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Covid-19 Roadmap to return to Sport

May 1st 2020

On May 1st 2020 the Irish Government publishes the roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s society and economy.

Phase One of the restrictions commences on the 18th of May 2020.

For more  information on this please click on: Irish government website

Refer to Irish Government for the latest updates.


16th of May 2020- 

Ministers Ross and Griffin establish the  Return to Sport Expert Group in which this group will provide guidance to Ireland’s sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sporting activity in line with the Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

The membership of the Expert Group is:

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Peter Hogan (Chair), Betty Griffin, James Lavelle
Sport Ireland: Paul McDermott, Dr. Una May, Niamh O’ Sullivan, Shane Califf, Dr Jim O’Donovan (Sport Ireland Institute)
Sport Sector: Dr Rod McLoughlin (IRFU), Dr Alan Byrne (FAI), Feargal McGill (GAA),
Niamh Daffy (CARA)


Irish Government: phase 1  :  Sport and tourism
Outdoor spaces
Outdoor spaces and tourism sites (for example: car parks, beaches, mountain walks) are open where people can move around freely and where social distancing can be maintained.

Group exercise
You can exercise - either on your own or in a group of no more than 4 people - where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact with other people.

It is now possible to participate in a range of sporting activities in groups of no more than 4 people within 5 kilometres of the households of those involved.

Social distancing should be maintained at all times.

The range of sports which can resume is as follows:

pitch and putt
equestrian sport (not in indoor arenas)
athletics (clubs in outdoor track setting)
open water swimming

Nationals Governing Bodies of Sports:

Please refer to each of the NGB website for the most up-to-date information on each NGBS return to Sport.

NGBPhase/Date InformationLink 
Athletics Ireland

Phase one

18th May

Athletics Ireland have listed key documents to refer to for clubs, coaches and athletes which are available on the websiteWebsite link
Badminton Ireland As of 11th of May , Badminton Ireland are currently liaising with Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland on the finer details of returning to the Sport of Badminton and developing protocols for members and clubs to follow to allow them to participate safely.Badminton Ireland latest update

Basketball Ireland 

Phase Five

10th August 

13th May statement released by BI Board BI Statement by the BI Board
Canoeing Ireland

Phase one

18th May

Low level of activity

Canoeing Ireland have produced a ‘Return to Paddling’ document of guidelines and advice for our members, clubs and stakeholders to ensure any increase in activity in line with the phased returns is done so with minimal risk to public health.


Return to Paddling Guidelines
Cricket Ireland 

Cricket Ireland Board held a ‘virtual’ board meeting to consider a number of significant issues related to impacts on operations and events in 2020 from COVID-19, as well as to review the draft ‘Safe Return to Cricket’ protocols that will be submitted to Government and sports authorities shortly.CI Covid update
Cycling Ireland

Phase one 

5km limit 

Until further notice, members of the cycling community ride solo or with members of their household and adhere to the limit of 5km from home for those within the Republic of Ireland.

CI will continue to monitor the evolving situation and look to provide further guidance to clubs, members, and event organisers as soon as possible.

Cycling Ireland update
FAI-Football Association of Ireland 

The Football Association of Ireland’s steering group has made a submission to Sport Ireland seeking clarity on conditions around the return of amateur adult and underage football following the publication of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

website link
GAA- Gaelic Athletic Association

July 20th

GAA are instructing clubs and counties to continue to adhere to the restrictions and to refrain from organising on-field activity. These measures are expected to remain in place until July 20.

GAA -update

Golf Union of Ireland (GUI) and the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU)

Phase I -

18th May


website link

HorseSport Ireland 

Phase 1-

18th of May

Horse Sport Ireland in conjunction with our Affiliate Family and Equestrian Venues will be closely monitoring the compliance of the protocols by all participants and stakeholders.Horse Sport weblink
Irish Athletics Boxing Association 

Phase 5

10th August

15th May statement released by the IABA BoardIABA board directors statement
Irish  Lawn Bowls

Phase 1 

18th May

ILB updateswebsite link
Irish Rugby Football Union

Phase 5-

10th August 

The IRFU have published a summary road map of return to Rugby on the 1st of June. The objective of the roadmap is to provide high level clarity to clubs and ensure COVID-19 safety measures are taken before activities can resume.


website link
Irish Orienteering Association 

Phase 1 

18th May 

A small team of the IOA executive is currently working on guidelines for clubs and orienteers. This is to ensure that we have a successful return to orienteering and do not jeopardise a reduction in restrictions. We will be in touch shortly with advice to the clubs.

Website link
Irish Sailing

Phase 1

18th May 

Phase 1 of the “Irish Sailing Return to Sailing” Scheme is designed to support clubs, centres and members to put measures in place that will allow the safe return to our sports on a gradual basis, subject to the lifting of the Coastguard’s current advisory notice.

Return to Sailing Scheme Document
Pitch and Putt 

Phase 1

18th May

The PPUI have protocols published Website Link
Rowing Ireland

Phase 1

18th May 

Rowing Ireland has released the Return to Rowing Document which has been circulated to all affiliated clubs and stakeholders.

Rowing Ireland’s objective is to get everyone back rowing in a safe environment.

Protocols for Return to Rowing
Swim Ireland 

Phase 1-

18th May 

limited activity 

Swim Ireland have released the  publish a first draft of the Swim Ireland ‘Return to Water’ Roadmap for there members to view and consider.

Website link
Tennis Ireland 

Phase 1-

18th May 

limited activity 

Tennis Ireland have listed key documents to refer to for clubs, coaches and athletes which are available on the website .

website link

14th May 2020

Sport Ireland has sought clarification from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport on a number of items including the travel radius and sport for the cocooning population.

The Department has provided the following information: ‘People should not travel outside the 5km limit to access facilities such as golf or tennis clubs. It should also be understood that going to facilities in advance of the 18th of May to prepare for reopening is not considered to be within the spirit of the Roadmap.

In relation to the cocooning population, the advice currently is that they may leave their houses for exercise but they should avoid contact with other people, even on a socially distanced basis. This advice does not recommend over 70s playing golf or tennis ‘– however, it is not mandatory, it is advisory, so individuals can make their own decisions. While additional detail on restrictions from May 18th may follow in due course, the present advice is that they should not take part in sport with other people’

18th May 2020


Six page Document on the Stay Local, Stay Apart & Stay Safe in the Outdoors- Guidelines for Exercising in the Outdoors
From 18 May – 8 June  by Sports Ireland  click on  Sports Ireland Website Link

Information from Sports Ireland on the  Frequently asked Questions on Phase One   : Frequently-Asked-Questions-Phase-One.pdf (size 472.1 KB)