The Federation of Irish Sport recognises the need for continued focus on public health measures and fully appreciates the seriousness of the situation since December. However, we are concerned on how little detail was available on the reopening of sport and physical activity in the Government’s “Living with COVID” plan announced yesterday. As we have said on many occasions, we firmly believe that Sport and Physical Activity in all its forms is going to play a crucial role in restoring both the physical and mental health of the country as we come out of lockdown. While we would not expect a plan to include specific dates at this point in time, we strongly believe that a strategy, and indeed Roadmap, for the reopening of sport, beyond the definitions allowed for at level 5 would have provided a much needed lift for all.
The Federation and its members have expressed concerns about the underlying issues created and fostered by this pandemic and associated restrictions. The absence of sport and physical activity are most certainly contributing to issues of isolation, mental health, physical inactivity, social inclusion issues and access to sport for people with a disability. We have always stressed that Sport and Physical Activity must be part of the long-term solution to the pandemic and we understand that Government shares that view. However, we need to see this perspective included in government plans moving forward and a clear outline of when our organisations, and their clubs can return to supporting the health and wellbeing of their communities in a meaningful way.
We strongly believe that a roadmap that sets out the Government’s thinking on the phased reopening of all sport and physical activity is essential and that it be published as soon as possible, if only to demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the role that sport and physical activity can and will play as we exit this pandemic.
While that is our priority, we would also hope that Government gives every consideration as to how organized sport will need to be funded beyond when the sector re-opens. In that context the Federation must acknowledge the government financial supports to date which have been welcomed by all in sport. The resilience and recovery package delivered in 2020 was a light at a very dark time for many sporting bodies. However, those supports did not factor in a longer term set of restrictions and it is imperative now that further supports are considered for sporting bodies, of all size, in the governments forthcoming National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Insights from our partners, OSK.
Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) – Important update from 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021, the period for determining eligibility for EWSS will be Q1 and Q2 of 2021 compared with the same period in 2019.
To qualify for the EWSS, as well as having tax clearance, employers must demonstrate that their business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders as a result of COVID-19.The rate of subsidy under the Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme was revised last October to support businesses impacted with Level 5 restrictions. The Government have extended the enhanced rate of subsidy until the end of March 2021 to cover the current period of public health restrictions.
Read More here https://www.osk.ie/blog/posts/covid-19-business-supports-update-january-2021/
Keep Well Resilience Campaign
The cross-Government community resilience campaign co-ordinated by Healthy Ireland and funded by Slaintecare is continuing across the months of January, February and in to March. Updates can be found on gov.ie/healthyireland.
The Keep Well campaign is sponsoring Operation Transformation this year. The programme goes out at 9.30 on Wednesday nights on RTE 1 TV and will be on air until the end of February. Operation Transformation is a TV series on RTE 1 encouraging the Irish public to get healthy. Over the course of the show it gives the nation the tools they need to eat well and maintain and improve their physical and mental health. This year Operation Transformation aims to help people find ways of getting and staying healthier in body and mind while living with Covid restrictions. Previous episodes can be found on the RTE Player https://www.rte.ie/player/series/operation-transformation/SI0000001272?epguid=IP000066828
As you will be aware, on December 30th the Government announced a revised Level 5.
During this period people are asked to stay at home, except to travel for work, education or other essential purposes.
The below should be noted in relation to sport & exercise. Full details on those measures can be viewed here:
- Sporting facilities (Indoors & Outdoors), gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools must close.
- Activity is restricted to individual training/personal exercise within 5 km of home.
- Individuals may meet with one other household in outdoor settings when taking personal exercise.
- Exemptions to Training & Matches apply to certain professional, elite sports, horse-racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events. Such events should take place behind closed doors.
- No other matches or events are to take place.
Sport Ireland will continue to provide updates to the Sector as and when they arise.
Public Health Measures
Ireland is now at Level 5. You can see all of the measures that are in place at Level 5 here.
Healthy Ireland Resilience and Wellbeing ‘Keep Well’ Campaign
We are pleased to share the next phase of the Healthy Ireland Resilience and Wellbeing campaign will go live on Monday 16th November with a national and local advertising campaign.
The Government Plan for Living with COVID-19 – Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021 highlights the important role that individual and community resilience will play in contributing to our ongoing response to COVID-19. The “Keep Well” campaign will signpost to people of all ages about minding their own physical and mental health and wellbeing by adding healthy and helpful habits to their daily and weekly routines. The Healthy Ireland “Keep Well” campaign will provide guidelines, information, and tips on things to help all to keep well through the coming months. This Resilience and Wellbeing information is being added on an ongoing basis on www.gov.ie/healthyireland and under the following sections: Staying Active, Keeping Connected, Switching Off, Eating Well, and Minding Your Mood.
A number of Sláintecare funded initiatives will be delivered through the Healthy Ireland Fund and rolled out over the coming months. A suite of creative assets are available to share with you if you have use for them. Follow on support on social is always welcome. #keepwell
Invitation to International Men’s Day Webinar: Men’s Mental Health in these Challenging Times
An invitation to attend an upcoming webinar on International Men’s Day the 19th November focussed on Men’s Mental Health in these Challenging Times in partnership with the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland and the Centre for Men’s Health in IT Carlow. It will highlight recent research and promote important messages for men in relation to their mental health. There will be an exciting line up of speakers on men’s health including inputs on farmers, men who attend men’s sheds and young men as well as a discussion panel with representatives from the GAA, SpunOut, Mental Health Ireland, Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health and the HSE. Please see the link here for registration.
New COVID-19 Campaign
The HSE Bubbles campaign and the Irish language version of the ad are live. The idea of the Bubble is to create a visual reminder for the protection we share when we follow public health actions, and how easily it can be lost.
New COVID-19 Testing, Self-Isolation and Restricted Movements Ad
This new ad explains that COVID-19 wants to spread from person to person, but there’s a lot you can do to stop it reaching someone near you or dear to you. It’s important to know when you should self-isolate and when you should restrict your movements. You can watch the ad here. It’s currently live on TV, radio, digital and social media.
Living with COVID-19 Ad
The Living with COVID-19 ad focuses on protective measures and is currently on TV, radio, digital and social media. The newly updated version of this ad is available here.
Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19
Last week, the Department of Social Protection launched a public information campaign to raise awareness of Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19.
Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19 is available to employees or self-employed people who are unable to work due to:
-A diagnosis of COVID-19, or
-An instruction by a doctor or the HSE to self-isolate/restrict their movements.
The payment is €350 per week. To apply, a person will require medical certification and will need to make an application to the Department of Social Protection. The online applications can be made at: www.mywelfare.ie
A series of multi-lingual resources including posters and social media posts in a wide range of languages have been developed. These are designed to help ensure that as many people as possible are made aware of this important support. The resources are available to download by language here.
The START partnership campaign from the HSE, safefood and Healthy Ireland (Department of Health) encourages families with young children to adopt healthier lifestyles. Conscious of the impact of COVID-19 on families and recent research demonstrating that family time is highly valued at the moment, this month we are focussing on “Big wins start with small changes. Make the most of family time by adding a healthy habit.”
TV, radio, out of home and digital advertising are running for the month of November. You can view the TV ad here. If you and your family would like to get more information on healthy habits check out www.makeastart.ie/
Public Health Information
As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: www.gov.ie/en/news/7e0924-latest-updates-on-covid-19-coronavirus/ and https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/.
Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on www.hpsc.ie where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.
Please also check here for the most up to date partner resources for COVID-19.
You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.
Please find below HPSC update on the efficacy of visors compared with masks and face coverings.
Any additional queries on the content should be raised directly with the HSPC via +353 1 8765300 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some key recommendations include:
- In public settings, when considering the options of cloths face coverings compared with visors, expert opinion and international guidance generally favours cloth face coverings.
- There is a rationale and laboratory evidence in particular for favouring cloth face coverings over visors where the wearer is at a higher level (standing) than those potentially exposed at a lower level (sitting).
- However, there is evidence that visors do reduce exposure to droplets to a certain extent and may be an alternative in certain circumstance including
- People with breathing difficulties
- People who are unable to remove masks/face coverings without help
- Anyone with particular needs who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the mask/face covering
- In settings where people who have learning difficulties or hard of hearing or deaf are present.
- Where cloth face coverings are used, it should be of multiple layers of suitable fabric and correctly applied. Further information on the handling and care of cloth face coverings can be found here.
- Where visors are used they should cover the entire face (above the eyes to below the chin and wrap around from ear to ear) and be correctly applied. Further information on the handling and care of visors can be found here.
Current evidence on the use of face coverings V1 0