With the reintroduction of Level 5 (with exemptions) to the Republic of Ireland and the new restrictions imposed on Norther Ireland clubs the COVID-19 working group have issued the following updates. Please be aware that the Republic of Ireland government have made different allowances this time for outdoor non-contact sports, under the Level 5 restrictions

The Northern Ireland Executive have issued a new set of restrictions with tighter measures imposed on all sporting activating under its jurisdiction.

We advise all our clubs and all our members to continue to follow the relevant guidelines and to help keep everyone safe and healthy.

We wish all our clubs and our members a Happy and Safe New Year.

Rowing Ireland COVID-19 working Group.

Rowing Ireland Covid-19 protocols, Frequently asked questions 29th December 2020

The Government has agreed that non-contact training can continue, outdoors in pods of 15. Gyms may remain open for individual training only.

FAQ’sQuestionAnswerReasoning (Information Resource)
1Can club members train in crew boats?YesAll members can train in pods of 15, which must include a qualified coach and if required a parent for safeguarding purposes. Pod total must not exceed 15. (1)
2Can club members travel outside their county?No.The guidelines state from the 27th of December you must remain within your county (as opposed to within 5km of your home) apart from travel for work, education or other essential purposes. (Masks and social distancing). Carpooling is to be avoided. (1)
3Can individual rowers go out in sculls from the club?yes.Individual training is allowed under level 5 but, you must be within your own county. (1)
4Where a coach is not available, can a parent run the school aged training session for the club?No. The training must be supervised by a coach or a trainer accredited by the National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs). The National Governing Bodies will have responsibility for approving the training activities to be undertaken.  Sport Ireland is available to provide guidance to NGBs where required. (1)
5Can dressing rooms and club houses remain open?No.Level 5 restrictions exclude the use of any indoor facilities, club houses, changing rooms (or any related “touch” points) which should be closed. Only exemption to this is, Gyms may remain open for individual training only (1)
6Can Gyms with plenty of room and ventilation be used while maintaining social distancing and apply strict sterilization protocols?Yes.Level 5 restrictions allow Gyms to remain open for individual training only. (1)
7What is meant by individual training?To assist the sector, the Sport Ireland, Return to Sport Expert Group recommends the adoption of the ‘pod of one’ concept. This concept can be defined as ‘Individual, physically distanced, non-contact activity, completed in a pre-defined area, within a controlled environment and without the sharing of equipment’. (2)
8Can more than one pod of 15 train at the same time?Yes.A clear and obvious separation must be maintained at all times. Coaches should not interact between the two pods. (1)
9Must attendees at allowed training sessions wear a face mask?Yes.While it is not mandatory under the level 5 restrictions to wear a mask outdoors, it is highly advised when a 2-meter social distance cannot be maintained at all times. (1)
10Can sculling ladders take place?No.No organised indoor or outdoor events should take place. (1)
11Can members of pods travel together to and from training?No.Households should bring their own household members to the event and not share transport to or from the venue. Encourage parents to have children wait in the car or outside the venue until just before the beginning of a practice instead of congregating with other children prior to the start. (1)  
12Does our club need to keep contact details of parents attending session for safeguarding purposes?YesA log of all people attending every session, with contact information for contact tracing purposes must be recorded to enable contact tracing, should it be required. (2)  
13Does our club require a COVID-19 Compliance Officer?YesDesignating COVID compliance officers is a good way to help with coordination of risk mitigation actions. (2)  

Any club or group that is not in a position to apply these measures or enforce them should not hold training sessions.

Any local club or group found to be in breach of these measures will result in the club being excluded from the exemption.

Information Resources; Ireland placed on Level 5 Restrictions of the Plan for Living with COVID-19 – with a number of specific adjustments, from Department of the Taoiseach, Published on 22 December 2020, Last updated on 23 December 2020

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/a1f21-ireland-placed-on-level-5-restrictions-of-the-plan-for-living-with-covid-19-with-a-number-of-specific-adjustments/ Sport Ireland, Individual and Indoor Training https://www.sportireland.ie/covid19/individual-and-indoor-training

Northern Ireland COVID-19 Update

The full update for clubs in Northern Ireland available: https://www.rowingireland.ie/rowing-ireland-covid-19-northern-ireland-working-group-update/