SINGAPORE: Only "low-intensity" exercises with masks on will be allowed at indoor fitness studios during a return to stricter COVID-19 measures under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), said Sport Singapore (SportSG) in an updated advisory on Tuesday (Jul 20).
The measures to combat a rise in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases will be in effect from Thursday until Aug 18, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday.
"These measures are directed towards containing community spread of COVID-19 by restricting sport and physical activities that take place in higher-risk settings such as those that take place indoors, as well as those where participants are likely to be engaging in strenuous activities unmasked," said SportSG.
Under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures, all "high-intensity, unmasked activities" are to be suspended.
"Those performing permitted low-intensity sport and physical activity in an indoor environment are required to wear a mask at all times," said SportSG.
"The activity has to cease immediately, if any participant removes his or her mask, even for a short while to breathe."
Facilities will not be allowed to offer weight, strength or resistance training, and cannot provide equipment or climbing walls to "minimise risk of transmission via common surfaces", said SportSG.
Masked activities can take place in multiple groups of two, with up to 30 participants including an instructor, or the capacity limit of the venue. Sport and recreational facilities can only admit a maximum number of people according to its gross floor area, based on 16 sqm per person.
The groups of two must not intermingle before, during, and after the class and must remain 3m apart.
Approved large outdoor classes at public spaces such as parks and Housing Board (HDB) common areas can continue, subject to venue size and safe distancing requirements. All instructors must be registered with SportSG.
For a list of affected Sport Singapore’s indoor facilities and programmes during this period, visit ActiveSG's website. Refunds for affected bookings that fall under these dates will be processed within the next seven working days, said SportSG.
FAST COVID-19 TESTING FOR COACHES, INSTRUCTORS
Fast and easy tests (FETs) have been mandatory since Jul 15 for coaches, trainers and instructors in gyms and fitness studios where clients are engaged in unmasked activities.
Sport coaches and instructors in sports where trainees are unmasked will also have to be tested for COVID-19 every 14 days.
For businesses that remain open during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), their employees must continue with the regular 14-day FET requirement.
If business operations are suspended, staff members will not be required to undergo the tests during that period.
Under the stricter measures, sport events may admit up to 50 spectators without the need to undergo pre-event testing. This limit can be doubled to 100, in zones of up to 50 people, if the organiser chooses to implement pre-event testing.
Mass participation events such as mass runs, open-water swims, cycling and triathlon events can proceed with up to 50 participants without the need for pre-event testing. With pre-event testing, this can also be doubled to 100 participants in waves of up to 50 people per session.
Different sessions should be "adequately separated by time" to avoid the congregation of participants at the venue and its vicinity, said SportSG.
"At this juncture, mass participation sport events will not be allowed to accommodate more than 100 participants per session and will not be allowed to have invited spectators. Organisers are to put in place measures to prevent the spontaneous gathering of onlookers for such events," SportSG said.
Government agencies will be conducting inspections, SportSG said, adding that enforcement action will be taken against those who fail to comply with the safe management measures.