Those going back to gym classes and group sports will have to play by strict distancing rules now.
When sports facilities reopen on Friday (June 19), they will have to follow strict physical distancing measures announced by national sports agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) in an advisory issued on Wednesday (June 17).
Venues such as stadiums, swimming complexes, sports halls, hard courts, gyms, fitness studios, golf courses and bowling centres, including those in condominiums, golf and country clubs, are among the facilities that will be allowed to reopen.
The operating capacity of these facilities is restricted to 10 sq m per person, or a maximum of 50 people per facility.
A distance of 2 metres should be kept between individuals who are engaged in exercise and sports, but those involved in high intensity or high movement exercises indoors must be 3m apart.
Group activities are limited to no more than five participants and if there is more than one group sharing a space, the groups should not interact with each other and must be 3m apart. An additional instructor or coach can join the group.
Although masks need not be worn while performing strenuous activities, it is still recommended as good practice under such circumstances, added SportSG.
Sharing of equipment such as weights and basketballs should be avoided, but if it is not possible, then equipment should be wiped down or sanitised frequently.
While contact sports are permitted, they should also make modifications to avoid extensive body contact.
Operators of sports facilities must appoint a safe management officer to ensure compliance with measures.
All sports and recreation facilities must also implement SafeEntry for participants and visitors. Temperature screening is also mandatory while employees and visitors are encouraged to use the TraceTogether app.
The advisory also included venue-specific precautionary measures that will be in place.
These include the introduction of lane ropes in swimming pools and specific swimming timings for seniors and the general public in ActiveSG pools.
Lap swimming for seniors is limited from 6.30am to 8.45am, while lap swimming for the general public is from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.
There will be extended operating hours at Our Tampines Hub, Sengkang, Yio Chu Kang, Jurong Lake and Kallang Basin swimming pools, from 6.30pm to 12.30am to cater to public lap swimmers. These facilities used to close at 9pm.
Several ActiveSG facilities will remain closed, with some still undergoing renovation works while others are still functioning as foreign worker dormitories for essential workers who do not have Covid-19. Among them are the Jalan Besar Stadium, MOE Evans Stadium and swimming complexes at Choa Chu Kang, Delta, Hougang, Jalan Besar, Jurong West, MOE Evans, Bishan and Yio Chu Kang’s competition pool.
SportSG’s advisory also included guidelines for the resumption of sports activities.
Of these, the biggest impact will be felt by contact sports such as rugby and mixed martial arts.
For rugby, rucks, mauls, lineouts or scrums and tackling are not allowed.
For combat sports that include judo, training and sparring will need to be modified so that there is no prolonged here is no prolonged body contact such as grappling or restraining.
Transient contact such as kicking and punching are acceptable as are non-contact technical work and non-contact shadow sparring.
Eleven-a-side sports such as football and hockey will have to be satisfied training in groups of five for now. Deliberate body contact drills and activities are not permitted.
Those who take part in individual sports are less affected, with the general thrust of advice being to adhere to safe distancing measures and to avoid sharing equipment.
Those who run or cycle – those of the most popular recreational activities among Singaporeans – are advised to avoid doing so in the slipstream of others.
SportSG said these parameters will be reviewed from time to time, and more persons may be allowed at a later juncture in Phase Two, taking into account how well the safe measures are implemented by operators and the compliance of the users in these settings, and the broader Covid-19 situation at the time.
A version of this article first appeared on www.straitstimes.com.