Q&A updated 15 April 2021

What is the plan for easing of restrictions?

The latest NI regulations are available here and Sport NI has published a Pathway out of Restrictions which sets out a plan for the phased return to sport

As of 12 April 2021 we are in Phase 2(a).  The Sport NI infographics (attached below) show the preparation required for Stage 2, and the early parts of stage 2.  Clubs should study these and use the information to help members understand the situation. 

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.

What does Phase 2(a) allow?

• When preparation is complete, clubs affiliated to the governing body can open their outside facilities.  

• The stay at home message becomes ‘stay local’, which allows you to travel to your local club, but with no car sharing.

 • Indoor facilities all remain closed except for access to boats, and essential toilets. 

• Activity for Elite athletes can continue as before. 

• Remember…. Hands- Face- Space and Fresh Air.

 • Sports clubs are very much in the spotlight as other sectors are not yet able to operate, so compliance is critical, and breaches will bring sport into disrepute and may lead to further restrictions. 

• Clubs are expected to nominate a COVID Leader and to consider what sanctions can be imposed on any breaches of guidance. 

• This phase will allow a group (from affiliated clubs) of 15 adults (including coach) or several groups of juniors depending on age, but with groups not mixing. 

• Group activity is for exercise and training only. No parents hanging about etc. 

• No group mixing, no inter-club or organised competition.

• For non-rowing activities the maximum gathering size of 10 from up to 2 households applies.  

Is multi-household crew rowing allowed in Phase 2(a)?

Yes, multi-household crew rowing is 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. 

When will indoor training be allowed? 

Phase 3 provisionally allows for indoor activity, but like Phase 2 it will be gradual and in stages, starting with small groups and socially distanced, before allowing bigger groups, more access, and limited competition.

When will outdoor competition be allowed?

Phase 2(c) provisionally allows for organised or inter club competition, but with no spectators. Only participants and essential organisers will be allowed to attend, and numbers may be limited. There is no confirmed date for this.

What is the RI Ulster Branch doing to prepare for the easing of restrictions?

We are working along with Rowing Ireland to refresh protocols and keep member clubs informed as and when there is any change in the restrictions based on the decisions of the NI Executive and advice from Sport Northern Ireland.