The GAA has decided that club dressing rooms and other indoor facilities will remain shut beyond next week.
It was initially intended that dressing rooms would reopen from Monday next as competitive action at club action ramps up once again but the GAA has rowed back on that following a meeting of its Covid Advisory Group on Monday night.
In a circular to clubs, the GAA outlined that the decision was made on a “risk stratification basis” and that dressing rooms and club and county gyms will remain closed “until further notice”.
Handball alleys can reopen from next Monday subject to return to play protocols, while club bars that do not serve food are also allowed to reopen from next week, along with pubs across the country as things stand, once they align with Government regulations.
“One of the key parts of our control measures around keeping clubs safe is trying to keep players outdoors as much as possible,” GAA director of player, club and games administration Feargal McGill told RTE.ie.
“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.”