New recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team would have a huge impact on sporting events over the Christmas period if implemented by the government.
NPHET recommended that from Monday, sports gatherings be among the events that should not take place after 5 p.m. and that capacity be reduced to 50%, or 5,000 people, for outdoor fixtures.
Munster and Leinster are currently set to face off on St. Stephen’s Day at 7.35pm, with Ulster facing Connacht no earlier than 5.15pm, but different public health advice applies in the North. Other inter-provincial games are expected to take place on New Year’s Day.
Meanwhile, in horse racing, the Leopardstown Christmas Festival is due to take place from December 26-29, with 6,000 tickets sold for each of the first three days of the meeting.
The Cabinet is expected to meet later on Friday to discuss the latest advice from NPHET.
Speaking on RTE Radio 1’s Morning Ireland, Minister for Transport, Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan said crowds “should be smaller” at sporting events during the winter season. holidays.
He commented: “It presents huge difficulties. If you watch the Leinster rugby team yesterday, they must be disgusted with the decision of having to forfeit their game (against Montpellier).
“It’s the same thing I know for organizers like Leopardstown and Fairyhouse. I would like the events to still happen and yes the crowds will have to be smaller based on good health advice.”
Minister Ryan added: “We can, and I think we still should, hopefully have all football games and races, but they will and should be smaller crowds. Yes, I think it will feature real difficulties for the organizers, but I think it’s something we’re going to have to ask them what they can do.
“And better to still have the events, in my mind, so I can watch them on TV as well for everyone at home rather than canceling them. I think that’s a better approach.”
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