Ireland Active have been engaging with government regarding the re-opening roadmap for the sector over the past number of weeks, seeking clarification and making submissions at each stage. Our submission to reopen the sector have been listened to, as news came today of a green light for reopening the leisure, health & fitness sector on 29th June. We wish to thank Sport Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport for their work in putting the case to safely reopen sport and fitness activities

Further clarification will be needed in the coming days over the implementation of the capacity limits of 50 people indoors until 20th July, after which 100 people will be allowed indoors and we will continue to engage with government to gain this clarity.

Following the announcement, Ireland Active Chairperson, Joe Cosgrove, said:

‘Ireland Active welcomes the re-opening of the leisure, health and fitness sector which will now focus on rebuilding the physical and mental health of the nation. Better physical health has been shown to improve outcomes from COVID-19 and so our industry will bring the fight to the virus and help to get more people, more active, more often.’

During closure, facilities have been providing their members with online classes, investing in staff training and infrastructure to ensure a safe environment to keep people healthy and active on re-opening. Ireland Active have published a framework for safe operation which will assist our members in reopening safely.

As an industry that continues to put public health at the forefront of our activities, further supports will be needed to ensure the continuity of services to facilitate Ireland’s highest participation sports (personal exercise and swimming). We welcome the reopening of the sector, however reduced capacities will present financial challenges in sustaining a sector that gets over 1 million people active each week in swimming pools and gyms. Further support will therefore be needed for the sector and we will continue to engage positively with government over the coming weeks and months in representing our members.