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Ticketholders with symptoms of Covid-19 should be refunded, sports grounds told

Contact details of spectators at trial sport events will be kept for up to 28 days for contact tracing.

Aviva Stadium
Aviva Stadium
Image: Shutterstock/abd

PROSPECTIVE SPECTATORS OF upcoming sports events who develop symptoms of Covid-19 before a game should be refunded the cost of their ticket, sports grounds have been told.

Updated guidelines published by the government alongside sporting bodies outline how sports grounds should manage their reopening, especially for hosting trial events.

Spectators should be advised that their contact details will be kept for up to 28 days to facilitate contact tracing, the guidelines set out.

They should be advised to stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.

Face coverings should be worn at all times by staff and spectators except while eating or drinking, or for people with individual health reasons or under the age of 13.

“Physical distancing of 2-metres should be maintained between spectators. However, if this is not possible, this can be reduced in controlled environments subject to a risk assessment, and having regard to Public Health Advice in place at the time of the event. Physical distancing of at least 1-metre between seats indoors should be maintained,” the guidelines say.

Ticket sales should be limited to six per person and people attending in a “social bubble” together should not come from more than four households.

“Ticket resale should not be permitted unless the name and contact details can be transferred to the new owner with the ticket. Ticket holders must carry valid ID to confirm identity if requested,” the guidance outlines.

It specifies that spectator details should be recorded to facilitate contact tracing and that no walk-ups should be allowed.

Publishing the updated guidelines, Minister of State Jack Chambers said that they would be used in preparing for 16 sporting events between now and early July.

“I am acutely aware how eager fans are to see their home county, local club or sporting heroes in action one again,” Chambers said.

“These expert led guidelines are significant because they chart a clear path back to allowing large numbers of spectators attends games once again. They cover a huge range of areas from ticketing and arrival at the grounds, to public transport and communications with fans, stadium signage, contact tracing and a host of other important factors,” he said.

“The guidelines can be continuously reviewed after each pilot event and will ultimately pave the way for much greater numbers to attend sporting events as we progress into summer and autumn.”

The guidelines were developed with a working group that included Croke Park, the Aviva Stadium, the FAI, GAA, IRFU and Sport Ireland.

Martin Murphy of the Aviva Stadium, Chair of the Combined Working Group, said he is “grateful to each and every member of the team, to Ministers Martin and Chambers for engaging with us and for taking our recommendations forward and to officials of the Department for their guidance”.

“The working group is committed to monitoring the events and if need be adapting our approaches as we progress to larger attendances later this Summer,” Murphy said.

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“We will share experience gained across sport, the entertainment sector and with broader society to ensure that communities around Ireland can get back to safe enjoyment of our favourite sports and events.”

16 trial events are planned for June and July, starting with three matches in the RDS, Tallaght Stadium and Turner’s Cross on the evening of Friday, 11 June.

Croke Park will host the Camogie National League Finals on Sunday, 20 June, with a possible pilot of a GAA Men’s National Football League Final on the same weekend.

On the 25th, Tallaght Stadium will host Shamrock Rovers v Drogheda. The following day, the Athletics Ireland National Championships will take place in Morton Stadium, Santry; the Division 1 and 2 LGFA League Finals will play in Croke Park; and WNL Shelbourne v Cork will play in Tolka Park.

One day of horse racing at the Curragh will be open to spectators at the end of June. 

Outside of Dublin, Mount Juliet in Kilkenny will host the Irish Open Golf at the start of July; the Munster GAA Hurling Semi-Final Cork v Limerick plays in Semple Stadium, Thurles on 3 July; and in the Connacht GAA Football Championships, Roscommon v Galway play in Dr Hyde Park on 4 July.

Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk will play in Tallaght Stadium on 2 July, followed by Ireland and Japan battling at the Aviva Stadium on 3 July. 

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