The Government has announced that elite athletes can return to their training facilities as of Monday.
Groups of no more than fifteen will be allowed to congregate for sporting reasons.
While greyhound racing will be allowed to resume behind closed doors.
However, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the ban on mass gatherings will continue "into the autumn".
That means if internationals are played later this year, they will likely be in an empty Aviva Stadium.
The IRFU have already warned of staggering losses if their autumn programme is cancelled.
The GAA are due to issue its return to play roadmap later.
It’s expected that pitches with perimeter walkways will be allowed to re-open.
In welcoming the easing of restrictions, Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin clarified that, "The return to training is strictly limited to specified athletes and teams at the highest level of Irish sport.
"In addition to the athletes on the 2020 Sport Ireland International Carding Scheme, the IRFU professional players and the four FAI clubs who are preparing for European competition - Dundalk F.C, Derry City F.C, Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers – are also included."
Those athletes and support staff, from 21 different sports, will now be permitted to travel beyond 20km from their homes to attend scheduled training sessions at the following training centres:
- Sport Ireland Campus at Blanchardstown
- Morton Stadium, Santry
- Irish Sailing High Performance HQ, Dun Laoghaire
- National Rowing Centre, Ovens, Co. Cork
- Golf Union of Ireland Academy, Carton House
- Training venues for Dundalk F.C, Derry City F.C, Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers.
- Training venues for Connacht, Leinster and Munster Rugby.
Sport Ireland will stipulate a list of athletes that will be permitted to return to training, as well as coaching and support personnel.
Minister Griffin added, "I have heard first-hand the difficulties that many of these athletes have faced due to the COVID-19 restrictions and the return to training will help them to get back to full fitness.
"Of course, many are still facing uncertainty as to when they can return to competition but I am pleased that they can at least take this first step to resuming their journey towards achieving their goals in sport.
"Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to extend this accommodation to youth athletes and others; for now, it has to be limited to a defined list of athletes and coaches.
"While these facilities will be reopened for the athletes concerned, their use will be restricted and subject to strict protocols. I know that there are a great many people who would jump at the chance to return to sporting activity but I would ask for people’s continued patience.
"We will continue to work hard with all stakeholders to ensure no undue delay in returning to sport at every level."
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