New Covid-19 plan allows up to 200 to attend sporting events

The government has announced its medium-term plan Living With Covid-19

Limited crowds will again be allowed to attend sporting events as of Wednesday. File photograph: Inpho

Limited crowds will again be allowed to attend sporting events as of Wednesday. File photograph: Inpho

 

Limited crowds will be allowed to return to sporting events from Wednesday, with up to 200 people allowed to attend games in stadiums with a capacity of 5,000.

Under the government’s new Living With Covid roadmap, that number will rise to 500 if the country’s threat level goes from Level Two where it is currently down to Level One. But games will go behind closed doors again if case numbers rise to the point where the country - or counties within it - move to Level Three.

“We all understand the importance of sport,” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin at a press conference announcing the new measures. “The government plan has allowed limited amounts of spectators to go to sporting events under specific conditions.”

At Level Three, elite level team sport can continue but only behind closed doors. There had been speculation right up until late on Monday night that the bigger stadia in the country would be allowed to have crowds of up to 5,000 people but Martin said there were no immediate plans for that.

“We learn as we move along,” he said. “Let’s be clear, in the actual plan itself, it is still quite limited. In a stadium that can take over 5,000, we will allow at Level Two up to 200 in. It’s a higher number at Level One.

“There has been no discussion around allowing the likes of 5,000 into games. That remains to be seen, in terms of larger sporting events towards the end of the year, there will be ongoing engagement between Nphet and the various sectors involved in terms of what might happen with larger events. But there have been no specific discussions around that.

“My position on sport is fairly well known. I would have loved to have been in a position not to make that decision. I haven’t been to a championship match this year. I would love to see a championship match and there are many people in that position across the country.

“I’d love to go to a soccer match and so on. we’re now allowing that opportunity for a limited number of people. But again, as we’re allowing it, people do have to adhere to the conditions attached, the guidance that goes along with it both going to and from the venue, keeping our physical distance. All of that still applies.”

Martin also announced that Dublin will face tighter restrictions due to its greater instances of Covid-19 cases. In the capital a maximum of 100 spectators will be allowed to attend outdoor stadia or other fixed outdoor venues, whereas 200 is the Level Two limit elsewhere.

The figures include players and backroom teams and the six month plan comes in to effect from midnight on Tuesday and has been published after meetings between cabinet and Nphet.

Level One

Training

Normal training sessions and games can take place indoors and outdoors with protective measures.

Matches and events

A maximum of 100 spectators can attend indoor matches or games.

A maximum of 200 spectators can attend outdoor matches or games.

Up to 500 spectators can attend outdoor stadia or other fixed outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000.

For very large purpose built event facilities (for example: stadia, auditoriums, conference or event centres) specific guidance will be developed with the relevant sectors to take account of size and different conditions for events such as large national and international sporting events.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

These can open with protective measures, taking account of public health advice, including social distancing.

Level Two

Training

Outdoors: training can take place in pods of up to 15 (exemption for professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship).

Indoors: training, exercise and dance classes can take place in pods of up to 6 inside (exemption for professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship).

Matches and events

Up to 100 patrons/spectators outdoors and 50 patrons/spectators indoors

Up to 200 for outdoor stadia or other fixed outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000

For very large purpose built event facilities (for example: stadia, auditoriums, conference or event centres) specific guidance will be developed with the relevant sectors to take account of size and different conditions for larger events.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

These can open with protective measures, taking account of public health advice, including social distancing.

Level Three

Training

Outdoors: Non contact training only in pods of up to 15 (exemption for professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship).

Indoors: Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes.

Matches and events

No matches or events to take place.

Exemption: professional/elite/inter-county/club championship/horse-racing can take place behind closed doors.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools open with protective measures, for individual training only.

Level Four

Training

Outdoors: Non contact training can take place but only in pods of up to 15.

Indoors: Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes can take place.

Matches and events

No matches or events to take place.

Exemption: Professional and elite sport/inter-county/senior club championship/horse-racing can take place behind closed doors.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools closed.

Level Five

Training

Individual training only. No exercise or dance classes.

Matches and events

No matches or events to take place.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools closed.

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