GAA HQ in Croke Park have released “draft advice” regarding what is and what is not permitted under the Level 3 restrictions which come into place from today, December 1st. At club level there will be no playing of games of any sort. Donegal County minors will be allowed to resume training but on a non-contact basis and in pods of no more than 15. There will be no minor (or u-20) games in December and the 2021 fixture programme is still being finalised. The full text of the statement is as follows:
Draft Advice to Clubs and Counties – for activities post Dec 1st
CLUB SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
- Club Games
Under the new Level 3 Restrictions announced by Government and which take effect from December 1st, Club games are not permitted – only approved inter-county games can take place.
- Club Training
In level 3, underage and adult training can take place, but must be on a non-contact basis in pods of up to 15.
All clubs and players are reminded that Health Questionnaires and all other relevant control measures must continue to be followed.
No training of any kind is permitted at club level in the Six Counties, either outdoors or indoors until midnight on Thursday December 10th 2020 at the earliest. Further advice will issue from Ulster GAA once it is available
- Use of Indoor Team Facilities
Dressing rooms, showers and all other indoor training facilities should remain closed for club activities.
Club Gyms in the 26 Counties may be opened for use by individuals only, with protective measures in place. Players/Teams must not train in groups.
Further advice on protective measures for gyms is included as an Appendix to this document. The GAA will continue to monitor the situation with regard to club gyms and if our Covid Advisory Group are not happy that the advice for use of gyms is being properly adhered to, it may lead to their closure again.
- Committee Meetings
No indoor meetings can be held.
- Officer Training
All officer Training must be delivered online. Outdoor coaching education courses may be held but are subject to a 15-person maximum.
- Club Bars
Club Bars that do not serve food must remain closed until further notice
From Friday 4 December, Club bars that are operating as restaurants (i.e. serving a substantial meal) can open for indoor dining with additional restrictions, including a requirement for meals to be prepared on site, inside the premises, and with a maximum of 6 people per table.
Club bars must follow all the relevant protocols for the sector.
All Club bars in the six counties must remain closed or in the case of those offering restaurant services continue offering take away food only until midnight of Thursday 10th December 2020, at the earliest. Further advice will issue from Ulster GAA when it is available.
- Indoor Events on GAA Property
Commercial use of indoor halls continues to be permitted where agreement was in place prior to March and relevant insurance are in place. Use by State bodies e.g. HSE/Schools is also permitted.
These are the only instances in which indoor activity is permitted on GAA Club property.
- Outdoor Events on GAA Property
Gatherings of up to 15 people only are permitted. As such, fundraisers such as fittest family, Couch to 5k etc should not be organised.
Drive in events may be held subject to clubs requesting extension of insurance cover from Marsh Ireland or GAA Insurance section; however patrons must remain in their vehicle for the entire duration of the event with no access to club facilities including toilets. Cars attending such events should only contain people from their own pod.
Other events such as Poc Fada or Road bowling should only be organised if they can be limited to 15 people and face coverings must be worn.
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 on a non-contact basis in pods of no more than 15 people
Games are not permitted to take place at 3rd level under the latest Government restrictions – in addition, as it is recommended that Higher Education should remain primarily on line, no training sessions are permitted in 3rd level institutions in either jurisdiction until further notice.
INTER COUNTY SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
- Training and Games at Senior, Minor and U20
The GAA are awaiting clarity from Government as to whether U20 and Minor games can take place. We will provide this to Counties as soon as it is available.
In the interim, Teams still involved in the 2020 Minor Hurling and Football and 2020 U20 Hurling and Football Championships are permitted to resume training from December 1st on a non-contact basis in pods of no more than 15 people.
The teams still involved in the 2020 All Ireland Senior Championships are permitted to continue training as normal.
Collective Training is NOT PERMITTED for any other inter county teams currently.
2021 Inter County Competitions The GAA is currently finalising its fixture programme for 2021. Each grade will have an appropriate pre-season identified for it to allow for adequate preparation for 2021 competitions.
The fixtures programme, as well as dates on which a Return to Collective Training will be permitted will be available in the near future.
In the interim, no collective training is permitted for 2021 inter county competitions.
- Use of Indoor Team Facilities for Inter County Teams (2020 Championships)
As senior Inter county activity has been classified as an exemption to the normal restrictive provisions by the Government, use of indoor facilities for Inter County Teams only is permitted and should be carried out in accordance with the Return to Training and Play for Inter County Teams advice document issued in September.
Counties should ensure that where multiple teams are using the same venue for training (e.g. a Centre of Excellence) that only one team is on site at a given time.
Adult Club players living in a County classified as Level 3 may travel to their Home Counties to participate in Training.
- Attendances at Inter County Games
In Level 3, all inter county games must be played behind closed doors.
Arrangements for the remaining games in the 2020 Championships in terms of access for additional panel members and backroom teams will be communicated directly to the Counties involved once clarity is received from Government in terms of what is specifically proposed (numbers allowed etc.)
For Minor intercounty games or training sessions staged behind closed doors and because they involve players aged 17 and under:
- One designated individual (parent/guardian) per player may attend a training session or game per child/family/group of children.
- The GAA Health Questionnaires MUST be completed by parents/guardians in advance of attendance.
Parents are NOT permitted to be in attendance at U20 games where their child (U18) is participating. However, provision can be made to allow an adult to be in close proximity (e.g. in the car park etc) in case medical or other emergency needs require their presence.
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.