GAA pitches will open five days earlier than anticipated following the GAA'S Covid-19 Advisory Group meeting on Saturday, which further detailed the Association’s return to play road-map.

GAA officials spent Friday preparing to react to the Government’s announcement that Phase 4 of the emergence from lockdown would be brought forward to Phase 3.

As well as that they are close to finalising plans for the new-look 2020 championships. 

And they also met with the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) on Friday as they edge closer to a return to action.

Friday night’s news that the Cabinet would again ease coronavirus restrictions in the Republic of Ireland by 29 June gave the green light for a return to action for sports bodies.

It was also revealed that crowds of 200 can attend outdoor events. That figure will rise to 500 from Phase 4.

The following changes to the return to activity guidelines are being made after recommendations from this morning's Covid-19 Advisory Committee.

These changes were subsequently endorsed by the GAA, the Camogie Association and the LGFA

  • GAA grounds and pitches will open next Wednesday for adult training, with non-contact exercise and drills only allowed
  • Juveniles will be able to return to non-contact training on Saturday, 27 June
  • Both of above on the understanding that players and all participants have completed the eLearning module and are following the control measures in place (health questionnaire etc)

  • On the basis of a maximum of 15 players in a designated area of the field (26 Counties) and 10 players in a designated area of the field (6 Counties)

  • Coaching numbers for underage teams to be consistent with Code of Behaviour

From 29 June

  • Allow contact training and challenge games for all from Monday, 29 June (26 Counties)

  • Awaiting guidance from the NI Executive in relation to 6 Counties – non-contact training in the numbers outlined above in the interim

  • Also awaiting clarification on what will constitute a close contact versus a casual contact

  • Restriction on participants only attending training sessions to be relaxed from 29 June – subject to government specified maximum of 200 people in the ground 

  • Allow Club fixtures from Friday, 17 July

  • No change to inter-county dates (14 September for training; competitions to start on 17 October as planned)

  • All control measures for players, coaches and other team personnel (completion of health questionnaire, eLearning education etc) is to remain