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Hargey welcomes further easements to organised sport and leisure activities

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has welcomed the Executive’s announcement on Thursday, 15 April, that a number of significant easements to the current Covid restrictions will take place over the next few weeks.

In summary, the easements announced mean that from 23 April outdoor sports, organised by a club or individual affiliated to a recognised governing body or representative organisation, will be extended to include full squad training and all outdoor competitive sport can resume.

However numbers, including officials, participants, management and support personnel, should be restricted to the minimum number required for the delivery of the event and should not exceed 100.

Currently, no spectators are permitted at any sports events.

In addition, the Executive has agreed that from the 30 April, individual indoor activities in gyms, swimming pools and other large venues will be permitted.

The Minister said:

I fully recognise the important role that sport and physical activity plays in the physical health and wellbeing of our communities and getting outside and being active is fundamental to helping us to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

“I have engaged with the sports sector throughout this process and have heard of the work they have done on developing the protocols they have put in place to make a return to outdoor sport as safe as it can be for everyone.

“I will continue to work with the Governing Bodies for indoor sports as we continue to progress through the next phase of the Executive’s Pathway out of Restrictions.

“I urge everyone to continue to be cautious, follow the sport safety protocols, observe good hygiene practices, wear a mask where appropriate and adhere to the social distancing measures.”