An online meeting organised by the Federation of Irish Sport was held with Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers, on July 15th.
The Minister provided his overview of where we are now and that the Covid Delta variant presented a sombre picture which led to the pause in July in planned easing of restrictions. He said that the situation will be reviewed again in August.
He noted the funding impact on indoor sports and that a package is to be agreed for the sector in collaboration with Michael McGrath (Dept Public Expenditure). Mary O’Connor (Federation of Irish Sport CEO) expressed the frustration felt by indoor sports and that financial & communication supports are urgently needed.
The Minister was specifically asked what his plans were for allowing the Digital Covid Certificate to facilitate resumption of more ‘normal’ activity for vaccinated people in indoor sports. This option has yet to be considered.
The Minister suggested that National Governing Bodies (NGBs) submit protocols for consideration in August as to how we can reopen safely.
NGBs requested that the Sport Ireland should be taking the lead on how we can progress reopening the indoor sport sector, rather than always leaving it to the NGBs to produce yet another protocol.
The indoor sport sector was not given any firm assurance about how or when we can reopen further. A hope that pods of 6 for training might be approved in August was as concrete a suggestion that the Minister put forward.
So for now, no change to the current restrictions.
The Federation of Irish Sport are hosting a further meeting with indoor sport NGBs to discuss ways in which we can make progress in our reopening plans. The RAI will be represented.