GAA offer clarity on return to play protocols

The GAA are anticipating those players or team management who comes in contact with a colleague who later tests positive for Covid-19 will not have to self-isolate for 14 days.
GAA offer clarity on return to play protocols
Feargal McGill, GAA director of club player and games development
Feargal McGill, GAA director of club player and games development

The GAA are anticipating those players or team management who come in contact with a colleague who later tests positive for Covid-19 will not have to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Association have explained the risk of contracting the virus in a training capacity outdoors is low and will be made even lower if guidelines such as sanitising of equipment and players using their own water bottles are followed.

“One of the things that is very important to point out to you is there are close contacts and there are casual contacts,” said GAA director of club, player and games administration Feargal McGill in this week’s Covid club education webinar. “In the general health sense, a close contact with someone who has got covid you have to self-isolate for 14 days.

“However, if you are a casual contact, you’re merely asked to monitor your own health for the following 14 days.

"We’re awaiting clarification from Government but the likelihood is that in the sporting context outdoors, people you have been training with would be considered casual contacts. It’s an important distinction.”

McGill added: “A close contact is likely to be somebody that you met indoors. It’s likely to be somebody you were face to face with for 15 minutes. A big question not just for the GAA is what is considered to be a close contact in terms of sport. Once the Government has that advice, we will have it out to you.”

The GAA also confirmed several teams will be able to train on the one playing surface when they reopen fields. As things stand, fields will be available again for non-contact training for groups of no more than 10 players and two coaches in a designated area from Monday week.

While there had been fears only one team could use the pitch at any one time that concern has been allayed.

“Multiple teams can train on the pitch at the same time,” stated McGill.

“That is only relevant to phase three - it is important to point out by the time we go into phase four that stipulation (maximum of 10 players and two coaches) will be gone. The advice we’re giving with multiple groups, we’re not telling you it should be three groups, five groups, 10 groups. You all have different facilities available to you. It would be difficult for us to start telling you all specifics that might not suit you.”

A player can also train with multiple teams within a club should they wish. There is no restriction on how many teams a coach can be involved with either.

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