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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 November 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Questions (48)

Richard O'Donoghue


48. Deputy Richard O'Donoghue asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if she will reconsider the exclusion of minor and under 20s championship games from level 5 restrictions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34017/20]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

In line with the Government-approved “Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19” during the period of application of the current Level 5 restrictions all matches and other sporting events must cease. A limited exemption is set out in the public health regulations for certain elite and professional sportspeople and sporting activities, including certain games in camogie, football and hurling. However, given the current epidemiological situation with the disease, which requires the minimisation of both travel and contacts to prevent the spread of the virus, not every competition, team or grade in the sports concerned can be accommodated.

I understand that it will be a disappointment to many players and their families that the inter-county competition for younger age categories must be suspended for the coming weeks. Despite the many challenges they faced this year, they have retained their focus and devoted time and effort to their training and preparations for the Championship. The public health advice at this time is to stay at home. Individuals, businesses, community groups and sporting bodies are being asked to continue to suspend their activity in order that we can once again suppress the virus, to save lives and protect the health service.

In the current circumstances, unfortunately, only a very limited number of national and international sporting matches and events is being permitted to proceed during this period. This approach is part of the Government's efforts to minimise the level of personal contact outside of essential functions such as healthcare and education.