The PwC All-Stars Banquet due to be held in Dublin’s Convention Centre on December 10th and the Camogie All-Stars Awards Night in the Osprey Hotel in Naas next weekend have both been cancelled due to concern over the rising challenges of the fourth wave of Covid-19 we are currently facing.
The TV programme announcing the PwC GAA/GPA All-Stars will proceed in a 90-minute show on the same night of Friday, December 10th while the Camogie Awards are being pushed back to 2022 ‘when the opportunity presents.’
It is a shame for all those involved that the chance of a celebration with peers, friends and family has been lost for a second year but the organisational concern over hosting indoor, night time celebration events is real and the postponement of the events began to look inevitable from the early part of last week.
Restrictions are being reimposed across Europe and while vaccination rates here remain at a higher level than most, the threat to a functioning health service means they look inevitable here as well.
The Government is now wrestling with just how severe the restrictions will likely need to be and which sectors are most likely to be the higher risk and therefore bearing the brunt.
It is hard to believe that a full lockdown similar to those we had in 2020 and the first months of 2021 would return, given the fact that for the vast majority of those who contract Covid now, the effects will not require hospitalisation or medical intervention.
It is though likely to be high on the agenda to study the legal and social response to Austria being the first country to make vaccination mandatory.
The Covid pass system which we have here makes activity safer in terms of knowing that those in a particular setting have been vaccinated but with over 90 per cent adult uptake anyway, that is the likely case at almost any event other than an anti-vaccination rally.
The largest gathering of the weekend was the almost full attendance at the Aviva Stadium for Ireland against Argentina. There was a much more evident effort to persuade people to wear their face masks throughout and almost full compliance while walking around though it was still patchy when people were sitting in their seats.
It is in our nature to be a little more rebellious when things are recommended rather than made a legal requirement.
Attention will now switch to the Extra.ie FAI Cup Final in the same venue next weekend and the opening matches of the Heineken Champions Cup on the two weekends running into Christmas.
Tickets have been sold for all these games on the basis of a full capacity and we have to hope that these will be allowed to proceed on that basis.
We are though back in a day to day environment as regards Government and HSE messaging and while we have to plan for everything happening as we hope, we also have to dust down all those Plan B’s and Plan C’s.
Sport for Business Perspective
We are by nature an optimistic society and so the hammer of having to consider a return to restricted movement and activity is harder to bear than we might have imagined. Winter and an ICU capacity that remains short of optimal in comparison to other countries were always red lights flashing in the background but now we have to look at them growing brighter and more insistent.
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