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Up to 30 fully vaccinated people can take part in team sports at selected venues from Mar 15: MOH

Up to 30 fully vaccinated people can take part in team sports at selected venues from Mar 15: MOH

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

SINGAPORE: Team sports for up to 30 fully vaccinated persons will be allowed at selected venues from Mar 15, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release on Friday (Mar 11).

In a press release, MOH said that team sports can proceed at selected supervised or operated sports venues including ActiveSG or People’s Association (PA) facilities and SportSG approved private facilities.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) will progressively expand the number of venues in the coming weeks, said MOH. 

This move follows the announcement last month that the streamlining of COVID-19 rules - including allowing more to participate in team sports - would be postponed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Speaking at a COVID-19 multi-ministry task conference, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the move to allow sports activities to resume is a "significant" one.

"On the risk side, as contact during sports activities is transient, there has been no clear evidence that sporting activities drive infections," said Mr Ong.

"On the benefits side, sporting activities bring tremendous benefits, especially to our young - physically and emotionally. After two years of suspending sporting activities, I think that suspension is taking its toll especially among our young."

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong who, along with Mr Ong and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, co-chairs the multi-ministry task force, noted that this was a move that was considered "very carefully".

"We looked at all the different considerations and on balance, we met that ... the overall health benefits of allowing sports to resume far outweighs the risk of infection," Mr Wong explained.

Such a risk is low due to the transient nature of contact in sports, he said.

The Health Ministry added that the resumption of sports is part of the "continuing effort to allow selected normal activities, especially those with intrinsic health benefits, to resume as the pandemic situation stabilises and improves". 

MOH noted that the prevailing community safe management measures will apply before and after the sport activity, and during rest breaks. 

No additional testing requirement will be imposed as long as all participants are fully vaccinated, but participants are strongly encouraged to self-test before arriving for the sports activity, and to stay home if they test positive or develop symptoms. 

Participants will be required to complete a health declaration form prior to the sports activity, said MOH. 

Watch the full news conference, including the Q&A session with journalists:

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Source: CNA/mt(rw)