GAA dressing rooms to stay shut as handball alleys reopen

"I don't want to speak too soon, but our control measures appear to be working."
GAA dressing rooms to stay shut as handball alleys reopen
The locked dressing room at Fr Dowling Park, Rhode, Co Offaly. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

GAA dressing rooms will remain closed for the foreseeable future as it is 19 times more likely to contract coronavirus indoors than outdoors, says GAA director of player, club, and games administration Feargal McGill.

While handball alleys and club bars serving food will open from next Monday under defined guidelines, dressing rooms and club and county gyms will be deemed out of bounds until further notice.

"The other reason it lessens massively the possibility of a player being considered a close contact. If they have only been undertaking activities that are outdoors, it lessens massively a player being considered a close contact if one of his team-mates or one of the backroom personnel happens to test positive."

Although several clubs have temporarily suspended activities because of members testing positive, McGill said the GAA have yet to be informed of somebody contracting the virus because of GAA activity.

He said: "Where GAA players or members have contracted Covid, it appears to be outside of GAA activity. That is hugely encouraging. It means, and I don't want to speak too soon, but our control measures appear to be working.

"We do realise it is an inconvenience to people that dressing rooms can't open, but there is good common sense behind that. It is designed to ensure that clubs are able to complete their fixtures and that no club is placed into lockdown."

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