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Contact and non-contact sports to resume

Published Jul 9, 2020


Cape Town - A new gazette outlines the strict guidelines contact and non-contact sports need to follow with resumption underway.

As level 3 lockdown restrictions ease, a gazette released on Monday allows the resumption of contact sport training sessions and non-contact sports training and matches but under strict health and safety protocols.

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The resumption of the sports activities and events requires a written request with supporting plans of safety to be sent to the minister of sport for permission to resume upon complying to adhere to other health and safety protocols.

Resumption of contact and non-contact sports:

- A Covid-19 ready Plan for non-contact sport for training and matches and contact sport for training only, must be developed within 14 days after the publication of these directions.

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- The plan may reflect the manner in which the training should be done in terms of contact and adhere to health protocols.

- the non-contact sports matches should depend on the size of the code of sport. A more detailed written plan should be developed given the number of athletes, support staff and officials at the sporting venue.

- Testing of all professional athletes and support staff is a prerequisite for the resumption of both non-contact, and contact sport. All professional athletes relative to contact and non-contact sport personnel must be quarantined or self-isolated in terms of the Guidelines for quarantine and isolation in relation to Covid-19 exposure and infection issued by the Department of Health.

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The submitted plan for resumption must include the following:

- The date of the resumption of both contact sport and non-contact sports;

- A timetable setting out the phased training of professional athletes in both contact or non-contact sport, to enable appropriate measures to be taken to avoid and reduce the spread of Covid -19 in the sporting venue;

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- The full details of professional athletes camping for the duration of the training in preparation for matches as one of the measures to fight the spread of Covid-19;

- The management of the register of all people involved in matches and training including amongst others-

- full names;

- residential addresses;

- cellphones, emails or telephone numbers and;

- contact details of a person or persons living in the same residence as the person attending training or matches;

- The steps taken to get the sporting venue Covid-19 ready;

- A list of support staff and officials who are 60 years or older and are not permitted to attend training and matches and their comorbidities, if any;

- arrangements in respect of the following for support staff, officials, professional athletes in the sporting venue;

- Sanitary and social distancing measures and facilities at the entrance and exit of the sports venue;

- screening facilities and systems;

- the attendance- record system and infrastructure;

- the training area for professional athletes;

- any designated area where the officials, support staff and professional athletes are served food;

- bathroom facilities;

- screening and testing facilities (for all professional athletes and support staff)

- Professional athletes training or matches:

- Sports bodies must ensure that every professional athlete is tested for Covid-19

- all equipment associated with training must be disinfected before and after use;

- athletes must wear masks at all times;

- athletes and support staff must be discouraged from spitting;

- massages are not allowed unless approved by the sport code doctor;

- water must be left at designated pick up points;

- rotational training of professional athletes (only five athletes per training group);

- tackling and close contact training drills must be discouraged; and

- time slot for training must be allocated for example 15 minutes for preparation, 75 minutes of small group training and 15 minutes recovery.

Some have found the requirements outlined in the gazette excessive, however, all protocols have been put in place in efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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