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Fans urged not to turn final into a ‘super-spreader’ event

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PLEASE FOLLOW PUBLIC HEALTH ADVICE Mayo GAA Board Chairperson, Liam Moffatt. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

HSE, Mayo County Council, Mayo GAA and An Garda Síochána make joint appeal

Anton McNulty

Health officials have  remin-ded Mayo supporters to mask up and limit social contact while watching the All-Ireland Final, as they fear the event could turn into a Covid-19 super-spreader.
As Mayo go in search of their first All-Ireland win in 70 years, the HSE, Mayo County Council, Mayo GAA and An Garda Síochána are appealing to members of the public and businesses to stay safe whilst supporting their team. 
The county’s 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population currently stands at 560.1 which is above the national average and health officials are worried that the All-Ireland final could become a ‘super-spreader’ in the community.
There was a spike in cases following last December’s All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin and although the majority of the population are now vaccinated, Mayo native Professor Breda Smyth, Director of Public Health Medicine, Department of Public Health HSE West stated that if events are not controlled the rate of Covid will rise.
“The All-Ireland Senior Football Final is a special sporting occasion, bringing communities together and a welcome boost to the local economy. Unfortunately, if not controlled, this can turn into events which rapidly increase the number of Covid-19 cases in the community. 
“We encourage everyone to remember to socialise safely – wear a mask in crowded places and keep two metres from people not in your household. If you are in a public place, think about moving to somewhere less crowded and with good ventilation, so that you can enjoy the game in safety and comfort,” she said.
With just over 40,000 fans expected to be in Croke Park for this Saturday’s final, many ticketless Mayo fans are exp-ected to watch the game with family and friends in hotels and pubs.
The hospitality sector has been asked to protect their staff and customers by confirming valid certificates of their patrons, and to avoid crowding both indoors and outdoors.
The HSE warned that there is a high risk of infection for people who are unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated if they engage in social activity that is outside public health guidelines. Professor Smyth added: “We have a very high rate of community transmission in most parts of Ireland right now including Mayo, so if you are travelling to the match or watching it with others next weekend, you should presume that you will encounter Covid-19. That’s why it is important to keep up with our protective measures even if you’re vaccinated. And for anyone who is not vaccinated, please take extra care.”

Moffatt urges caution
Liam Moffatt, Chairman of the Mayo GAA County Board called on Mayo fans to take precautions when cheering on James Horan’s men.
“Unfortunately, Covid is still very much with us in our communities and in that context, we would ask all our supporters to ensure all precautions are taken to help avoid further transmission of the virus. Please follow public health advice, enjoy the occasion and stay safe. Maigh Eo Abú!”
Cllr Michael Smyth, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council called on the public to ensure that the vulnerable in society are not put in danger by a potential Covid-19 outbreak.
“As we approach All-Ireland Final week, it is great to see Mayo supporters at home and away making plans to enjoy and celebrate our county pride. I would urge you to do this in a safe manner by following the public health guidelines and taking personal responsibility to ensure you are protecting yourself, your family and the most vulnerable in our community. Mayo County Council are working closely with the HSE, An Garda Síochána and the GAA to combine our efforts in protecting Mayo people from the ongoing risk of Covid-19. Let’s all work together to keep Mayo safe. Maigh Eo abú.”

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