Team sports for up to 30 vaccinated people to resume from March 15

The 30-people limit for team sports includes players, coaches and umpires. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - The streamlining of Covid-19 measures for sport, which will see an increase in the number of participants for team sports and event capacity limits, will begin next Tuesday (March 15), the multi-ministry task force (MTF) announced on Friday.

This means team sports for up to 30 fully vaccinated people will be allowed at supervised or operator-supervised sports facilities, such as ActiveSG ones and approved private venues.

Spectators will also be allowed at larger sports events with more than 1,000 people with masks on, although there is a capacity limit of 50 per cent.

These simplified Covid-19 measures for team sports and spectators were originally meant to be introduced on Feb 25 and March 4 respectively, but were postponed as the local case numbers remained high.

The 30-people limit for team sports includes players, coaches and umpires, while the prevailing safe management measures will apply before and after the activity, as well as during breaks.

No testing is required beforehand as long as all participants are fully vaccinated, but they are strongly encouraged to take a self-test before arriving. They should also stay home if they develop symptoms, and follow the protocols if they test positive.

MTF co-chair Lawrence Wong said: “We looked at the different considerations and on balance, we felt the overall health benefits of allowing sports to resume far outweighs the risk of infection, which in fact are low because of the transient nature of contact.

“There is no clear evidence that such transient contact while playing sport will lead to higher infections and that’s why we felt that we should proceed with sports.”

The Turf City branch of futsal facility The Cage, which has four 11-a-side pitches, has been operating at 30 per cent to 40 per cent capacity.

Co-owner Rajesh Mulani said: “It’s great we are moving forward. We have drawn up protocols, done training with the staff and submitted the plans to the authorities. Now, we’re just waiting to get formal approval.”

The removal of compulsory on-site testing is also a significant change as it saves cost for players and facility operators.

Futsal facility Kovan Sports Centre has had to employ additional manpower to oversee testing during peak periods on weekday nights and weekends, which adds a couple thousand dollars in costs monthly.

Ms Dolly Ng, the facility’s office manager, said staff will still ensure players sanitise properly before entering the venue. “Not having to do antigen rapid tests means players don’t have to incur extra cost. It also saves us time, not having to supervise and schedule them for it.”

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