MINISTER OF HEALTH Stephen Donnelly has raised hopes that the most active crowds will return to the stadia soon.
Under current Covid-19 rules in effect until January 30, crowds of 50% or 5,000 capacity – whichever is smaller – are only allowed to participate in outdoor sporting events.
But the GAA tournaments return on January 29, the Six Nations the following week and the opening of the traditional League of Ireland tournament, the Presidents Cup, a week later.
IRFU sold tickets on the assumption that full capacity would be allowed, while Irish League clubs also had season tickets for sale.
And Donnelly is confident the restrictions will be lifted soon.
He told RTÉ: “If advance warning can be put in place for people to plan, that would be great, but I just don’t want to keep my hopes up in vain.
“I ran into one of my heroes, Johnny Sexton, earlier this week.
“Understandably, he said, ‘Can we come back with a full crowd on Lansdowne Road for the Wales game? Like we did with the autumn internationals.”
“I can tell you I want nothing more than to hear the roar of 50,000 people in early February.
“We have to have the right balance. We need to move forward but don’t be foolish.”
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/gaa-football/8228196/health-minister-stephen-donnelly-return-crowds-ireland-matches/ Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly gives an encouraging update around returning to the stands at Ireland matches