Westmeath club championship games to be all-ticket affairs

Westmeath GAA has announced that forthcoming club championship games in the county will be all-ticket affairs.

The county board took the decision following advice from Croke Park, and on foot of government guidelines which currently allow for a maximum attendance of 500 people at outdoor events.

Westmeath’s club championships commence on Friday July 24 with the start of hurling competitions, with football getting its first outing the following weekend.

“The government health guidelines currently allow for an attendance at outdoor events of 500 people. In the case of the GAA this figure includes the two participating teams, backroom staff, press, all personnel working at the venue and spectators,” said a county board press release issued on Friday.

“Westmeath GAA have, based on advice and direction from Croke Park, taken the decision that during the current attendance restrictions, admittance to all championship fixtures will be by ticket only (fixtures will be all-ticket).

“Limited tickets will be available for clubs to purchase from TEG Cusack Park and distribute amongst members. We are asking clubs to take into account supporters that attend all their club fixtures and may not be in a position to purchase a ticket online, and ask clubs to avail of the direct purchase option for them.

“Tickets will be priced at €10 for everyone and there will be a refund at the match venue of €5 for students, OAPs and children under the age of 12.

Tickets will also be on sale through Centra and SuperValu outlets and also online at https://westmeathgaa.tickets.ie/

Once purchased online these tickets can be either printed at home or downloaded to your phone for scanning at the venue.

“Westmeath GAA understands that this may cause an inconvenience to patrons attending our fixtures, but in these unique and unprecedented times Westmeath GAA have taken these decisions in the interest of health and safety of all. We encourage all patrons attending to read the below guidelines from the NHSC.”

NHSC guidelines on return of spectators to GAA club games

* Spectators should be aware that all the risks posed from Covid-19 cannot be eliminated, including attending GAA games, but that essential control measures have been put in place to reduce risks for members;

* Spectators must not attend games if they display any symptoms of Covid-19 and instead should phone their GP and follow public health advice;

* Individuals that are considered high risk or are in close contact with others who are considered high risk should not attend games;

* Individuals must be informed that much of the responsibility for managing Covid-19 risk remains with themselves, particularly in relation to social distancing, wearing of face coverings and sanitation;

* All spectators should be encouraged to bring their own hand sanitiser;

* The use of face coverings is strongly advised for all patrons over the age of 13;

* Spectators must not enter the field of play at any time including pre-match, at half-time and other intervals and after the final whistle or at end-of-match presentations;

* Spectators should be advised to keep their own record of contacts at a match for potential tracing purposes;

* All spectators should be encouraged to download the HSE tracing app;

* Where small groups of people are attending games, members of these should wherever possible be from the same household;

* Individuals and small groups should remain insofar as possible in the same area for the duration of the game, remain two metres apart and avoid intermingling with other individuals or groups;

* Before, between and after games, it is essential that spectators do not congregate in groups in the vicinity of the grounds as social distancing and contact tracing measures will be compromised and the potential risk of transmission higher.

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