The Department of Sports, Arts, and Recreation has gazetted directions for the return to action of non-contact professional sport, and sports bodies have 14 days to present their plans.
The directions, which were gazetted by Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday, lay down the conditions under which sports can return to training and competition, subject to the department’s approval.
According to the directions, only non-contact professional sports bodies are allowed to resume matches. Professional athletes only in football, netball, hockey, basketball, fencing, figure skating, handball, athletics, ice hockey, and motorsport are allowed to train.
Professional rugby teams are allowed to train using only non-contact training methods.
The directions open the way for professionals in non-contact sports like football, cricket, golf, gymnastics, hockey, triathlon, canoeing, and cycling to resume training subject to the approval of their plans.
Sports bodies will have to adhere to the strict directions stipulated by the department, and safety measures will be constantly monitored by compliance officers.
Before returning, athletes and officials must give written confirmation to the compliance officer that they do not have Covid-19 symptoms, and have not been in contact with anyone who has been infected with the virus.
The deadline for sports bodies’ written submissions of operational plans is June 26, according to the department.
Some of the directions for resumption:
– Written submission which includes the operational plan and details of the compliance officer within 14 days
– Sports bodies must keep a register and details of every athlete, support staff and officials, for six months
– Sports bodies must comply with quarantine and isolation measures in the event of an infection
– Transportation of athletes and officials must comply with the department of transport’s directions
Some of the directions for control and safety measures:
– Masks must be worn by all personnel at the venues, except professional athletes when training or participating in matches
– All personnel will be subject to temperature screening before entering the sporting venue
– A person with a high temperature will not be allowed to enter
– Athletes or support officials who test positive will not be allowed to train or participate
– Non-contact sports training and matches are not allowed in an area declared a hotspot
– Only individual pre-packed meals and disposable drinking bottles are allowed in the sporting venue
– No sharing of water bottles
– A dedicated isolation area for any who displays symptoms