Sports bodies must keep electronic records of participants as training sessions resume

Cricket and hockey can join 14 other sports restarting under Government’s road map

Sporting organisations have been submitting ’return to train’ protocols to a Government  expert group

Sporting organisations have been submitting ’return to train’ protocols to a Government expert group

 

Sports organisations have been asked to keep electronic records of participants in all training sessions as several sports move closer to return to play.

Showers and changing rooms will remain out of bounds, however, and there will be strict rules on the use of equipment, which must not be shared and will need to be cleaned and sanitised before and after each activity session.

The Government’s expert group on return to sport, in a document issued this morning, also recommended time be specifically put aside between sessions to “enable thorough cleaning and sanitisation to be conducted”.

To facilitate contact tracing if a participant contracts Covid-19, the expert group on return to sport has recommended “that organisers maintain an electronic record of all participants for all sessions, with contact details”.

The expert group also confirmed that cricket and hockey are now in a position to resume and follow 14 other sports that had already restarted under phase one of the Government’s road map.

Sporting organisations have been submitting “return to train” protocols to the expert group, which met last week for the third time. The protocols submitted by cricket and hockey were deemed to be compliant with public health advice.

However, these sports will also be governed by the wider rules around the resumption of sport, meaning training matches, friendlies, competitive fixtures or competitions will not be permitted.

The Department of Sport said fitness activities and classes that are “held in an organised and controlled manner can be undertaken outdoors only” from Monday.

National governing bodies for sports are being invited to submit protocols for the next phase of reopening, and the department will shortly circulate a guidance document to help those drawing up such protocols.

In a statement, Minister for Sport Shane Ross offered his appreciation of the expert group’s work and said there is an “enormous” desire to return to sport across Europe. “We want to ensure that our sport can resume in a manner which is as safe as it can possibly be. There is no such thing as a no-risk scenario but there are low-risk scenarios wherein risks can be managed.”

That is what our sporting organisations are doing, and they are doing it well in my view,” he said.

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