Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed that sport in Ireland, including contact training, can now resume from June the 29th.
Most of the government's restrictions planned for phases four and five have now been brought forward to that date with sporting bodies allowed to determine their roadmaps for a return to action.
It had originally been planned for contact training not to resume until the 20th of July.
“In phase three, all sporting activities – including close contact sports – can recommence,” the Taoiseach announced this evening. “This includes team leagues for adults and children.”
It's believed the GAA won't be radically changing their plans for the resumption of games, with the club championships still likely to begin on the last week of July and for inter-county matches to begin in the middle of October.
Leinster and Munster began training this week ahead of the resumption of rugby's Guinness PRO14 in August but the League of Ireland clubs have yet to agree a deal for the SSE Airtricity League to get underway.
Irish Rugby have "welcomed" the government's announcement and say they'll be updating clubs and provinces in "due course":
"The IRFU in consultation with the provinces will assess the latest update from the Irish government and will communicate with clubs in due course.
"Clubs operating in Northern Ireland will be updated based on the NI Executive Coronavirus Recovery Plan."
Varadkar added that 200 people will be permitted to attend an outdoor event from June 29th, while 500 can attend from phase four, from the 20th of July.
"We will all need to be careful," the Taoiseach added. "It will not be as it was before the start of the pandemic and for now sports will take place with very limited numbers of spectators.
"The virus hasn't gone away. We are all still susceptible to it."