What is the latest plan for easing of restrictions?

The latest regulations do not change social distancing. Clubs can currently offer outdoor training subject to restrictions, limited indoor training, and limited outdoor events.

The restrictions on school activity during certain times may vary and school clubs should check Department of Education and School guidance. The guidance in this update refers to sporting activity.

Currently, from 24 May

  • Activity for elite athletes can continue as before. 
  • The return to sport protocols put in place by sports governing bodies should be strictly adhered to including hygiene measures, social distancing and other mitigations.
  • Any behaviour which may encourage the risk of transmission around sports activities, such as car sharing, should be avoided. 
  • Clubs are expected to nominate a COVID leader and to consider what sanctions can be imposed on any breaches of guidance.
  • Face coverings must be worn when 2 metre social distance cannot be maintained, or 1m when not face-to-face in boats.
  • These protocols must be enforced by each club, which must take responsibility. It is hoped that clubs will see this as realistic and manageable.
  • Indoor group exercise and training is allowed (numbers informed by venue) and the full return of outdoor sport (with an overall limit of 500 spectators, and 500 participants, at outdoor sporting events). A risk assessment is necessary for gatherings over 30 people outside, or over 15 inside.
  • Limited use of indoor facilities associated with outdoor sport and events, is also allowed. (e.g. Briefing, and use of changing rooms).
  • The organiser must also take all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
  • A person responsible for organising a gathering must, if requested to do so by a relevant person, provide a copy of the risk assessment and an account of the reasonable measures taken.
  • Schools are permitted to join in events.
  • No limit on travel within NI to train or go to an event.
  • contact details must be taken and retained.

From 31st May:

An indicative date of 31 May has been set for the return of competitive indoor sport (subject to risk assessment and appropriate mitigations). 

When will multi-household crew rowing be allowed?

This is currently allowed, as rowers are generally not face to face, and can remain a fixed distance apart in the boat. Two protocols are necessary:

  • Crew activity must be controlled so that the full crew moves together to maintain separation (so no part crew exercises where some are moving and some are not).
  • In stern coxed boats if stroke and cox are from different households the cox must wear a face covering and a visor when afloat.