Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus: SportSG to regulate user access at all facilities as part of enhanced measures

A crowded swimming pool at Our Tampines Hub in April 2019.
A crowded swimming pool at Our Tampines Hub in April 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

Sport Singapore (SportSG) will regulate user access across all its sports facilities from today to ensure adequate physical distancing among users, the national sports agency announced yesterday.

This applies to all ActiveSG stadiums, sports halls, gyms, swimming complexes and studios, and its facilities will implement a single point of entry where possible to facilitate temperature taking and recording of visitor details.

These enhanced precautionary measures follow the latest advisory from the Ministry of Health (MOH), which contains new guidelines including deferring or cancelling ticketed events with 250 participants or more.

SportSG urged national sports associations as well as other partners to strictly follow MOH guidelines.

SportSG chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin noted that measures such as physical distancing, wiping down sports equipment after use and refraining from visiting the premises while ill are ways that Singaporeans can do their part.

"We have come up with these measures to enable socially responsible behaviour. Regulating the number of people at our facilities helps to increase personal space and allows one to adopt physical distancing," he said.

Regulated access to gyms will be implemented according to the size of the facility, with notices to be displayed and queue numbers issued if the gym is at full capacity. Programmes conducted at ActiveSG studios will be held outdoors.

Children's pools at ActiveSG swimming complexes will be closed until further notice, while temperature taking and visitor registration will take place at all pools.

For indoor sports halls shared by users for activities such as badminton and table tennis, only alternate courts will be available for use to limit the number of patrons within the hall and to maintain some physical distance between them. Some court bookings will be cancelled and refunded from today. There will be no changes to squash and tennis court bookings and use.

Lane segregation for joggers will be implemented at the stadiums.

Organisers have also been asked to limit the entry of players and officials to facilities by time blocks, especially during league matches or tournaments, and non-players are allowed only in spectator stands.

Ms Michelle Wong, 39, who works in the tourism industry, said temperature taking at venues would help deter people who are unwell, but expressed concern about the closure of children's pools.

She visited the Toa Payoh complex with her two young sons two weeks ago. "If they close the children's pool, there will be one fewer place that families with kids can go to," she said.

 
 

Retiree Choo Geok Beng, who plays badminton once a week at Clementi Sports Hall, feels that having only alternate courts available for use is a rather "drastic" step.

"Maybe (these steps) are needed for gyms, but when you play badminton, you're not very close to other people," the 62-year-old said.

"Each court has its own bench and there is also a space between courts... For me, it's important that people exercise and keep healthy."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2020, with the headline 'SportSG to regulate user access at all facilities as part of enhanced measures'. Print Edition | Subscribe