The GAA has issued an update in relation to the restrictions imposed to counter COVID-19 and they present the possibility of a careful easing of some restrictions, albeit only if fully in line with Government public health guidelines.
“The GAA continues to monitor closely the ongoing pandemic and the Government’s roadmap relating to the relaxation of restrictions.”
“The Association notes that we remain in Phase One and await an update about the possible move to Phase Two on June 8, as outlined by the authorities.”
“Should the country move to Phase Two as planned, GAA Clubs will be able to re-open designated walking tracks on June 8, subject to engagement with Croke Park around a facilities management plan.”
“We do not envisage a return to training in small groups in Phase Two and pitches and playing areas are to remain closed. However, as per the government roadmap, this may be reviewed in Phase Three.”
“The GAA can also confirm that it will publish its Return to Safe Activity Document when the government signals that the country has moved to the second phase of its plan.”
“This document will require approval from the government’s own expert group on Return to Sport, which we continue to work with. This group currently considers Gaelic games a ‘Phase 4’ sport.”
“Progress has also been made in re-configuring the 2020 GAA Kelloggs’ Cúl Camps and subject to the country moving onto the next phase of its recovery, we will provide more details about this initiative.”
“The GAA has stuck rigidly to the government’s plan and dates from the outset of this outbreak and will continue to do so, taking advice from medical experts and our own Advisory Committee.”
“We re-affirm our position that no one is keener to return to games and general games-related activity but this will only be considered when it is acceptable to do so to maximise the safety and well-being of our players, members and wider society.”
It is important to maintain the right level of communication and this does make it clear that for another ten days at least there will be no activity but that there may be hope of a return to some form of action in advance of the potential July 20th date of Phase Four.
That will though still depend on the way in which contact sport can handle the contradictory concept of social distancing.