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COVID-19 Club Update - 9th July 2020

NCU

Return to Play Protocols
Cricket Ireland released the COVID-19 Safe Return to Play Protocols (SRTPP) on Tuesday 7th July.  The documents complement the Safe Return to Train protocols that were previously released and to which clubs developed their Risk Assessment documents.  The SRTPP document outlines the specific requirements clubs will be required to have in place to return to playing competitive games.

A copy of the document has been attached to this update: CI-R2P_GUIDE_FOR_CLUBS 

However, it can also be downloaded from the following link https://www.cricketireland.ie/covid-19/return-to-play-clubs

Some key items are outlined below as reminders to clubs and to assist with your planning for a safe return to games.

Club Risk Assessment Document Update

Given the additional requirements contained in the SRTPP document please ensure that all club Covid-19 Committees and Safety Officers read and understand the Return to Play Protocol document and update their club Risk Assessment document accordingly.  Clubs should also ensure they record in the minutes of their club committee meeting that they have updated their Risk Assessment and how they intend to ensure compliance with the protocols.
Clubs should also ensure they communicate any updates to their Risk Assessment and protocols to their members.  Clubs should also ensure they implement a communication process for advising visiting teams of their processes prior to them arriving at your facility/venue.

Start Date for Competitive Games

The NI Executive outlined an indicative start date for a return to competitive sport of 17th July.  The NCU, in consultation with our clubs based our resumption of competitive activity on that indicative date. The Executive confirmed in a statement on earlier today (Thursday 9th July) that "Outdoor competitive games and sporting events can also start again from July 11. This covers both grass roots and professional competitive games and events. No spectators will be allowed". 

This earlier start date may allow clubs to arrange friendly games from 11th July, providing all of the Return to Play Protocol requirements are in place, and prior to the start of competitive fixtures for NCU competitions from 18th July.  However, please note that no spectators will be allowed.
All clubs will be required to ensure they comply with the maximum numbers allowed to gather for outdoor events/activities, which is currently 30.  If there is an easing of restrictions relating to this number, we will update clubs accordingly.

COVID-19 Safety Officer

As part of the Safe Return to Train and Safe Return to Play Protocols each club is required to ensure they have a COVID-19 Safety Officer (or an alternative representative appointed by the club) on site at all times when activity is occurring at the club venue.  Please note that COVID Safety Officer or appointed club representative cannot be a player or coach who is actively involved in the activity that is occurring at the club venue.

Safe Return to Train Processes
Some processes outlined in the Safe Return to Train Protocols remain in place as clubs move into the Safe Return to Play Phase and these include:

  • Hygiene and sanitation processes for club facilities and equipment are required to be continued and maintained
  • Booking process for all players / members using club facilities, including booking process for visiting teams should be in place
  • Contact tracing details for all individuals using the club facilities are always still required to be recorded

Game Format – T20 only
The SRTPP outlines that the only format allowed for competitive games at this stage is 20 overs.  Clubs may have more than one T20 game at the club venue during the day but must ensure the following

  • Sanitation procedures are in place for all club facilities and equipment between each game
  • All players involved in a T20 game should exit the facility prior to players arriving to play the next T20 match
  • The same players should not be involved in more than one T20 game at a club venue in one day

Clubs should ensure they comply with this aspect of the protocols when arranging their fixtures and managing their player involvement in matches

Social distancing – 2m

Whilst there has been an announcement from the NI Executive easing the social distancing requirements from 2m to 1m, only where 2m is not possible, the SRTPP outlines the requirement to ensure that cricket complies with maintaining a 2m social distance.

Clubs with bars and restaurants
Those clubs with bars and restaurants should ensure that they comply with the legislative requirements relating to the hospitality sector for the safe re-opening of those facilities and the ongoing management of the relevant facilities.  Where clubs have a franchisee running those operations the franchisee is responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements relating to the hospitality sector in NI.

Reminder
This continues to be a fast moving situation and we will endeavour to keep clubs as up to date as we can when further announcements on easing of restrictions are made by the NI Executive. 
At this stage public health and wellbeing remains the most pressing priority, and we all have a responsibility to do what we can to continue to suppress the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  We of course welcome the opportunity for cricket to continue its exit from lockdown with the imminent return to playing of competitive games. However, we also take this opportunity to remind clubs of the need to continue to be careful and cautious in their approach to managing activities and games within their facilities.  Please ensure you continue to adhere to the relevant protocols and legislative requirements.
The NCU staff will continue to support clubs through the next stage of this process.

Bryan Milford
General Secretary