Will I be allowed to swim or play badminton? SportSG answers questions on new Covid-19 rules

For organised programmes and classes indoors, multiple groups of two remain allowable up to 30 participants or the capacity limit of the venue.
For organised programmes and classes indoors, multiple groups of two remain allowable up to 30 participants or the capacity limit of the venue.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Tighter curbs to stem the rise in Covid-19 cases here have led to questions by many in the sports sector on what can and cannot be done.

Following the announcement on Friday (May 14) of the tightening of measures by the multi-ministry task force, Sport Singapore has released details responding to frequently asked questions relating to group sizes for sports and physical activities, and low-intensity activities in indoor facilities.

Further reduction of group size for sports and physical activities

Q: What is the maximum number of people who can exercise in a group?

A: From May 16 to June 13, sports and physical activities must be confined to groups of no more than two individuals.

The physical distancing of 2m between individuals, except when the nature of the sport does not permit so, and 3m between groups of up to two individuals must be maintained while exercising and playing sports.

Q: What is the maximum number of people a sports facility can accommodate?

A: All sports/recreational facilities can admit only a maximum number of people according to its gross floor area based on 16 sq m per person, up to a maximum of 50 people, instead of 10 sq m per person.

No facility, regardless of size, shall admit more than 50 people.

Q: Can there be large group sports and physical activities classes?

A: For organised programmes and indoor classes, multiple groups of two remain allowable up to 30 participants or the capacity limit of the venue, whichever is lower.

The groups of two are not to intermingle and must remain 3m apart.

For organised programmes and outdoor classes, multiple groups of two remain allowable up to 30 participants or the capacity limit of the venue, whichever is lower, if the activity is of low intensity with masks on at all times.

If the activity is of high intensity where masks have to be removed, only two people are allowed (including instructor or coach) and there can be no multiple groups of two.

Q: Will I be allowed to swim?

A: Yes, you are allowed to swim outdoors as an individual or in a group of no more than two people, including yourself.

Q: Will I be allowed to golf in a four-ball flight?

A: You are allowed to golf in a four-ball flight in two groups of two people with masks on and keeping 3m between the two groups at all times.

If masks are unable to be worn throughout, only a two-ball flight is allowed.

Q: Will I be allowed to play sports such as badminton, basketball and table tennis?

A: You are allowed to play sports such as badminton, basketball and table tennis in a group of no more than two people (that is, two individuals playing against each other).

Masks must be worn at all times when playing sports indoors; masks may be taken off during strenuous activity outdoors, in a group of no more than two people.


Masks may be taken off during strenuous activity outdoors, in a group of no more than two people. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Q: We are a family of four. Can we exercise outdoors together?

A: Individuals from the same household can exercise together but should split into pairs and maintain safe distancing between individuals (2m) and different groups (3m) while exercising.


Low-intensity sports and physical activities in indoor sports and recreational facilities

Q: What sports and physical activities are allowed indoors?

A: Only low-intensity sports and physical activities with masks on at all times are allowed in indoor sports and recreation facilities.

The activity has to cease immediately if any participant removes his or her mask.

Q: What indoor facilities are to be closed and for how long?

A: From May 8 to June 13, all indoor facilities, including gyms, fitness studios, sports halls, indoor swimming pools and squash courts, are to close, unless they offer only low-intensity physical activities, sports and exercises where all participants and instructors are wearing masks at all times, and where there is no sharing or supply of any common equipment.

Participants, instructors and staff also have to adhere to a more stringent set of safe management measures (SMMs) indicated in the updated SportSG guidelines.

No such 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.

Other indoor facilities similar to gym and studio settings that remain in operation are to modify their activities to be in line with the more stringent SMMs.


From May 8 to June 13, all indoor facilities including gyms are to close, unless they offer only low-intensity physical activities, sports and exercises where all participants and instructors are wearing masks at all times, and where there is no sharing or supply of any common equipment. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Q: What are some examples of low-intensity sports/physical activities?

A: These are activities that can be done with masks on at all times such as yoga, pilates, stretching exercises and tai chi.

There may have to be some modifications to how the activity is done, for example, without the use of equipment, during this period.

Q: I run a private sports academy (for example, gymnastics, martial arts, combat sports) in an indoor setting similar to a studio. Do I need to close?

A: No, you do not have to close but the activities being offered will have to be modified as per the guidelines below.

You will also need to factor in the reduced group size and facility capacity, as well as enhanced measures indicated in the updated SportSG guidelines.

These apply to activities such as taekwondo, mixed martial arts, muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, fencing, judo, boxing and other similar activities.

The private sports academies that continue to open must:

- Modify their activities to minimise contact as much as possible. Keep total grappling time to no more than 15 minutes in total per session.

- Ensure that participants and instructors wear masks at all times, refraining from conducting activities that are strenuous to the point that they feel the need to remove their masks.

- Not provide common equipment such as punching pads, bags, dummies and boxing rings, where fomites transmission risk is high.

- Not offer weight, strength or resistance training or cardio training of any form, and/or provide equipment for such training, such that they become strenuous activities.

- Keep to their cohorts to limit the extent of any contact tracing.

Q: Are sports such as table tennis, basketball, badminton and volleyball allowed indoors?

A: All indoor activities have to be changed to low intensity with masks on in a group of no more than two people (that is, two individuals playing against each other).

While practice drills may still be possible, competitive sports will typically be high intensity and if allowed to proceed, would put participants at risk of flouting the law.

Venue operators are being advised to ensure that competitive sports do not take place and masks are worn at all times.

ActiveSG may disallow competitive sports to take place at its venues.


All indoor activities have to be changed to low intensity with masks on in a group of no more than two people (that is, two individuals playing against each other). PHOTO: ST FILE

Q: I have a mixed-purpose facility that has a weights-training gym, exercise studio, outdoor pool and spa. Am I required to close?

A: The gym should be closed while the others may open if you are able to offer low-intensity physical activities, sports and exercises where all participants and instructors are wearing masks at all times and your participants, instructors and staff adhere to a more stringent set of SMMs as indicated in the updated SportSG guidelines.

None of your facilities are 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.

Q: I run a yoga/pilates studio. Do the new measures affect me?

A: If you are able to offer low-intensity physical activities, sports and exercises where all participants and instructors are wearing masks at all times and your participants, instructors and staff adhere to a more stringent set of SMMs as indicated in the updated SportSG guidelines, you may remain open.

Sharing of common equipment should be avoided so your participants should not share sports and exercise equipment, such as exercise mats where fomites transmission risk is high.

No premises that remain open is to provide such equipment for use. In addition, your facility must not offer weight, strength or resistance training of any form, and/or provide equipment for such training, as these are associated with strenuous activities.

If you intend to pivot to provide rehabilitative therapy and require equipment such as the reformer to be used, you may do so subject to the following conditions:

- The business has to choose to pivot in total for this period and cease providing group classes. All treatment will be one-on-one only and by appointment. There can be multiple therapists, each with one client. All of them cannot intermingle.

- The business has to maintain a case file on the patient/client, recording his disability or reasons requiring therapy as proof of the rehabilitation treatment. This should be made available if required by the relevant health authorities.

- The therapist and patient/client should keep their masks on at all times.

Q: I run a yoga class for children below six years old. Do my young participants need to don masks?

A: Masks are not required by law to be worn by children under six years old, but it would be good practice for them to do so whenever possible.

Q: I run a gym/exercise studio and I'm prepared to impose mask-on for my programmes/activities. Can I still continue to open?

A: If all your participants, instructors and staff adhere to a more stringent set of SMMs as indicated in the updated SportSG guidelines, including wearing masks at all times and complying with the reduced group size and density, you may remain open.

Your facility must not offer weight, strength or resistance training of any form, and/or provide equipment for such training as these are associated with strenuous activities.

Q: Can I continue to conduct one-on-one sessions at my gym/fitness/exercise studio?

A: If your sports/physical activities are of low intensity and your participants, instructors and staff adhere to a more stringent set of SMMs as indicated in the updated SportSG guidelines, including being mask-on at all times, you may remain open.

Your facility must not offer weight, strength or resistance training of any form, and/or provide equipment for such training as these are associated with strenuous activities.

Q: Can I conduct my fitness classes/one-on-one sessions outdoors?

A: Yes, you may, subject to prevailing SMMs.

Instructors who are interested to conduct large outdoor classes of up to 30 individuals at outdoor public spaces must be registered.

Please see this website for more information.

Q: I am moving my classes at the outdoor area near to my indoor facility. Can my participants enter to use the toilet/shower facilities in my gym/exercise studios after they are done with the physical activity?

A: Yes, they may use the toilet/shower facilities subject to prevailing SMMs such as facility capacity and safe distancing.

You have to ensure that they do not linger in the premises or use any of the equipment within.

If you are not able to ensure participants' compliance to the necessary SMMs, you are advised to close off the toilet/shower facilities.

Do seek the approval of the venue owner of the outdoor location that you will be using, before you move your classes outdoors.

Q: I am a freelance instructor and the gym/fitness/exercise studio that I provide my services to is closed. Can I conduct my classes with up to two people at home?

A: You are strongly discouraged from doing so.

From May 16 to June 13, the maximum number of distinct visitors per household per day is also reduced to two.

As the intent is to reduce the risk of further community spread in this period of heightened alert, we strongly discourage sports providers from hosting physical fitness classes for up to two people in residential premises due to the high intensity and close contact nature of the activity.

We seek the cooperation of all sports providers to remain unified and disciplined in our fight against Covid-19, and to keep our loved ones and community safe.

Q: I run a gym/fitness/exercise studio and am not able to pivot to offer low-intensity sports/physical activities. Can I get approval to do filming at my gym/studio for the purpose of online classes?

A: Premises can be used by a coach/instructor for the purposes of producing digital content for online classes. SportSG will have to be notified beforehand at Sport–Covid@sport.gov.sg to confirm adherence to prevailing SMMs for digital content production.

There shall be no other activities at the premises when digital content production is taking place.

Q: I am not able to pivot to offer low-intensity sports/physical activities. Can I come back to my gym/fitness/exercise studios for administrative work during the closure?

A: You may enter your premises and conduct administrative tasks, including for filming of online classes, subject to all prevailing SMMs.

Do check back with SportSG when in doubt. You can e-mail the SportSG QSM at this website.

Government agencies will be conducting inspections.

Enforcement actions under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act will be taken against businesses or individuals who fail to comply with SMMs.

Q: I run a gym/fitness/exercise studio and have to close as I am not able to offer low-intensity sports/physical activities within the stricter SMMs. Are there grants to assist me?

A: The Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth and SportSG will be enhancing measures under the Sports Resilience Package to support industry operators affected by the announced closure of indoor gymnasiums and fitness studios.

These will build upon existing measures that our sports industry stakeholders can currently tap on.

More details will be announced by SportSG in due course.

Q: Why are high-intensity classes such as martial arts and combat sports still allowed to take place?

A: High-intensity activities are only allowed in settings that are not similar to indoor gyms/studios (for example, outdoors or large halls).

These classes are commonly held based on cohorts (for example, same class time, same participants, same venue) and this generally limits the risk exposure to the same cohort.

However, if these classes are held in settings similar to gym/studios, they will need to modify their activities as per the guidelines below, and factor in the reduced group size and facility capacity, as well as enhanced measures.

These apply to activities such as taekwondo, mixed martial arts, muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, fencing, judo, boxing and other similar activities.

The operators whose classes are held in settings similar to gyms/studios must:

- Modify their activities to minimise contact as much as possible. Keep total grappling time to no more than 15 minutes in total per session.

- Ensure that participants and instructors are masked on at all times, refraining from conducting activities that are strenuous to the point that they feel the need to remove their masks.

- Not provide common equipment such as punching pads, bags, dummies, use of boxing ring, et cetera, where fomite transmission risk is high.

- Not offer weight, strength or resistance training or cardio training of any form, and/or provide equipment for such training, such that they become strenuous activities.

- Keep to their cohorts to limit the extent of any contact tracing.

Q: I am a facility owner. Can I rent out my facility space for physical activities/sport use?

A: You may rent out your facility spaces for low-intensity exercises/sports where participants are masked on at all times and are in compliance with the stricter SMMs found in the annex in the updated SportSG guidelines.

If in doubt, you can e-mail the SportSG QSM at this website.