Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (201, 202)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

201. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if she has conducted a risk assessment or received updated advice regarding the resumption of outdoor non-contact training and non-contact outdoor sports or activities for amateur teams and persons. [7960/21]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

202. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if she has conducted a risk assessment or received updated advice regarding the resumption of indoor non-contact training and non-contact indoor sports or activities and dancing classes for amateur teams and persons. [7961/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 and 202 together.

The resumption of the activities to which the Deputy refers will be decided by Government in the context of its review of the Framework of Restrictive Measures and consideration of the restrictions to apply after the expiration of the current regulations on March 5th.

As the Deputy may be aware, I wrote to all of the National Governing Bodies of sport before Christmas, inviting ideas on how the restrictions affecting sport might be adjusted under Level 3. More than 40 bodies have made submissions to Sport Ireland for consideration by the agency and the Expert Group on Return to Sport. As the level of infection in the community at present remains high, and our health service is under significant strain, it is likely to be some time before it is possible to significantly relax the restrictions on sport and exercise. Nevertheless, evaluation of these submissions is continuing and nearing completion. It is my intention to bring these matters to my colleagues in Government within the next few weeks.

Insofar as risk assessment and advice is concerned, the Expert Group on Return to Sport provides relevant advice to the sporting bodies to inform their own risk assessment, and the majority of sporting bodies have put in place appropriate COVID-19 protocols to mitigate the risk of transmission at training and competitive events. NPHET provides broad public health advice to Government in relation to the overall Covid-19 response, which will be considered by Government in the context of its review of the Recovery and Resilience Plan 2020-2021: Plan Living with COVID-19.