With regard to the matter referred to by the Deputy, I would like to clarify the public health measures set out in the “Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19”, as they apply to sporting activity in Level 3. In Level 3 it is not permitted to have any matches or sporting events except for elite and professional sports. Sports training outdoors must be non-contact, in pods of up to 15 people, and training indoors must be on an individual basis only. Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are permitted to open for individual training only.
Sport Ireland and the Expert Group on Return to Sport, chaired by an official from my Department, are supporting the sporting bodies to develop and implement COVID-19 protocols in order to practice their activity in a safe way which mitigates the risk of disease transmission. Different activities and sports carry different degrees of risk related to the level of close contact involved. Combat sports with regular close contact carry a higher risk and this risk assessment and associated mitigation measures needs to be reflected in the protocol of the National Governing Body concerned.
The Expert Group on Return to Sport has developed guidance on indoor individual training in Level 3 and the draft guidelines have been with shared with other relevant Departments. Following completion of the consultation process, it is my expectation that these guidelines can be published within the next few weeks, in sufficient time to be applies under the appropriate level of the Government’s Resilience and Recovery plan.