Following the Irish Government announcement that Level 3 restrictions are being imposed across Ireland, Hockey Ireland has provided an update on how these restrictions impact on hockey. THESE RESTRICTIONS ONLY APPLY TO CLUBS WHICH ARE LOCATED IN AREAS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND.
The Northern Ireland Executive briefing on 8 October 2020 has not imposed any further restrictions on sport therefore the current situation is:
- All scheduled fixtures for the weekend of 10th October should go ahead as planned.
- Should a club be adversely affected in terms of player availability due to COVID issues, requests for postponement can be made in line with the process sent to clubs on 8th October https://ulsterhockey.com/requesting-match-postponement-due-to-covid-issues/
- Spectators can still access matches ensuring government guidance and HI protocols on social distancing and track and trace are applied.
- Matches outside of Northern Ireland (i.e. in Raphoe or EYHL matches) are subject to the Government of Ireland restrictions.
Ulster Hockey is continuing to monitor the escalating issues with COVID-19 across the Province and the health and safety of our members is our primary priority. We are continuing to engage with members and the relevant bodies to seek advice and guidance and further discussions will take place next week regards continued safe hockey activity.
The NI Executive currently considers sport as being exempt from many of the societal restrictions being imposed a cross Northern Ireland due to the fact that sport takes place in a controlled environment on account of the protocols which have been developed and adopted.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT OUR MEMBERS AND CLUBS ADHERE STRICTLY TO THE PROTOCOLS AND IN PARTICULARY WE WOULD REITERATE THE FOLLOWING:
- All clubs must have a COVID officer present at ALL matches for the entirety of the matches. The match Umpire must be made aware of the identity of the COVID Officer before the match commences. Failure to provide this information will result in the match not going ahead.
- The Umpire has the authority to halt a match at any time should the COVID Officer not remain in place throughout OR should protocols not be adhered to through-out the match – both on and off the pitch.
- Host clubs must ensure spectators are accommodated in a manner which adheres to social distancing including measures being in place to ensure safe and distant entry and exit from pitch areas and venues.
- Clubs must implement a track and trace system and where possible ensure this includes spectators.
- Hand sanitiser is available at entry and exit points.
- As a minimum, toilet facilities MUST be available.
- Clubs must travel to and from matches in line with Hockey Ireland protocols.
In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy your hockey safely over the weekend!