There are a number of reported instances of some club members and/or associates unfortunately receiving a positive result following COVID 19 testing.  It would seem some clubs feel the proper approach (prior to seeking public health guidance)  would be to close down activities within their respective clubs, or limit it to the specific team the positive case was aligned to.

In the vast majority of cases such action would not be deemed necessary as the HSE have clearly defined the different approaches that should be adhered to regarding close contacts, and casual contacts with a positive case.  With the current restrictions in place regarding the use of dressing rooms, etc.  activity on the field of play is generally deemed casual contacts, and unless participants display some symptoms at a later stage, the public health advice is usually for the identified positive case to self isolate as per guidelines, with all other casual contacts  allowed to carry on as normal adhering to the usual precautions i.e. Mask wearing in enclosed public areas, social distancing, etc (unless specifically advised otherwise by the health authorities)

As a general rule if someone in a club gets the symptoms of Covid they should contact their GP.

If their GP thinks they need to then they will arrange testing. Public health then take over. If it is a negative test the player can return to activity, if it is a positive test and the player has Covid, public health will then advise further.  Public health will do an assessment on the player’s movements in the previous days and will make a decision as to who should be considered a close contact or a casual contact.

All Football activity has been outside in recent weeks. To date it appears in the risk assessments that have taken place anyone who is outdoors hasn’t to date been considered a close contact Where activities are outdoors it appears players are being considered casual rather than close contacts in those circumstances by public health.

If a member/members tests positive. Clubs being mindful, and fearful of further outbreaks is understandable, and in instances where a team does not wish to compete in a fixture following a known positive case of a member/members who may have had casual contact with other members can obviously declare their intent not to field in advance, but in such instances unless the public health authorities advise a cessation of activities for all members within the specific team. The likelihood being the NEFL will declare the fixture/fixtures in question as being a forfeit, as the public health advise to date indicates those that may have had a casual contact are at liberty to carry on with their lives as normal.

At any given time the advise from the relevant authorities may change .I will update to all clubs accordingly


Gerry Gorman