Coronavirus: Sports activities limited to groups of two from May 16 to June 13

For high-intensity outdoor activities where masks have to be removed, only two people are allowed. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Organised programmes and classes for low-intensity activities will have to carry out their sessions in groups of two from Sunday (May 16) to June 13 - when Phase 2 (heightened alert) kicks in - said Sport Singapore (SportSG) in its latest advisory that was issued on Friday night.

This is in line with the new ruling that was introduced by the multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on Friday that restricts social gatherings to groups of two instead of five.

Multiple groups of two will be allowed for these classes, with a maximum of 30 participants.

The different groups are not allowed to intermingle and have to be 3m apart.

An additional service provider such as an instructor or a coach may guide the group.

However, for high-intensity outdoor activities such as swimming, where masks have to be removed, only two people are allowed and there can be no multiple groups of two. This includes the coach or instructor.

The latest advisory comes after the initial tightening of measures last week that allowed only low-intensity physical activities such as yoga and pilates to take place at public and private gyms and fitness studios from May 8-30.

The updated measures supersede the guidelines stated in the earlier advisory.

Under the new guidelines, the occupancy limit for sports facilities will be reduced to one person per 16 sq m from one person per 10 sq m, capped at 50 people.

Indoor "high-risk environments", which include indoor public and private gyms and fitness, exercise and dance studios, will remain closed unless they only offer low-intensity physical activities.

These facilities will not be allowed to offer weight, strength or resistance training of any form, and/or provide equipment for such training.

Mass participation sport events will remain suspended and all other sport events will have to be approved before proceeding. Those that can continue will have to proceed without spectators.

Following Friday's MTF announcement of the stricter measures, Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) decided to suspend all national team training until further notice.

SportSG has advised national sports associations that are organising competitions and tournaments related to qualifications for international competitions for national athletes to approach it for discussion.

SHF president Mathavan Devadas said: "We don't want to have a situation where we have an activity that exposes the athletes.

"I feel very sad for the athletes because they've been really positive towards everything, but I remain confident that the enthusiasm we saw last year will remain and once we get over this, they will come in numbers again."

The 61-year-old added that the national coaches will come up with a programme that players can follow individually, although he acknowledged that training with a stick and ball will be difficult.

While national women's captain Ho Puay Ling had expected this because of the recent spike in community cases, she admitted that it was slightly disappointing to return to home-based training again after last year's circuit breaker.

During the circuit breaker, the team had gym sessions over Zoom every one to two weeks, as well as a weekly running programme they had to follow.

Ho, 27, said: "Last year it was quite hard (to stay motivated) but now that it's happening again, I would say a lot of us will be better at coping with the new norm. Of course it's sad that there's no more hands-on training and going to see our teammates and play hockey physically."

The Singapore Premier League, the country's only professional sports league, will continue to be played behind closed doors, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced in its statement on Friday.

All players and officials are mandatorily swab-tested.

Strict protocols will continue to be in place, including zonal demarcation before and after matches, to ensure the safety and health of all stakeholders.

FAS' grassroots and amateur competitions and programmes, however, will be suspended indefinitely.

READ NEXT: What are the new Covid-19 rules in S'pore from May 16?

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