GAA issues advice on Covid-19 restrictions
By John Harrington
The GAA has issued advice to clubs and counties for activities that are permissible and not permissible in 2021 until further notice.
Under Level 5 of the plan for living with Covid-19 and the current restrictions in the North, individual training only is permitted for GAA clubs.
Neither adult or underage teams may train collectively, club games are not permitted, and GAA club grounds must remain closed.
At inter-county level, it remains the case that collective training for senior inter-county panels may only recommence from January 15th. However, given the current growth rates in virus transmission, this date is under review.
For the moment senior inter-county players may train on an individual basis only in club or county owned gyms and no training is currently permitted for any other panels such as U-20 or Minor.
See below for the full list of club and inter-county specific guidelines.
Advice to Clubs and Counties – for activities post Dec 31st
CLUB SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
- Club Games and Training
In level 5 and under the current restrictions in the North, individual training only is permitted – neither adult nor underage teams may train collectively.
GAA club grounds must stay closed.
Club games are not permitted
- Use of Indoor Team Facilities
Dressing rooms, showers and all other indoor training facilities should remain closed for club activities.
Club Gyms must remain closed until further notice.
- Committee Meetings
No indoor meetings can be held.
- Officer Training
All officer Training must be delivered online. Outdoor coaching education courses are not permitted.
- Club Bars
Club Bars must remain closed until the current restrictions are lifter.
- Indoor Events on GAA Property
No organised indoor gatherings can take place under the current restrictions.
Commercial use of indoor halls (for example by state bodies – e.g. HSE/Schools is permitted where agreement was in place prior to March and relevant insurance are in place. These are the only instances in which indoor activity is permitted on GAA Club property.
- Outdoor Events on GAA Property
No outdoor gatherings on GAA property are permitted.
Exception: Walkways may stay open for use by the community with social distancing in place.
INTER COUNTY SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
- Training and Games at Senior, Minor and U20
The GAA’s intention remains that collective outdoor training for Senior inter county panels only may re-commence from January 15th. However, given the current growth rates in virus transmission, this date is under review. If there is any change to this as a return to collective training date, Counties will be informed as soon as possible.
For the moment, Senior inter-county players may train on an individual basis only in Club or County owned gyms.
No training is currently permitted for any other panels (e.g. Minor/U20)
Further information on the completion of the 2020 Minor and U20 competitions will issue in January.
ADVICE FOR 2ND LEVEL SCHOOLS AND 3RD LEVEL INSTITUTIONS
- Games and Training
Neither competitive nor challenge games are permitted in 2nd Level schools.
Training is permitted during school hours and as part of school approved P.E programmes only.
Neither games nor training are permitted to take place at 3rd level
Appendix - Advice for Use of GAA Club Gyms
The following advice – taken from the Ireland Active Framework for Safe Operation should be followed when opening Gym facilities:
• Social distancing of 2m should always be maintained
• Participants should not congregate before or after activities, and facilities should design internal flows to reflect this.
• Facilities should plan for a maximum of 1 person/4 square metres* (2mx2m) and in accordance with government advice on maximum capacities for indoor activities.
• Ensure adequate ventilation, avoiding recycling of air to avoid possibility of infection, in accordance with HSE/HSA guidance
• Carry out frequent cleaning of surfaces and wipe downs of contact surfaces with single use disinfectant wipes or strong disinfectants and microfibre cloths.
• Users should not share towels, water bottles etc.
• All of the standard infection control guidance from the HSE should be heeded.
• There should be no hands-on adjustments or physical contact during training.
• Spacing of exercise machines/equipment should be undertaken to ensure 2m distance between equipment. An alternative may be to use every second piece of equipment or the closing of certain stationary equipment to ensure 2m distancing.
• Equipment which is 2m apart should not be placed where exercisers are facing each other.
• Spin bikes should be staggered and spaced 2m apart to avoid spray back.
• Loose equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, free weights etc. should be used by one exerciser and cleaned in between each use by users/staff.
• Booking of time slots should be employed in order to enable safe management and recording of users in the facility.
• Where spotting of weights is being undertaken, face coverings should be worn
All areas, within the gym, where social distancing is particularly challenging should be kept closed - Players should not enter the gym facility prior to their assigned reservation
Adequate signage and reminders should be provided at entrances and in strategic places within the gym providing instruction on social distancing, hand hygiene, use of cloth face coverings or masks, and cough and sneeze etiquette.