COVID-19: Some indoor sports facilities to close temporarily, outdoor exercise classes to continue with reduced capacity

COVID-19: Some indoor sports facilities to close temporarily, outdoor exercise classes to continue with reduced capacity

People play tennis at the Padang in Singapore
People play tennis at the Padang in Singapore on Oct 21, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Some indoor sports facilities such as gyms will be closed temporarily from May 8 to May 30 to curb COVID-19 transmission within the community, Sport Singapore (SportSG) said on Thursday (May 6). 

Public and private gyms, fitness and exercise studios, including those operated by commercial enterprises, national sports associations, country clubs, golf clubs, private apartments, condominiums, as well as charities, are to be closed. 

These premises are identified as "high-risk sport and exercise environments" that are indoors, where participants are in close contact, exerting and not wearing masks, said SportSG.

The premises must not be used or be hired out to others for use as an exercise or physical recreational facility. However, they can be used by a coach or instructor to conduct online classes. 

READ: Cap of 5 people for social gatherings, household visits to return as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures

Sports or recreational facilities can only admit a maximum number of people according to its gross floor area based on 10 sq m per person and up to a maximum of 50 people. 

"No facility, regardless of size, shall admit more than 50 persons," said SportSG. 

Group activities must also be confined to groups of no more than five people, a reduction from up to eight people a group when Singapore entered Phase 3 in its opening in December

Physical distancing between the individuals and groups of five must be maintained while exercising and playing sport. An additional service provider, such as an instructor or a coach, from a permitted enterprise may guide the group for organised programmes and classes. 

Multiple groups of five are allowed, with up to 30 people or the capacity limit of the venue, whichever is lower, said SportSG.

It added that intermingling between groups are not allowed and groups should remain 3m apart. 

READ: Gym and fitness studio owners disappointed at mandated closures as they find ways to adapt

"Large complexes or multi-function premises such as country clubs may treat different parts of their premises as separate facilities, provided that they are well separated by physical barriers such that intermingling is not possible," SportSG said. 

LARGE OUTDOOR CLASSES AT PUBLIC SPACES ALLOWED TO CONTINUE

Large outdoor classes at public places, such as parks and HDB common areas, can continue if they are approved. 

However, the total class size must be reduced to 30 people, including participants, the registered instructor and any assistants, and is also subject to the venue capacity limit.

Other safe management measures will continue to remain in place, said SportSG. These include mask-wearing, avoiding sharing of common equipment, reducing physical interaction and ensuring safe distancing. 

Facility owners or operators should also conduct temperature screening and checks for visible symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, breathlessness and a runny nose on visitors. Those with fever or appear unwell will be turned away. 

SafeEntry must be implemented for participants and visitors. All participants and staff members are to use either the TraceTogether App or Token for SafeEntry from May 17

MASS PARTICIPATION SPORTS EVENTS NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE PLACE

Mass participation sports events will not be allowed to take place, said SportSG. Organisers are to work with SportSG to cancel or postpone the events to a later date.

READ: Singapore returns to tighter COVID-19 measures: What's allowed under the new rules?

 All other sports events, including live spectator events, competitions and tournaments, will be subjected to approval before they can proceed. No spectators will be allowed at sports events and tournaments. 

"National sports associations that are organising competitions and tournaments related to qualifications for international competitions for national athletes, should approach SportSG early to discuss their plans," it said. 

SportSG added that government agencies will be conducting inspections. Enforcement action under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act will be taken against businesses or individuals who fail to comply with safe management measures. 

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Source: CNA/lk

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