Living with COVID
Friday 18 September 2020
Badminton Ireland welcomes the release of the “Living with COVID” plan by the Government. This plan sets out the various restrictions we might encounter over the next six months and will allow us to plan accordingly. We are working with Sport Ireland to clarify certain aspects of the plan and will issue clarification on those items in the coming days. For now, the country is set at Level 2 of the plan, with Dublin the only exception currently set at Level 3, and a summary of the key requirements under these phases is listed below. Clubs in Northern Ireland will be required to adhere to a different set of guidance. All the guidance we have sent out to date can be found here - https://www.badmintonireland.com/page/37766/Return-to-Badminton
In the coming weeks Badminton Ireland will issue a revised set of protocols for clubs to follow depending on the current level of their county. We will be contacting clubs individually to discuss the challenges they are facing and will hold a series of webinars aimed to address these challenges and provide further insight into how our Sport can continue to operate alongside COVID 19.
We will also release a mobile communication solution for clubs to aid them in managing their contact tracing requirements. Each club will be giving a unique log in which will allow their members to confirm their attendance at a club night in advance. This solution will greatly reduce the administrative burden on club secretaries.
As always, the Badminton Ireland staff remain available to support our members during this difficult time. Given the circumstances, our office hours are greatly reduced but staff continue to work from home. An updated contact page has been set up on the website - https://www.badmintonireland.com/page/37178/Badminton-Ireland-Office-Team - which provides contact details for each staff member. I would encourage any member or club who has questions or concerns to reach out to the relevant member of staff.
These are difficult times for us all and Badminton Ireland remains committed to providing support and resources to all our members to ensure they can continue to enjoy our Sport in a safe and fun manner.
Chief Executive Officer
Living with COVID key requirements for Badminton
The following restrictions are subject to change based on the guidelines of Sports Ireland.
- Masks should be worn by members/spectators when moving around the venue (not on court), particularly in areas where maintaining a social distance of 2 metres is difficult
- People are not allowed to travel in or out Level 3 area
- Members/Supervisor should continue to follow the general health guidance issues by the Government:
- Wash or sanitise your hands regularly, especially before and after play
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Maintain a two-metre distance from other members/spectators
- Avoid congregating in crowds
- For clubs operating in counties currently set at level 2 of the “Living with COVID” plan singles and doubles play can continue. Members should be divided into PODs of 6 individuals and must not mingle with individuals from other PODs. Up to 50 people can be in the venue at any one time but social distancing must be maintained.
- Matches, tournaments, etc can also continue to be held with a maximum of 50 spectators.
- For clubs operating in counties currently set at level 3 of the “Living with COVID” plan, play should be restricted to singles play only. The only exception for doubles is if playing partners are from the same household.
- No matches or tournaments can take place under Level 3 restrictions
- Elite and intercounty training and tournaments are exempt from these restrictions in Level 3.
How does the 'pod' system work?
- Organised Sports training / activity / exercise can do so in multiple pods once sufficient space is available and strict public health protocols are in place.
- The use of multiple pod’s is to assist with minimising the number of people in a group while acknowledging that some outdoor and indoor facilities have the capacity to cater for larger numbers of people in a safe manner and within public health guidelines. People participating in pod training can be from different households.
- The number of pods in a given facility or area will depend on the overall size of space available. At present, the overall numbers within an Indoor facility should not exceed 50.
- The space between pods will depend on the nature, duration and intensity of the session but it should be clearly evident that the pods are independent groups not interacting with one another. At a very minimum Social Distancing of 2m between pods should be implemented.
- Depending on the frequency of activity (i.e. multiple times in a week) it may be helpful for participants to stay within the same pod.
- A coach or instructor may oversee more than one pod and should be counted in the overall numbers.
- The coach should not move freely between pods but rather oversee the activity of the pods.