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All inter-county GAA panels to undergo COVID-19 screening tests

The GAA's Advisory Committee has agreed to provide COVID-19 baseline screening for all inter-county hurling and football panels following talks with the Gaelic Players' Association. 

A letter from the GPA's CEO Paul Flynn to their members this week had stated that the players' body's executive "cannot support" the Championships going ahead without a number of safety protocols being in place, including the baseline testing of all inter-county squads.

Players will also be encouraged to report incidents of non-compliance to safety guidelines to the GPA, via a new reporting system.

Details of the baseline screening will be finalised this weekend once a company has been found to provide the rapid testing. OTB Sports understands that players are likely to be asked to produce a saliva sample and any positive results would then see the player referred for a standard PCR test.

The GPA want the screening, which will be provided by a private company rather than the HSE, to be made available "at the earliest convenience", while the GAA's current rapid testing service remains available to panels where there's concerns around close contacts.

Panel reps are also due to receive updated match-day travel guidelines later today.

A 24/7 reporting line has also been set up by the GPA for players to report any breaches of COVID-19 protocols withe the representative body also urging their members today to not feel pressured into playing games if they have concerns about their safety.

They added that it's "encouraging" that the GAA have "acted swiftly" to address the concerns of their players.

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