On Friday the Taoiseach published its five-level plan for lifting Ireland’s COVID-19 restrictions, the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.
But while comprehensive it does appear to leave a number of questions for sailing and other watersports in Ireland.
Starting from 18 May, the roadmap sets out five stages at three-week intervals, and will be subject to regular review in the context of the progression or suppression of the disease in Ireland at different points in time.
In addition the Taoiseach announced two changes to the restrictions already in place that will come into effect from this Tuesday 5 May.
The changes are that:
1. People can travel up to 5 kilometres from their home to exercise
2. Those who are cocooning can leave their homes for exercise so long as they avoid all contact with other people.
From the 18 May Ireland will re-open in a slow, phased way . . .Full document available here
In an article in Afloat.ie it is suggested that it might be possible for multi-crewed boats to return to sailing at Phase 3 – from 29 June – where Government says “Sporting activities and events can resume behind closed doors”, where arrangements are in place to enable participants to maintain social distancing”?
If not they would have to wait until the final Phase 5 – from 10 August.
Among the proposals:
Phase 1 – 18 May
Open outdoor public sports amenities (Sailing Clubs?) where social distancing can be maintained.
Permit people to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, either individually or in very small groups (maximum 4 people).
Phase 2 – 8 June
Permit people to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, involving small group team sports training, where social distancing can be maintained.
Phase 3 – 29 June
Permit “behind closed doors” sporting activities events where arrangements are in place to enable participants to maintain social distancing.
Open cafés and restaurants providing on-premises food & beverages with social distancing.
Phase 4 – 20 July
Opening of hotels, hostels, caravan parks, holiday parks for social and tourist activities initially on a limited occupancy basis
Phase 5 – 10 August
Commence opening on phased basis at the beginning of the academic year 2020/21: Primary and secondary school.
It would appear that the various sport’s national governing bodies will have plenty of questions to be answered before they can get back into action.
Earlier Irish Sailing submitted a proposal to Sport Ireland outlining protocols and priorities in a “Return to Sailing Scheme” document.