Irish government hopeful sports fans will be able to return to matches in summer

Irish government hopeful sports fans will be able to return to matches in summer

HE ALSO discussed whether proof of vaccination would be needed.

Minister for Sport Jack Chambers has said that he hopes that Irish sports fans will be able to attend games and events during the summer.

This comes after Leinster Rugby announced a plan for the return of fans next month, at limited capacity, with social distancing in place.

Chambers said that there are no set dates for a return to fans in sports grounds, but that it could be this summer.

Speaking to Virgin Media on Monday, Chambers said: "We have a return-to-spectators plan that’s been drafted and we would like to do test events during the summer.

"We can’t put a definitive date on that now but there’s nothing more I’d want to do as someone who lives in Dublin than to go and see a Dubs game.

"The All-Ireland is such an importance across GAA, ladies football and camogie. It’s great that we’re able to have an All-Ireland series this summer and, hopefully, with the vaccination effect, the one difference this year compared to last year is that we will see some spectators back.

"But that’ll be done in a planned way and a cautious way, and we’ve had a draft plan since the end of last year on that."

Speaking about the potential of fans needing proof of vaccination to enter sports grounds, he said that it would be an "unlikely" rule to enforce.

"We wouldn’t like to exclude children from attending a game. But we’ve put a significant amount of work in, medical experts who’ve looked at comparative international analysis. We’ve seen, for example, the League Cup last weekend had fans in the UK, and we will look at trying to do test events during the summer."