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Updated Athletics Level 5 Guidelines - October 22nd

Updated Athletics Ireland Level 5 Guidelines - Oct 22nd

covid 19 level 5 stay safe
Covid 19 Level 5

Athletics Ireland Update October 22nd

Note: This is a shortened version - full release is available on Athletics Ireland website


Ireland is now at Level 5 of the Framework for Restrictive Measures. Level 5 is expected to be in place for the next 6 weeks.

The Government’s guidance on Level 5 is clear, with the risk to public health meaning that individuals are asked to stay at home, with certain exceptions.

With regard to sport, the restrictions applicable in Level 5 are as follows:

    No training or matches should take place with the following exceptions:

            - Non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15

            - Professional, elite sports are permitted to continue behind closed doors

  •     All other training activities should be individual only
  •     No exercise or dance classes are permitted
  •      Gyms/leisure centres/swimming pools closed
  •     Exercise within 5 kilometres of home.



As they are not recognised as essential services, the decision of Government is that all gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools and other sports facilities must close in the Level 5 restrictions. This includes both indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

It is permitted to open sports facilities for training sessions and scheduled matches for the exempted categories of sport, i.e. high performance and professional games. It will also be permitted to open outdoor sports facilities for structured training sessions by school aged children, i.e. those aged 18 years and younger, in pods of no more than 15, under the supervision of designated coaches, and in compliance with approved COVID-19 protocols and all relevant public health guidance.

During these training sessions it will only be permitted for participants and relevant coaching and support personnel to be present. In the case of children’s sport, parents will be permitted to attend for child safeguarding purposes, however they will be required to comply with social distancing and other public health advice.


Professional & Elite Sport

Professional and elite sport must adhere to comprehensive protocols, which ensure extraordinary levels of control and compliance are in place. Professional and elite sport is defined as follows;

  •     Professional sports people or sports people who participate within professional competition
  •     A Member of a high performance team funded by Sport Ireland
  •     Those who compete at major international events, including European and World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is advised that these are senior athletes only within one of the following categories:

            - Athletes on the 2020 International Carding Scheme

It is important to note that protocols as they apply to each sport will be prepared and communicated directly by the respective National Governing Bodies.


Non-contact training for school aged children

Specific guidance on non-contact training for school aged children will be issued by Government. In the interim, the following is advised:

  •     Underage activity refers to those in primary and secondary school who are aged 18 years and younger
  •     Participants and coaches may travel beyond the 5km limit to attend training. Car-pooling should continue to be avoided
  •     Outdoor facilities may open only to allow the activity to take place. Only those participating in and conducting the training session should attend.


How Some of the Leading clubs in the Country are Approaching Level 5

Leevale AC

"As we enter Level 5 restrictions, Leevale training sessions have been modified to ensure that we are fully compliant with the Government's Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19.

Senior Athletes: All senior training sessions are suspended for the duration of level 5 restrictions. Senior athletes are not permitted to use the athletic track or HPC, but may continue to train as individuals within 5K of their home. Please contact your coach to review your training plan.

Juvenile Athletes: Non Contact training for school going athletes will continue as normal, outdoors in pods of 15. Level 5 Covid guidance allows an exception to travel greater than 5km to take school aged children to permitted training. Athletes must only attend a session at the invitation of their coach so parents/guardians should stay in close contact with your child's coach for ongoing updates.

The usual covid 19 precautions applies; all athletes must bring hand sanitiser, there can be no physical contact, social distancing must be observed.

High Performance Centre: The HPC is now closed and will remained closed for the duration of the level 5 restrictions.

Elite Athletes: Leevale AC is able to organise access to training facilities for our Elite Athletes. Athletes seeking to access training facilities must provide a letter from their federation confirming their elite status.

All our athletes and club members are encouraged to keep on training and prepared for future competition. Stay in contact with your coach and fellow club members. Please adhere to all health guidelines. Please be considerate to the pubic when training in public parks or on the roadway.

In the meantime stay safe and stay fit, We look forward to the return of all Leevale Athletes at the start of December."

Clonliffe Harriers AC

"Tonight the country goes to level 5 until December 1. The effect of this on society is well documented elsewhere. All club members are implored to follow fully the government guidelines. From an athletics and Clonliffe Harriers perspective the following applies:

Juvenile athletes who are still attending school can continue to train with the club at organised training sessions.

The restriction on not being able to travel in excess of 5KM does not apply to this group.

These athletes must remain in a strict pod system not exceeding 15, to include the coach.

Morton Stadium continues to be available for these athletes on the usual Clonliffe times: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 PM, Sundays 9:30 AM. The clubhouse will remain closed and athletes must arrive ready to train.

The usual covert 19 criteria applies as regards all athletes must bring hand sanitiser, there can be no physical contact, social distancing must be observed, it is strongly advised that all athletes arriving should wear face masks.

Parents cannot remain at the training session and should not leave their vehicle but rather should leave the stadium and come back at the appointed time for collections.

Coaches must continue to make a booking for their pod with the names and contact numbers of all in the pod. Coaches are advised to wear face coverings at all times.

Athletes must only attend a session at the invitation of their coach. Athletes must therefore remain in contact with their coach. Athletes cannot simply “turn up”.

All athletes U/19, junior, senior, masters must train individually and must remain within 5km of their home. Those athletes cannot train on Clonliffe sessions time. The only exceptions are athletes who fulfill the Athletics Ireland criteria of an elite athlete.

Junior/senior and masters athletes should remain in contact with their coaches for their training schedules for these weeks ahead.

All races and events are cancelled at this time. The national cross country championships are deferred from November 22 to date in the future which has not as yet been advised (earlier information said that this championships can take place at any time up to the end of February)

All our athletes and club members are encouraged to remain positive, keep on training and prepared for future competition. Stay in contact with your fellow club members, please adhere to all health guidelines. When training in public parks on the roadway it is strongly advised to give members of the public as much room as possible, there is currently an anti-runner bias out there.

We look forward to the return of all to Clonliffe Harriers at the start of December.

Keep to the forefront of your thoughts the motto of this great club of ours: Nil desperandum."

Excerpt from Government Guidelines
(Monday Oct 19th)

Organised outdoor gatherings

These are controlled environments with a named event organiser, owner or manager. For example: outdoor Arts events, training events.

No organised outdoor gatherings should take place.


Exercise and sporting events

Training and matches

No training or matches should take place, with the following exceptions:

Non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15

Professional, elite sports are permitted to continue behind closed doors

All other training activities should be individual only.


 Under Level 3, clubs could continue with training activities, and confined club time-trials. These are now suspended* for the duration of Level 5, and beyond, assuming that, following Level 5, that we step back to Level 4.



How to work out what YOUR 5km limit is

2km from home
Use this Online Calculator from to work out your own local 5km limit. If the limit changes (unlikely) just enter the new radius figure into the calculator

About Us

Cork Athletics County Board is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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