The government has decided to raise the national level of Covid-19 restrictions to Level 3, meaning spectators will no longer be allowed to attend games.

For the last three weeks, except in Dublin and Donegal, up to 200 supporters had been allowed to attend outdoor events, but now only teams and essential personnel will now be permitted. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team had recommended Level 5 restrictions throughout Ireland, which would have stopped almost all sporting activity except for individual training.

However the move to Level 3 means only professional and other 'elite' matches, such as adult club and inter-county GAA, can go ahead.

The GAA and LGFA had announced earlier on Monday that they were suspending all club games (but not training) following concerns over "post-match celebrations and a lack of social distancing at certain events".

It remains to be seen whether they will now decide to resume games in the absence of fans.

The inter-county hurling and football seasons are due to resume at the end of October.

In soccer, there are four games left in the abridged 2020 League of Ireland Premier Division season and the  Women's National League is only envisioned to conclude in mid December. The FAI Cup quarter-finals are set for November while Dundalk will play six Europa League games before Christmas. 

The new Guinness Pro 14 season began last weekend, kick-starting what was envisioned to be a busy end to the year for rugby. 

The final two rounds of Ireland's Six Nations campaign are due to take place at the end of October. Following that Andy Farrell's Ireland are due to play four games in the Autumn Nations League. 

IRFU CEO Philip Browne issued a stark warning last month that the future of professional rugby was in jeopardy unless crowds were allowed to return to games in 2021. 

As is stands, up to 500 supporters (400 at GAA matches) are being allowed to attend games in Northern Ireland, where different regulations apply.

Level 3 sporting restrictions

  • For outdoor sports, non-contact training only in pods of up to 15 will be allowed (exemption for professional / elite / inter-county sports / senior club championship).
  • For indoor sports, there will be individual training only and no exercise or dance classes.No matches or events to take place.
  • There will be an exemption for professional / elite / inter-county / club championship / horse-racing which can take place behind closed doors.
  • Gyms / leisure centres / swimming pools open with protective measures, for individual training only.
  • These can open with protective measures, for individual training only.