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'Sport could be an example of good behaviour' | Dr Kingston Mills

Conor Breslin
Conor Breslin

11:30 19 Aug 2020

Dr Kingston Mills told Wednesday’s OTB AM that he could not understand the ban on sporting events while people can still continue to congregate in pubs.

The professor of experimental immunology at Trinity College Dublin said the severe rise in COVID-19 cases and outdoor sporting events are not interlinked and that the majority of cases are coming from indoor workplaces.

“I’m confused to be honest. The fact that 50 or more people can go to a pub down the road, but the same number of spectators can’t go to a rugby or football match. It makes no sense.

“Outdoor activity is much safer than indoors, and I don’t see how sitting in a stadium wearing a mask is any greater risk than some of the other risks that are still in place.

“They say that people are meeting in pubs after matches, but if the pubs were closed then that wouldn’t be an issue. It seems that sport is suffering as a result of people’s desire to go to the pub.”

Following a recent spike in cases, the cabinet have backed the proposal which will now see attendance at games restricted to just players, coaches and medical teams until September 13th.

Dr Mills feels sport is being punished for the rise in cases and that the government should put action into place to highlight the safety and progress of outdoor sporting events.

“I don’t think large crowds anywhere are desirable at the moment, but I do think smaller crowds are not an issue.

"There are simple measures that can make it a safe thing and if they did that, they could make the case to increase numbers over time.

“I feel sport could be an example of good behaviour and show how it could be done. Sport is so important in city and rural life and we should try and facilitate it in a safe way.

“I feel having 200 in a stadium is not a huge risk and if we can demonstrate that there is no risk with 200, then we can go up to 500, then 1,000.

“As long as people can put in place the measures to ensure safe arrival, seating, departure and the wearing of masks.”

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Covid-19 Football GAA Hurling Kingston Mills Kingston Mills - Professor Of Experimental Immunology At The School Of Biochemistry And Immunology

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