Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
861. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the supports in place for small sporting organisations, GAA groups and voluntary organisations to allow them reopen safely with regard to social distancing. [11030/20]
I have established an Expert Group on Return to Sport, which includes medical expertise, for the purposes of assisting the sporting community in Ireland, in particular the National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs), to make a safe, phased return to sport in accordance with the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.
The sporting bodies have sought from my Department and Sport Ireland guidance to assist them in their preparation of protocols for returning to train and returning to play. The Expert Group provides general guidance to the NGBs on issues common to many sports such as dressing room and equipment hygiene, hand hygiene and other matters, informed by public heath advice and international best practice. I can also confirm that, with the support of the Expert Group, my Department would, provided the Expert Group is satisfied, be able to indicate to the NGBs that their return to sport protocols appear compliant with the Roadmap and public health advice.
To date, in excess of 40 separate protocols have been presented for consideration, some 25 of which have been reviewed by the Expert Group. The Expert Group will continue to review other protocols in the coming weeks on a phase-by-phase basis, re-evaluating protocols as and when the public health guidance changes.
I am satisfied that these arrangements, which have been widely welcomed by the sport sector, are working well and are facilitating the safe return to sport by many sporting organisations nationwide.