Guidelines for the return of spectators at sporting events at trial events have been published by the government today.

The guidelines were drafted by a working group of sporting event experts and health and safety advisors.

The measures include advance communication with attendees, venues operating at reduced capacities, physical distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene. A robust contact tracing system will also be in place.

The guidelines are similar to when 100-200 spectators attended events last summer.

Attendees will be required to abide by a code of conduct and all venues will have a Covid-19 Safety Plan.

Fans will need to wear masks throughout events, will be seated and socially distanced from other fans. All spectators will need a ticket which will record their name in case contact tracing is needed after the event.

The close contact record will be kept for up to 28 days for each attendee.

A total of 16 pilot sporting events will use the guidelines. This Friday will see 1,200 fans attend the RDS for a Leinster game, while League of Ireland games hosted by Shamrock Rovers and Cork City will have similar numbers.

The pilots will help review progress with the aim of increasing capacity in July and August.

Up to 200 spectators will attend events this month with more in July and up to a quarter of stadium capacities the following month.

Pilot events include GAA, League of Ireland and rugby matches and other sports like golf and athletics.

Minister Jack Chambers said: "I am acutely aware how eager fans are to see their home county, local club or sporting heroes in action one again.

"These expert led guidelines are significant because they chart a clear path back to allowing large numbers of spectators attends games once again.

"The guidelines can be continuously reviewed after each pilot event and will ultimately pave the way for much greater numbers to attend sporting events as we progress into summer and autumn."

Trial events:

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Date

Venue

Event

1

11 Jun, Fri eve

RDS

Leinster v Dragons

2

11 Jun, Fri eve

Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps

3

11 Jun, Fri eve

Turner's Cross

Cork City v Cabinteely

4

20 Jun, Sun

Croke Park

Camogie National League Finals

5

18-20 Jun

TBC

Possible pilot of a GAA Men's National Football League Final if scheduled

6

25 Jun, Fri eve

Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Drogheda

7

26 Jun, Sat

Morton Stadium, Santry

Athletics Ireland National Championships

8

26 Jun, Sat

Croke Park

Division 1 and 2 LGFA League Finals

9

26 Jun, Sat

Tolka Park

Shelbourne vs Cork in Women's National League

10

01 Jul, Thu-Sun

Mount Juliet, Kilkenny

Irish Open Golf (European Tour)

11

02 Jul, Fri eve

Tallaght Stadium=

Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk

12

03 Jul, Sat

Aviva Stadium

Ireland v Japan

13

03 Jul, Sat

Semple Stadium – Thurles

Cork v Limerick

14

04 Jul, Sun

Dr. Hyde Park

Roscommon v Galway

15

10 Jul, Sat

Aviva Stadium

Ireland v USA

16

End June

Curragh

Horse Racing Event – one day of a series