The GAA may delay the return to dressing rooms for players and members beyond 20 July.

Dressing rooms were due to reopen next Monday, as laid out in the association's most recent Safe Return to Play protocols.

But RTÉ Sport has learned that the looming deadline will be looked at again in the coming days and that the association could decide to maintain non-access for the foreseeable future.

The GAA is continuing to receive advice on exact definitions of 'casual’ versus ‘close’ contacts.

Information interpreted thus far suggests that, from a Gaelic games perspective, much of the focus on the ‘close contact’ primarily centres on team-mates sharing car journeys to and from sessions and games.

In contrast, activity like training and matches, played outdoor and in open spaces, may not be interpreted as constituting ‘close’ contact.

Statistics have been presented to demonstrate that a person is 19 times more likely to pick up the Covid-19 virus in an indoor setting, rather than in the outdoors.

With this in mind, and with the intention of prioritising members safety, the GAA’s Covid-19 Advisory Group will meet tonight to examine all aspects of their roadmap, including the reopening dressing rooms.

Fingallians faced Clontarf in a challenge match on Thursday, with the team talk taking place outdoors

The belief is that keeping out of closed and confined spaces as much as possible can only help the association maintain its rigorous approach to fighting the spread of the virus.

If the advisory group does decide to prolong the deadline, players will continue to arrive to the grounds togged out and ready for training and matches. They will be asked to continue showering at home following the sessions. 

Meanwhile, positive Covid-19 cases in Glanworth, Man O'War, and in some West Cork GAA clubs have heightened fears that the forthcoming club championships could be jeopardised.

This batch of cases, reported over the weekend, follow an episode where one player from James Stephens club in Kilkenny also tested positive.

However, GAA volunteers have continued to ensure that all activity is undertaken as safely as possible, with e-learning modules, health questionnaires and regular reconfirmation of health forms to be completed before clubs are allowed to train.

In addition, Covid officers have ensured reduced personnel numbers on pitches, and there is visible signage and sanitisation.  

With 2,200 clubs across the 32 counties, RTÉ Sport understands that the GAA expected such cases to emerge, is satisfied that they are small in number and that some of the teams involved are already back training.

No positive tests have yet been confirmed as a result of direct GAA activity, with cases so far being traced to external sources.

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