Spectators at trial sports events must abide by new code of conduct

Attendees must wear face masks, remain seated and stay within social bubbles

All spectators at 16 pilot trial events will be required to abide by a code of conduct which includes remaining seated where possible and avoiding contact with others outside their social bubbles.

Spectators will also be required to wear face-coverings at all times, download the HSE Covid-19 contract tracing app and follow the advice of staff and stewards.

Pilot events include GAA, camogie and ladies' football, League of Ireland games, rugby matches and other sports such as golf and athletics.

The first events take place on Friday and include Leinster v Dragons at the RDS, Shamrock Rovers vs Finn Harps at Tallaght Stadium and Cork City vs Cabinteely at Turner's Cross.


Stadiums with capacities in excess of 5,000 people will be limited to maximum attendances of between 200 to 500 people initially.

For the trial events no food and beverages will be available and entry times will be staggered to allow for efficient and safe throughput of fans.

Government Chief Whip Jack Chambers on Monday published updated guidelines for re-opening sportsgrounds which were drafted by a working group of sporting event experts and health and safety advisors.

They provide for mitigation measures to allow for the safe return of spectators to sporting events.

These include advance communication with attendees, venues operating at reduced capacities, physical distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene.

A “robust” contact tracing system will also be in place.

These events will be used to evaluate and review progress towards increasing spectator capacity at events in July and August.

“I am acutely aware how eager fans are to see their home county, local club or sporting heroes in action once again,” Mr Chambers said.

“These expert-led guidelines are significant because they chart a clear path back to allowing large numbers of spectators attends games once again.

“They cover a huge range of areas from ticketing and arrival at the grounds, to public transport and communications with fans, stadium signage, contact tracing and a host of other important factors.

“The guidelines can be continuously reviewed after each pilot event and will ultimately pave the way for much greater numbers to attend sporting events as we progress into summer and autumn.”

The working group will monitor the events and adapt approaches, if needed, as progress is made towards larger attendances later this summer.

There will be contact tracing tied to each ticket which will be held for 28 days, to enable sports groups help the HSE if there is a Covid-19 case linked to the event.

Later in the summer, as more and more people are vaccinated, there may be scope to increase attendances further.

Event organisers will have primary responsibility and will liaise with the local authorities, public transport providers, the Garda and others.

The organisations have worked with their ticketing partners to ensure a robust track and trace will be in place and this system has already been trialled in the UK.

16 trial sporting events with limited spectators

June 11th, RDS

Leinster v Dragons

June 11th, Tallaght Stadium

LoI Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps

June 11th, Turner’s Cross

LoI Cork City v Cabinteely

June 20th, Croke Park

Camogie National League Finals

June 18th-20th, TBC

Possible pilot of a GAA Men's National Football League Final if scheduled

June 25th, Tallaght Stadium

LoI Shamrock Rovers v Drogheda

June 26th, Morton Stadium, Santry

Athletics Ireland National Championships

June 26th, Sat, Croke Park

Division 1 and 2 Ladies Gaelic Football Association League Finals

June 26th, Sat, Tolka Park WNL

Shelbourne vs Cork

July 1st, Thu-Sun, Mount Juliet

Kilkenny Irish Open Golf (European Tour)

July 2nd, Tallaght Stadium

LoI Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk

July 3rd, Aviva Stadium

Ireland v Japan

July 3rd, Semple Stadium, Thurles

Munster GAA Hurling Semi Final Cork v Limerick

July 4th, Dr Hyde Park

Connacht GAA Football Championships: Roscommon v Galway

July 10th, Aviva Stadium

Ireland v USA

End of June, Curragh

Horse Racing Event - one day of a series

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent