SINGAPORE - Low-intensity physical activities will be allowed to take place at public and private gyms and fitness studios from Saturday (May 8), Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced in an updated advisory on Friday night.
This follows the Government's announcement of tighter Covid-19 measures on Tuesday, and the national sports agency's advisory for sport and physical activities on Thursday to curb the transmission of Covid-19 within the community.
The new measures had included the closure of indoor gyms and indoor fitness facilities such as yoga and pilates studios from May 8 to 30.
They applied to those operated by commercial enterprises, national sports associations, country clubs, golf clubs, private apartments, condominiums and charities.
Indoor sports facilities such as badminton halls, basketball courts and climbing gyms will continue to remain open because the SportSG directive applies only to "enclosed, confined indoor spaces where participants are likely to be engaging in strenuous activities unmasked".
However, SportSG said on Friday that low-risk activities can continue under strict safe management measures through this heightened alert period, with all participants and instructors required to wear masks at all times. Such low-risk activities were defined as those that are low intensity in nature and "where all participants and instructors are wearing masks at all times, and where there is no sharing of any common equipment". Among the activities it cited were yoga, Pilates, stretching exercises and tai chi but it noted that "there may have to be some modification to how it is done, e.g. without the use of equipment, during this period of time".
In an updated advisory issued on Saturday, SportSG also added that no indoor fitness training facility "will be allowed to offer weight, strength or resistance training of any form, and/or provide equipment for such training, as these are associated with strenuous activities".
It also clarified that private sports academies such as those for gymnastics or martial arts, whose set-ups are similar to indoor gyms, can remain open if they adhere to the updated safety guidelines. More details are available at the SportSG website.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said the changes were the result of talks with business owners and professionals in the sport and fitness industry, including with Singapore Fitness Alliance, National Instructors and Coaches Association, FitnessSG, and NMP Mark Chay.
"This will ease the pressure for some; but I should emphasise that strict safe management measures will have to be adhered to at all times," Mr Tong wrote in a Facebook post, adding that there was a need to strike a balance between protecting the community from the increased number of cases and the livelihoods of those in the sports industry.
"In addition, for those which will have to remain closed, we are working on financial support measures to help those affected by the closures. These will be built on top of the existing measures which sports industry operators currently already have access to. We will announce them shortly."
The update came on a day when the Singapore Sports Hub said it would tighten safe management measures across all its venues and facilities.
The Sports Hub Gym, Sports Hub Fitness Studio, and Kids Water Playground at Splash-N-Surf will be closed from May 8-30.
A Sports Hub spokesman added that across the gyms and fitness programmes there, passes will have valid dates extended and classes will be rescheduled.
While most venues and facilities will remain open and activities will continue, they will be limited to no more than five people in a group, it added. Outdoor classes will have no more than 30 people per session.
Located on a 35ha site in Kallang, the Sports Hub includes facilities such as the National Stadium, the OCBC Arena and OCBC Aquatic Centre, the Water Sports Centre and the 100Plus Promenade.
Here are the detailed measures for the Sports Hub:
- Maximum of five people allowed on each basketball, netball and volleyball court
- Maximum of four people allowed on each table tennis and badminton court
- Sports Hub Gym and Fitness Studio are closed till further notice
- Fitness classes, Kids Dance Classes, Tots and Kinder Play and Surfset Fitness programmes are temporarily suspended
OCBC Aquatic Centre
- Maximum capacity for training pool is 40 people, with a maximum of five per lane
- Maximum capacity for competition pool is 50
- Kids Water Playground and Lazy River ride closed till further notice
- Maximum 10 people at one time and five per session for Stingray activity
Water Sports Centre
- Limited to 50 people per zone at all times and all to stay within respective zones
- Limited to five people per group
- Each group be 3m apart and each patron should be 2m apart from each other
- All kayaks and canoes available for two-hour rentals only
- Maximum capacity for 12-crew dragon boat is four rowers, one steersman and one coach (optional)
- The steersman and coach must wear a face shield
Community Sports Facilities
- Limited number of participants for hard courts, beach volley courts, giant chess, lawn bowls, kids playground, exercise & fitness stations, and skate park
The Sports Hub's measures will be observed in conjunction with existing safe management measures such as temperature checks, use of masks at all times except during intensive exercise and maintaining a minimum 3m distance from others while exercising.
TraceTogether-only SafeEntry check-in is also encouraged at the Sports Hub as Singpass and phone camera SafeEntry check-in will no longer be supported after May 17.
Refer to this website for the latest information on safe management measures at the Sports Hub's venues, facilities and activities.