The GAA has confirmed there will be no collective training permitted for inter-county teams for at least the remainder of January.

In a letter to county secretaries this morning, GAA director general Tom Ryan said that the decision was made due to the current rise in infection rates of Covid-19 and the increased risk of community transmission.

Ryan stated that in addition to this move, club and county gyms must also stay closed until further notice.

"Breaches of any of the above provisions will be dealt with under Rule 7.2 (e) of the officials guide," the letter states.

This rule refers to misconduct considered to have discredited the association.

"As you are aware the current Level 5 restrictions in the South will run until January 31 at which point the GAA will review the current situation and any further advice in this context will be provided," Ryan's letter adds.

"Finally, it is important to note that outdoor gatherings on GAA property are not permitted – the only current exemption to this is for walkways (which may stay open for use by the community with social distancing in place) and for clubs registered for the 'Ireland Lights Up' walking initiative.

"I fully appreciate the frustrations these additional restrictions may place on our inter-county players and management teams," the DG writes.

"However, the safety of everyone in the game and indeed the broader community has to be our primary focus.

"It has never been more important for our players, coaches and officials to follow both the Government guidelines and our own provisions around training."

Today's announcement could result in the Allianz Leagues – due to start at the end of February – being pushed back.

From there, any further decisions and knock-on effects will be – as always – based on public health advice.

Last year, the GAA tweaked and adapted its fixtures template accordingly as the Government imposed and rearranged restrictions.

With the exception of some outstanding club championships, the association managed to complete most county campaigns and also the senior inter-county hurling and football championships.

The outstanding 2020 minor hurling and football championships and Under-20 hurling campaigns are still due for completion, but in the current environment it's uncertain when these will be played out.

Further delays and adjustments to the 2021 calendar could now see competitions begin weeks later than initially expected, with the business end of the All-Ireland club series possibly moving to the start of 2022 to leave room for manoeuvre.

As they continue to monitor the landscape, the association will hold a meeting for inter-county treasurers later this week to give guidance on the financial challenges that still lie ahead.