Leo Varadkar extended the lockdown tonight by two weeks and provided some details on a roadmap for bringing Ireland back to normal. Tonight, the government has released a document for a 5-phase plan that will see the return of sport as we knew it. These are three week phases and should there be further outbreaks of Covid-19, the government pay have to phase backwards.
From their document, here is the Government's plan:
Phase 1 - 18th May
- Open outdoor public sports amenities (e.g. pitches, tennis courts, golf courses etc) where social
distancing can be maintained
- Permit people to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, either individually or in very
small groups (maximum 4 people), where social distancing can be maintained and where there is nocontact
Phase 2 - 8th June
Permit people to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, involving small group team sports training (but not matches) where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact
Phase 3 - 29th June
Permit “behind closed doors” sporting activities events where arrangements are in place to enable participants to maintain social distancing
Phase 4 - 20th July
- Permit sports team leagues (e.g. soccer and GAA) but only where limitations are placed on
the numbers of spectators and where social distancing can be maintained
- Open public swimming pools where effective cleaning can be carried out and social distancing can be maintained
Phase 5 - 10th August
- Permit close physical contact sports (rugby, boxing, wrestling)
- Open gyms, exercise, dance studios and sports clubs, only where regular and effective cleaning can be carried out and social distancing can be maintained
- Permit sports spectatorship which involve mass gatherings only in accordance with both indoor and outdoor numbers restrictions and where social distancing can be complied with
The big takeaways here are that sports like GAA can return on July 20 but 'close contact sports' like rugby cannot return until the final phase, August 10. Training can resume on June 8. Gyms also cannot fully open until the final phase.
This information will surely be scrutinised intensely over the coming days and weeks. You can read the whole plan here.