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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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GAA facilities and dressing rooms to remain closed until further notice

The association’s Covid Advisory Group has decided that they will not reopen on 20 July.

Ronan Corcoran gets ready for training outside the closed dressing rooms at Ballyhale Shamrocks.
Ronan Corcoran gets ready for training outside the closed dressing rooms at Ballyhale Shamrocks.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

GAA DRESSING ROOMS — as well as club and county gyms — will remain closed beyond 20 July. 

At a meeting last night, the GAA’s Covid Advisory Group agreed that the facilities should not reopen next Monday, when Phase 4 is scheduled to commence. 

However, handball alleys can be used again from 20 July, subject to the guidance and control measures outlined in the GAA Handball Return to Play Document. 

Club bars that do not serve food will also be permitted to reopen, as long as they follow the government regulations and all required third party insurances and assurances are in place.

“One of the key parts of our control measures around keeping clubs safe is trying to keep players outdoors as much as possible,” said Feargal McGill, GAA Director of Player, Club, and Games Administration in a statement released today. 

“The reason for that is you are 19 times more likely to contract the virus indoors than you are outdoors. Purely from a common sense basis it doesn’t make any sense for the GAA to open dressing rooms or gyms at this stage.

“The other reason it lessens massively the possibility of a player being considered a close contact.

“If they have only been undertaking activities that are outdoors it lessens massively a player being considered a close contact if one of his teammates or one of the backroom personnel happens to test positive.”

To the best of our knowledge nobody has contracted Covid due to GAA activity,” McGill added.

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“Where GAA players or members have contracted Covid, it appears to be outside of GAA activity. That is hugely encouraging.

“It means, and I don’t want to speak too soon, but our control measures appear to be working. We do realise it is an inconvenience to people that dressing rooms can’t open, but there is good common sense behind that.

“It is designed to ensure that clubs are able to complete their fixtures and that no club is placed into lockdown.”

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Ben Blake

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