Covid 19 Protocols(updated June 23rd)

1. Background

Purpose of the document is to understand the challenges faced in operating mounted games competitions and training in 2021. We have a duty of care not just to our members but to our members families and wider society, that we have all required protocols in place so that hosting a mounted games competition will not be a source of spreading the Covid 19 virus. 

This document is a reference point for Mounted Games (MGAI) and its local areas for all the relevant actions required to safely run all registered shows or training. The document contains protocols which must be undertaken by MGAI Ireland for activities held behind closed doors to prevent the spread of Covid-19. These protocols have been developed by Horse Sport Ireland with the aim of safeguarding everyone’s health and wellbeing during the current public health situation and to ensure that Horse Sport can continue in a safe and appropriate manner. As we’re all aware, guidelines could change rapidly and it’s important that all members stay up to date and abide by Government and HSI protocols.

A key risk identified in 2020 in Mounted Games is equipment transfer and the potential of equipment becoming a source of transmission but this risk has been downgraded as it is now believed that airborne transmission is the more likely means of virus transmission. With regular hand sanitisation the risk of transmission from handling games equipment is considerably lessened. 

This document will evolve and should be considered as a ‘living and breathing ‘ document as Government and HSE guidelines are updated.

2. Practical Preparation for an Event/Show or Training

The current Horse Sport Ireland requirements for planning any show or training event are as follows:

  • A Covid-19 Compliance Officer for the day must be nominated
  • A risk assessment form must be completed in advance, with a declaration to be signed by the MGAI Secretary or Chairman and the Area Rep in the case of Local area events that these Covid-19 protocols within this document will be strictly adhered to, and that any departure from this will result in the non-approval of future events.

Covid-19 Compliance Officer

For each Show or Training Event, MGAI must nominate a Covid-19 Compliance Officer for the day who must be present, all Officials present on the day must be aware of who that person is. This person should be familiar with the protocols laid out in this document. This person will be responsible for ensuring:

  • Signage is in place
  • Hand sanitiser is in place
  • Cleaning products and disposable cloths/paper towel are on hand
  • Proactively observe the event to ensure that protocols are being observed
  • Step in to remind attendees if protocols are not being observed

Entries

Times should aim to facilitate the minimum time on-site for each attendee

All entries must be paid online in advance – no cash to be handled on the day. All entries will be handled by the Its Plain Sailing application which will include Self-declaration Health Screening. The health self-declaration questions should include the following:

1. Do you have symptoms of cough, fever, high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, breathlessness or flu like symptoms now or in the past 14 days? Yes/No

2. Have you been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in the last 14 days? Yes/No

3. Are you a close contact of a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days (i.e. less than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes accumulative in 1 day)? Yes/No

4. Have you been advised by a doctor to self-isolate at this time? Yes/No

5. Have you been sent for a Covid-19 test in the past 14 days? Yes/No

6. Have you travelled outside Ireland in the past 14 days? If so you must adhere to current guidelines before attending any event. Yes/No

7. Are you in a ‘high-risk’ category for Covid-19? Yes/No If you have answered ‘Yes’ to question 7 above, Please be familiar with the latest Government advice: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/people-at-higher-risk.html

Finally, there must be a clear declaration before completing the entry to ensure the attendee is aware: Declaration By submitting this form, I confirm that the information I have provided is correct and accurate. I will adhere to the MGAI COVID-19 protocols. I agree that this information will be shared with the HSE/HSC if required.

If anyone answers ‘Yes’ to any question from 1-6, they must be contacted and advised that they cannot attend. Likewise, if someone indicates they do not consent to the temperature check on arrival, they must be advised they cannot attend.

A csv / Excel file can be downloaded which contains the detail of the responses, in a printable list format so it can be used at the gate to check off arrivals. The list should first be reviewed to ensure that the riders’ names on it correspond with the entries received. Check also the officials and volunteers are correct.

Officials:

  • Must be briefed on these protocols 
  • Must wear mask at all times if you meet people in busy outdoors spaces. 
  • Must keep physical distance of minimum 2 metres at all times 
  • Clipboards to be cleaned in advance of use and after each person handles them 
  • Cleaning products + disposable paper towel to be available 
  • Any hard surfaces should be cleaned in advance and regularly during the day.

Judges + Scorers

  • If not from the same household, the Judge and Scorers he Judge and Scorers must wear face masks.

Arrival at the Show / Training

  • Must be at least one Official at the gate with the list of confirmed attendees
  • As each vehicle arrives, they must stop and confirm the names of the people in the vehicle to the official, who checks them off the list. Anyone not on the list is not permitted to proceed and must leave. Only MGAI members are permitted entry.

General Protocols for All Attendees on Site

  1. Face masks/Face coverings are mandatory if you meet people in busy outdoor spaces. 
  2. Individuals must be informed that much of the responsibility for managing Covid 19 risk remains with themselves, particularly in relation to social distancing, the wearing of face masks and sanitation.  
  3. Do not come to a sport horse equestrian event if you have symptoms of cough, cold, temperature or shortness of breath 
  4. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE whether you are wearing gloves or not. THIS IS CRITICAL 
  5. WASH YOUR HANDS as frequently as you can 
  6. OBSERVE THE ADVISED COUGH/TISSUE ETIQUETTE at all times 
  7. Avoid going into areas at the venue unrelated to your activity 
  8. Leave immediately after your competition 
  9. Do not enter the vehicle of any other attendee you have not travelled with or who is not part of your household or bubble. 
  10. If you become unwell, go immediately to your car and phone your GP for expert advice 
  11. If you are over 70 years of age, you are permitted to attend subject to health screening, however if you have any underlying medical conditions placing you at high risk please do not attend -please visit https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/at-risk-groups.html
  12. Social Distancing advice continues. 

Keeping a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people

Not shake hands or make close contact with other people

Good hygiene and hand washing advice continues

Do

Wash your hands properly and often.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.

Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.

Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Don’t

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Do not share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles, cups.

 

3. Event/Training Risk Mitigation List 

  1. Only outdoor venues will be used.
  2. Family Units/Support bubbles travel together to events with no sharing of lorries/jeeps/ponies outside of the family group.
  3. Entry to games events is restricted to MGA members only including arena party.
  4. Lorries and Jeeps/Cars must be parked at least 5 metres apart to facilitate loading/unloading. No tacking up on the side of neighbours door. 
  5. Arena Party members (limited to 2 crew per rider/pair/team) stay at all times 2 metres apart.
  6. Arena party equipment is colour coded and is laid out for each team at side of the arena 2 metres apart. Ideally equipment boxes should be marked out on the ground and allocate enough space to ensure social distancing between arena party members.
  7. Equipment is colour coded per team/pair/individual and each team/pair/individual own arena party is responsible for the placing, collection and handout of the allocated colour code for that heat. NO arena party member should touch any other teams/pairs/individual equipment under any circumstances  
  8. Separate Sanitiser equipment/materials  to be provided for each Arena party members at separated equipment area by rider at side of arena as per point 8 above.  Disposable gloves are optional but if used to be disposed of at the end of each heat
  9. Separate sanitiser equipment/materials to be provided for each rider/pair combination behind the start line.  Hands to be sanitized between each race in a colour coded sanitiser area.  Between each race riders and ponies to implement social distancing.  Disposable gloves are optional but if used to be disposed of at end of each heat
  10. If a rider places any piece of equipment on his/her mouth, automatic elimination and equipment must be disinfected.
  11. Riders have to stay 2 metres apart in call up locations.
  12. Riders should not engage in  warm-ups within games arena until lanes allocated. 
  13. Judge and Scorer must wear face masks if not from the same household/bubble if scoring from same lorry. 
  14. Social Distancing means no visiting other lorries.
  15. No sharing of water bottles.
  16. No offering/sharing of cups for tea/coffee etc.
  17. No Marquees or indoor venues can be used for draws/catering which break social distancing guidelines.
  18. Lorry parties will not be tolerated as this will be in breach of the government Covid regulations. 
  19. The government rules apply to us all, so only a maximum of 6 people from 3 households can congregate outdoors(excluding Lorries) with a maximum of  15 people outside. Any breaches of these laws could result in disqualification for the riders involved.
  20. Toilets- portaloos will not be provided at 1 day events. Participants should have their own facilities in their truck / trailer and not share lorry toilet facilities. For overnight events, where temporary toilets are provided, it is suggested that a sanitiser station is located near the toilets and good personal hygiene practices the responsibility of all users  
  21. Camping: All tents to be at least 2 metres apart
  22. Social distancing rules(presently 2 metres) apply at all times during competition including overnight 
  23. If outside catering is on site, vendors should be encouraged to provide cashless payment facilities with clearly defined 2-metre markings on ground  for patrons to enforce social distancing when purchasing.

4. Revised Fall Protocols 

  • Person first to scene. 
    •  Assess findings from social distance and record findings. 
    •  Summon help first aider and / or parent to scene. 
  • First aider should assess the situation and where possible work from a social distance. 
  • The First Aider must have access to the appropriate PPE i.e. gloves, mask, goggles.
  • If the faller requires further medical attention at Accident and Emergency, an ambulance should be called or the parent should transport the member. depending on the situation which should be assessed by the First Aider and Health and Safety Officer. 
  • The Health and Safety officer should attend the site of the fall and record all of the details of the accident or incident for the Accident Report Form and Incident Log. 
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