Adult amateur team sport is back in play from Monday and while teams at all ages will have to maintain limited pod sizes and adhere to numerous regulations around contact tracing and self-declaration, they will be able to get straight into contact training.
With match programmes being drawn up across multiple sports from June 7th, the return to full-contact training is coming a week or two ahead of when it had been expected.
“The return to training for our adult amateur and Youth (U19) teams will now coincide with the return to contact training in pods of 15 for all our players,” said FAI Head of Grassroots, Ger McDermott.
“We have updated our Safer Return to Training Protocol to reflect this and have shared this with our clubs and made it available online at www.fai.ie.”
“Football has proven itself to be a safe environment for all our players and volunteers through this pandemic and we again thank all our clubs and stakeholders for their commitment and adherence to the Government guidelines. We are getting closer to a return to play for all our teams and we thank the Government, the Expert Medical Group and Sport Ireland for their help in getting us to this point.”
The GAA is establishing ‘controlled zones’ for matches to include dressing rooms and pitchside areas where only matchday panels and backroom staff that have been named in advance will be permitted.
Additional panel members will be allowed into the grounds from this weekend’s resumption of the Allianz Hurling leagues while inter-county challenge matches at senior level will also be permitted from this Monday.
A letter from the IRFU to clubs and other unites said that “Training can be contact, non-contact or a blend of both. This is strictly on an opt-in basis and should be based on the feedback of each individual playing group.”
The campaign to bring Gyms and Swimming Pools back into line with the reopening of hairdressers and retail on Monday is also being pressed by Ireland Active and Swim Ireland.
“Over the last year, Gyms and Swimming Pools have introduced extensive safety measures relating to the training of staff, operation, and the layout of their facilities,” said a statement from the representative body.
“Ireland Active is calling for a fair and equitable solution by allowing Gyms and Swimming Pools to reopen alongside Hairdressers / Barbers and non-essential indoor retail along with added industry-specific supports.”
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