COVID UPDATE – 20th May 2021

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As you will be aware, with the continued roll out of a successful vaccination programme, Northern Ireland is continuing to see an easing of restrictions, some of which are having a positive impact on the sports sector.  Ulster Hockey is delighted to see a return of outdoor sport and to see the hockey family back on the pitch.  Please consider the following information and stay safe.



24th May 2021 sees a return of indoor group exercise and training, this also represents a return to indoor club training in squads. 

  • Clubs must continue to adhere to Social distancing;
  • A Risk assessment  should be undertaken to determine maximum capacity for sessions;
  • All contact details must be taken and retained


The full return of outdoor sport sees the removal of:

  • The limit of 15;
  • The limit on squad training;
  • The requirement for outdoor sport being permitted only for those affiliated to a Governing body or an organisation that regulates a sport or sporting activity; and
  • The cap of 100 on competitive sporting events, and replace with an overall limit of 500 on all outdoor sporting events.


This will allow the more informal sporting events, such as 5-aside matches to take place up to 500 participants, with 500 spectators also.

Schools can resume extra-curricular activities, including indoor extra-curricular sports and outdoor inter-school sport fixtures.

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



Changing rooms and shower facilities can be opened, but you should encourage participants to avoid or minimise use where possible (for example, by arriving in kit and showering at home) and to minimise time spent in the changing area.



People are not required to wear face coverings while taking part in sport and physical activity. All forms of face coverings may restrict breathing efficiency and should not be used during exercise except on specific advice from a physician.

  • Visitors are not required to wear face coverings in sport facilities, however they should be encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public areas when not engaging in sport or physical activity.
  • Staff are not required to wear face coverings in sport facilities, however you should encourage them to be worn to protect staff and customers. You should support your workers if they choose to wear face coverings.
  • However, face coverings may be required in specific areas. If your facility contains retail or hospitality areas (such as a shop, cafe or bar), face coverings must be worn by staff and visitors in public-facing roles. If this applies to your facility, you are required to remind customers to wear face coverings where they are required (for example, displaying notices outside and inside a cafe area).



The following guidance has been issued by the Department for Communities:

Car sharing should be avoided if possible.

If this is not possible, mitigations should be taken such as:

  • Wash hands or use sanitiser before and after your journey;
  • Wear face coverings throughout your journey;
  • Share journeys with the same small groups only;
  • Keep windows open for ventilation;
  • Sit as far away from other passengers as possible; and
  • Clean car surfaces after every journey, with specific attention to seat belts and internal/external handles.



As with indoor training, Indoor workshops and Committee meetings can return subject to:

  • Continued adherence to Social distancing;
  • A Risk assessment  should be undertaken to determine maximum capacity for sessions;
  • All contact details must be taken and retained

However – it is recommended that meeting or workshops should still be carries out remotely online wherever possible.

Further information can be found at Sport NI Return to Sport section on its website:

Return To Sport | Sport NI

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