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Dates announced for return to competitive sport and indoor sport in NI

Following today’s Executive meeting it was announced that competitive sport can recommence from 10 July and indoor sports facilities can reopen from 17 July to accommodate the return of indoor sports.

    The Department for Communities has worked with Sport NI and Sports Governing Bodies to put forward proposals to the Department of Health and the Executive to bring forward these dates to resume competitive sport and indoor sport and leisure activities.

Today’s announcement is on the basis that Governing Body protocols are in place, that they are adhered to and that everyone in the sports sector takes responsibility for and complies with hygiene and social distancing directives to ensure  a safe return to sport. 

Communities Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín said: “The Executive has endorsed a return to competition, albeit without spectators, and has agreed that indoor sports facilities can reopen on 17 July.  These decisions are based on the latest scientific and health advice and it is more important than ever to emphasise that everyone has a personal responsibility to follow the guidance and to protect those around them. 

“I trust that sports people, clubs and Governing Bodies are compliant with the guidance that is out there.  We all want to enjoy taking part in sport once again and look forward to attending sporting events when it is safe to do so.”

The Minister added: “Today’s good news follows last week’s announcement of an additional £2million in funding which will help ensure that people and communities can get back to enjoying their sport safely as the restrictions on the sector gradually ease. 

“I would hope that further relaxations and news on return for spectators to sporting events will be announced in due course.”

These easements do not currently extend to the opening of indoor swimming pools and sports clubs and organisations should continue to refrain from the use of changing and shower facilities.