THE GAA 2021 season is set to start in May at the earliest with inter-county GAA only permitted under Level 4 restrictions after Government’s revised ‘Living With Covid-19′ plan was issued today.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin revealed that Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions will be extended in Ireland until 5 April, a decision which means inter-county training is unlikely to resume until after that date.

With county teams expected to be given a four-week pre-season, the competitive inter-county action could then begin in early May.

There was confusion initially after the document was released with the Government grouping elite sport and inter-county GAA as only permissible at Level 4. This was an error with it later clarified that elite sport can continue as planned, meaning Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, the start of the League of Ireland season, and horse racing remain on the sporting agenda for the month of March.

In another GAA development, senior club championship games can now be played under Level 3 restrictions after the release of today’s plans. Last year such matches could only take place when the country had entered Level 2.

The Taoiseach did raise the prospect of a GAA season commencing in May along with non-contact training for juvenile players, when he revealed that are a review of the Government’s plan will take place before 5 April.

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“A review will look into the possibilitiy of allowing some outdoor gatherings, some sport, construction and an increase of the 5km travel limit.

“We will then look at, coming up to the fifth of April, what more we can do in relation to some sports and other activities.

“And we will wait until the week before the fifth of April to make an assessment on that.”

– Reporting by Fintan O’Toole and Sinead Farrell 

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