It is expected this morning that the Government will confirm an exemption for ‘elite’ athletes from having to undergo mandatory quarantine if arriving for events from listed countries.

The exemption has been discussed at cabinet level between Ministers Catherine Martin, Jack Chambers and Stephen Donnelly, and will be in place to allow Saturday’s Women’s Six Nations tie between France and Ireland to take place at Energia Park in Donnybrook.

It will also remove doubt over Leinster’s ability to fulfil its Heineken Champions Cup semi-final against La Rochelle at the end of the month and further afield the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet in July.

None of Poland, Slovakia and Sweden who are scheduled to play their Euro 2020 Finals matches here in June are on the list but its dynamic nature means that without an exemption for sport in place, the slim remaining chance of those games going ahead would have been extinguished.

Exemptions are in place for diplomats, politicians, Gardaí and members of the Defence Forces, as well as in other categories.

It is likely that there will be additional measures put in place surrounding the ‘bubble’ that visiting teams and competitors will have to remain but that would be no different than is the case for elite sporting events before the introduction of the mandatory quarantine.

All the players in the Irish and French squads will be tested in advance of the game. It will take place at 2-15 PM on Saturday, televised live on RTÉ. The winners will face England in a single game to decide the Six Nations title on Saturday 24th, with the losers in a 3rd place playoff against the winners of the Scotland Vs Italy game that also takes place this Saturday.


Sport for Business Partners