For the lucky 500 spectators attending the Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure 2020 Senior  County final this evening in Ballybofey there will be printed programmes on sale. Also the arrangements for patrons attending is that  access to the ground is only by the main entrance. There is no access to the ground via the Jackson/stand side of the ground.  However, the stand is open so patrons who wish to go to the stand can do so but they must enter through the main entrance at MacCumhaill Social Center.

The restriction on numbers is very unfortunate and is in line with NHSC Guidelines issued in June this year. The complete document is in a link at the bottom of this document. Key aspects include:

  • Spectators should be aware that in attending GAA games not all the risks posed from Covid-19 can be eliminated but that essential control measures have been put in place to reduce risks for spectators.
  • Spectators must not attend games if they display any symptoms of Covid-19 and instead should phone their GP and follow public health advice.
  • Individuals that are considered high risk or are in close contact with others who are considered high risk should not attend games (click here)
  • Individuals must be informed that much of the responsibility for managing Covid-19 risk remains with themselves, particularly in relation to social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and sanitation
  • All spectators should be encouraged to bring their own hand sanitiser.
  • The use of face coverings is required for all patrons over the age of 13 (including those who have been vaccinated)
  • Spectators must not enter the field of play at any time, whether pre-match, at half-time and other intervals or after the final whistle or at end-of-match presentations
  • Spectators should be advised to keep their own record of contacts at a match for potential tracing purposes.
  • All spectators should be encouraged to download the HSE tracing app (click here).


Social Distancing

It is imperative that all spectators (including those who have been vaccinated) adhere to social distancing guidelines when travelling to games, arriving at the ground, in the seated areas, on the concourses, using toilets and facilities, when leaving the ground and travelling home.


  • The current public health guidance advises that a social distance of 2m be maintained between people. Future government guidance may change, and the GAA’s assessment methods may change as a result.
  • Where small groups of people are attending games together members of these groups should be from the same household.
  • Insofar as possible, individuals and small groups should remain in the same area for the duration of the game, remain 2m apart from others and avoid intermingling with other individuals or groups.
  • Signage should be in place to remind spectators to practice and maintain social distancing, particularly at ‘pinch points’ identified in the risk assessment.
  • Consideration should be given to the ingress and egress of patrons particularly when there is more than one game taking place. Where possible, separate entrance and exit points should be used to reduce crossflow of spectators and to help maintain safe distancing.
  • There should be adequate space at the entry point to facilitate socially distanced queueing and adequate signage, ground markings and stewarding should be in place.
  • It is essential that spectators do not congregate in groups in the vicinity of the grounds before, between and after games as social distancing and contact tracing measures will be compromised by such congregation and the potential risk of transmission will be higher.
  • Under no circumstances should spectators enter the playing area before and after games or during intervals unless part of and the activation of the emergency plan.
  • Celebrations involving ‘pitch invasions’ are strictly prohibited.


Contact Tracing

All practical measures, e.g. through public announcements, signage, and stewards, should be taken to inform spectators attending matches to restrict contact with individuals and groups outside their own household once inside the ground. All spectators should be advised to download the contract tracing application. Ground management will be responsible for the contact-tracing records of staff, volunteers, players and officials but are not responsible for the contact-tracing records of spectators.

All third-party contractors and media must have their own contact-tracing measures in place as per their risk assessment and avoid any close contact with spectators, players, and other staff where possible.

NHSC Summer 2021 Guidelines-for-Return-of-Spectators-for-web