pools, and leisure centres closed.

 

Important note from Sport Ireland Expert Group on Level 3:

The Sport Ireland Expert Group is awaiting final sign off on guidance for indoor sport in Level 3. Until then sports should refrain from Indoor Group Activity. Senior National Competition can no longer take place in Level 3.

Athletics Ireland will continue to share further Covid19 sport information with you as we receive it from the Sport Ireland Expert Group.

We urge all Athletics Ireland stakeholders to continue to be vigilant to limit the spread of this deadly disease through social distancing, regular handwashing, sanitising together with the wearing of masks/face coverings and strict adherence to government advice.

All club training bookings and the Covid-19 health questionnaire can be accessed HERE on the Athletics Ireland website.

Further information on current Covid restrictions can be found HERE.

Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 HERE.

 
Update 6th October

From midnight tonight the nation moves to level 3 of the National Framework for living with Covid 19. This increase to level 3 has serious implications for athletics and we note the key restrictions below.

We urge all stakeholders to continue to be vigilant to limit the spread of this deadly disease through social distancing, regular handwashing, sanitising together with the wearing of masks and strict adherence to government advice.

We will continue to share further Covid19 sport information with you as we receive it from the Sport Ireland Expert Group.

 

Key Restrictions at Level 3

  • No competition/events.
  • Outdoor training pods of up to 15.
  • Stay in your County except for work, education or essential services.

 

Level 3 Training

  • Outdoors: Non-contact training only in pods of up to 15 (exemption for professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship).
  • Indoors: Individual training only. No exercise classes.

 

‘Pod’ System

  • Organised Sports training / activity / exercise can do so in multiple pods once sufficient space is available and strict public health protocols are in place.
  • The use of multiple pod’s is to assist with minimizing the number of people in a group while acknowledging that some outdoor facilities have the capacity to cater for larger numbers of people in a safe manner and within public health guidelines. People participating in pod training can be from different households.
  • The number of pods in a given facility or area will depend on the overall size of space available.
  • The space between pods will depend on the nature, duration and intensity of the session but it should be clearly evident that the pods are independent groups not interacting with one another. At a very minimum Social Distancing of 2m between pods should be implemented.
  • Depending on the frequency of activity (i.e. multiple times in a week) it may be helpful for participants to stay within the same pod.
  • A coach or instructor may oversee more than one pod and should be counted in the overall numbers.
  • The coach should not move freely between pods but rather oversee the activity of the pods.

For specific Covid19 questions please email hamishadams@athleticsireland.ie

Download a graphic of the measures in place in Ireland

 

Update 25th September

Covid19 continues to challenge sport and society and we must all be ever vigilant in preventing its spread. We thank all in the athletics community for your support in maintaining standards of excellence around social distancing, wearing of masks and hand washing.

We have had reports of Club members congregating in public parks prior to and after training sessions and we ask you all to maintain social distancing and disperse quickly please.

Below we have a sample of frequently asked questions and further information on Living with Covid is available HERE.

 

FAQ’s

1. What do we do if a member of our Club who has been training regularly confirms they are now Covid positive?  

Once an individual tests positive, public health authorities will be in contact with the club to contact trace all close and casual contacts. The health authority will lead the club on the course of action.

 

2. Can an individual who has travelled off the island of Ireland (including green list countries) compete in any upcoming event or attend a club training?

Yes, if they have completed 14 days of restricted movement** in Ireland prior to the event/training and have proof of travel dates. We also recommend as per Sport Ireland guidance COVID-19 PCR testing of the individual within 3 days of return and 7 days later.

 

3. Can interclub competition take place?

Yes, we actively encourage all clubs to develop interclub events for all ages and our development team are available to support clubs in this activity. Please contact patryan@athleticsireland.ie if you require assistance.

 

4. Can competition take place in Level 3?

No.

 

5. What is the maximum number of people that we can organise an event for?

At level 2 the maximum number of people including athletes, officials, parents, volunteers that can attend an outdoor event site is 200. Note all events must be closed events to the public/spectators to ensure the number does not go above 200.

 

6. I reside in a locked down County, can I train or compete in a County that isn’t locked down?

No. Only Senior International Athletes have an exemption here.

 

7. I reside in a County that isn’t locked down, can I travel to a locked down County to train?

No. Only Senior International athletes have an exemption here.

 

** On return to Ireland (including green list countries) the travelling party should:

  • Restrict their movements outside of sport activities for 14 days.
  • Do not use public transport.
  • Limit visitors at your home to close family and the travel group.  
  • Do not visit others, even if you usually care for them.  
  • Do not go to the shops or pharmacy unless it's absolutely necessary - where possible, order your groceries online or have some family or friends drop them off.
  • Do not meet face-to-face with older people, anyone with a long-term medical condition or pregnant women
 
Update 21st September

To All Stakeholders,

Please find attached below the guideline protocols for Cross Country for Organisers, Officials and Athletes. These guidelines are subject to change at any time with the release of further government advice.

We appreciate that with the current Covid-19 government restrictions all events take extra planning and communication but we do encourage all organisers to continue to deliver athletic events within the guidelines.

We are available to support you through this process and please feel free to contact us anytime on 01 8869933 or competition@athleticsireland.ie.

  1. Athlete Protocols for return to Cross Country competition
  2. Officials Protocols for Cross Country competition
  3. Cross Country Competition Organisers Protocols for return to competition

 

Update 18th September

To All Stakeholders;

Please find HERE the practical guidance for sport issued by the Sport Ireland Expert Group. We note that this guidance is subject to change with future government announcements in regard to Covid 19 and we will issue all updates as soon as we receive them.

Please do not hesitate to us if you have any queries.

 

Update 15th September

Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19

To All Members,

Please see below links to today’s government announcement on Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19.

https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/resilience-recovery-2020-2021-plan-for-living-with-covid-19/

https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/c36c85-covid-19-coronavirus/?referrer=http://www.gov.ie/covid19/

The guidelines above still contain some areas that require clarification from an athletics perspective and we have asked the Sport Ireland Expert Group for their guidance. We will share updates with you as soon as we receive them. We also plan to share the Cross Country guidelines once we receive the Sport Ireland clarifications.

- Athletics Ireland

 

Update 31st August (2)

Further to the recent Sport Ireland communication, please be advised of the following clarification in respect of parent/guardian attendance at underage activity.

It is acknowledged that some parents/guardians may wish to attend underage sporting events, competition and training in a supervisory capacity. In such cases, parents/guardians are not classified as spectators. However, any parents/guardians attending are included in the maximum allowed numbers onsite of 200 for planned outdoor athletics competition.

Each sporting organisation will need to determine if they can facilitate such attendance. Sporting organisations who choose to permit attendance should ensure that strict adherence to social distancing and public health guidelines is maintained at all times. At a minimum, the following measures should be implemented by organisers:

  1. No more than 1 designated individual attending the session per child/family/group of children.
  2. Overall numbers are kept to a minimum and in line with the space available in the venue/facility.
  3. Electronic Contact Tracing & Health Questionnaires are completed by parents/guardians in advance of attendance.

Each sporting organisation must ensure that there are robust mechanisms in place to limit overall numbers, assist with contact tracing and implement compliance with social distancing and other public health guidelines.

We note that there will be further government announcements in the coming days in regard to Covid protocols for sport after the 13th September 2020.

 

Update 31st August

Sport Ireland are aware of some issues arising in relation to the staging of events on public roads during the current restrictions. Whilst Sport Ireland has advised that competition and events may go ahead as planned under strict protocols and adherence to public health measures, we wish to clarify the following:

NGBs should follow the normal procedure when planning events which require usage of public roads. NGBs and/or Clubs are required to obtain a licence from the relevant local authority and engage with the HSE and Gardaí in planning for the event.

The authority for licensing the event remains with the relevant local authority – the guidance issued by Sport Ireland does not supersede this. If the local authority are not satisfied that the event can be held without breaching the restriction on spectators or other regulations, they can refuse to grant a licence. Sport Ireland does not have a role with regard to licensing events of this nature.

Athletics Ireland can confirm that any permitted road racing events with up to 200 participants can proceed under the current government guidelines. However, please ensure all Covid protocols are followed and that the event is advertised as a closed event with no spectators and please include strategies to prevent groups forming during the event.

 

Update 25th August (2)

Unfortunately due to the current Government Covid19 restrictions the Board of Athletics Ireland are disappointed to announce that the rescheduled Congress due to take place on the 3rd October 2020 in Donegal is postponed until further notice.

The Board wish to advise all stakeholders that they wish to proceed with a Congress at the safest and earliest possible time and have taken legal advice to ensure all avenues are considered during this difficult period for us all.

We thank you all for your patience in regard to this matter.

 

Update 25th August

Further to the information below, please be advised of the following guidance in respect of parent/guardian attendance at underage activity.

The recent Regulations announced by Government aim at decreasing the congregation of Groups in social settings and to assist with contact tracing where required. Public health and reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission remains the overarching priority.

It is acknowledged that some parents/guardians may wish to attend sporting events, competition and training in a supervisory capacity. In such cases, parents/guardians are not classified as spectators.

Each sporting organisation will need to determine if they can facilitate such attendance. Sporting organisations who choose to permit attendance should ensure that strict adherence to social distancing and public health guidelines is maintained at all times. At a minimum, the following measures should be implemented by organisers:

  • No more than 1 designated individual attending the session per child/family/group of children.
  • Overall numbers are kept to a minimum and in line with the space available in the venue/facility.
  • Electronic Contact Tracing & Health Questionnaires are completed by parents/guardians in advance of attendance.

Each sporting organisation must ensure that there are robust mechanisms in place to limit overall numbers, assist with contact tracing and implement compliance with social distancing and other public health guidelines.

 

Dear Sport Ireland Stakeholder,

Following on from Tuesday’s announcement please find below further detail on the practical implications of the guidelines on sporting organisations.

Guideline: Sporting events and matches can continue to take place behind closed doors

  • A behind closed doors event can include:  ‘Any individual involved in the participation, running, delivery, and broadcasting (if relevant) of the event’
  • The 6 indoor /1

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