SportSG advises 2-metre spacing when exercising; contact sports permitted in Phase 2

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·6-min read
SINGAPORE - JUNE 07:  People wearing protective masks walk along the Helix Bridge at the Marina Bay waterfront on June 7, 2020 in Singapore. From June 2, Singapore embarked on phase one of a three phase approach against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it began to ease the partial lockdown measures by allowing the safe re-opening of economic activities which do not pose high risk of transmission. This include the resumption of selected health services, re-opening of schools with school children attending schools on rotational basis, manufacturing and production facilities, construction sites that adhere to safety measures, finance and information services that do not require interactions and places of worship, amongst others. Retail outlets, social and entertainment activities will remain closed and dining in at food and beverage outlets will still be disallowed. The government will further ease restriction by the middle of June if the infection rate within the community remains low over the next two weeks.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
People wearing protective masks while walking and jogging along the Helix Bridge at the Marina Bay waterfront in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Sport Singapore (SportSG) has advised a two-metre distancing to be observed wherever possible when one is exercising, because of the higher risk of spread of respiratory droplets carrying the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In a advisory released on Wednesday (17 June) detailing how Singapore should carry out sports activities during Phase 2 of the post-COVID-19 circuit breaker period, the sports governing body also gave leeway for some contact sports to proceed without modification, as long as the group size limit for each sport is observed and safe distancing is maintained outside the play area.

However, some contact sports – such as judo, wrestling and mixed martial arts – involve extensive body contact, and trainings for these sports should be modified such that there is no prolonged body contact such as grappling or restraining.

SportSG has been engaging the various national sports associations on the safe management measures for their particular sport. The governing bodies of these sports will be publishing their endorsed safe management plans on their websites and on the SportSG website from Friday (19 June), when Singapore begins Phase 2 of its reopening.

Masks should be worn as default

In Phase 2, all sport and physical exercises and activities may resume under the following conditions:

  • Sport and recreational facilities can only admit a maximum number of persons according to its gross floor area, based on one person per 10 square metres. No facility, regardless of size, shall admit more than 50 persons without specific approval by SportSG

  • Physical distancing of two metres (two arms-length) between individuals should be maintained in general while exercising and playing sports. For high-intensity or high-movement exercise classes indoors, a distance of three metres between individuals should be observed.

  • Group activities are limited to no more than five participants. If there is more than one group sharing a space, the groups must not interact and must maintain a distance of three metres apart from one another at all times. For organised programmes and classes, an additional service provider (such as instructor or coach) from a permitted enterprise may guide the group.

  • Contact sports are permitted, with modification to avoid extensive body contact.

  • Masks should be worn as a default. Masks can be taken off when performing strenuous activities, although it is still recommended as good practice even under such circumstances.

  • Sharing of common equipment should be avoided. Personal equipment should not be shared. If this cannot be done, then equipment should be wiped down and sanitised frequently. This includes gym equipment such as weights, and sports equipment such as basketballs.

  • Owners or Operators of facilities are responsible for ensuring safe management measures are implemented, and that their patrons/users comply.

Measures to be implemented by facility operators

With the reopening of public, private and commercial sports and recreational facilities in Phase 2, facility operators have to ensure that physical distancing measures are observed.

SportSG has provided safe management measures which operators will have to put in place, before they can open their facilities. The measures are:

  • Facility operators are to designate a senior staff as safe management officer to ensure compliance with the measures.

  • All sport and recreational facilities must implement SafeEntry for participants and visitors. Facility operators must conduct temperature screening and checks on visible symptoms for visitors, and turn away those with fever and/or who appear unwell. Employees and visitors are encouraged to download and activate the TraceTogether app.

  • Operators will have to organise human traffic flow and space management to ensure that the mixing of groups is minimised to transient contact. Equipment should be arranged to allow users to exercise at a safe distance with one another.

  • Operators will have to devise systems to ensure there is no overcrowding at or around their premises, such as through the use of booking systems. Facility operators will have to manage rest areas and changing room operations to prevent crowding and loitering.

  • Operators will have to ensure that all visitors don masks when they enter the facility. Hand sanitisers should be placed in close proximity of the facility entrance and high-touch surfaces like door handles.

  • Operators will have to frequently disinfect common spaces and interactive components such as smart kiosks and turnstiles. Equipment will have to be thoroughly wiped down and cleaned after each use, and personal equipment should not be shared.

  • Indoor spaces should be kept well-ventilated. For non-air conditioned spaces, windows should be kept open and additional fans should be put in place.

There are additional measures based on facility type, listed below:

INFO: Sport Singapore
INFO: Sport Singapore

These parameters will be reviewed from time to time, and more persons may be allowed at a later juncture in Phase 2, taking into account how well the safe measures are implemented by operators and the compliance of the users in these settings, and the broader COVID-19 situation at the time.

Lawns, playfields, open spaces will be re-opened

ActiveSG stadiums, studios, gyms, indoor sport halls, and swimming complexes (only competition and training pools will be available) will be opened from Friday. The Rink @ Jcube will however be opened only from 3 July.

Bookings for ActiveSG facilities via the ActiveSG app and myactivesg.com will be available from 7am on Thursday.

In addition to ActiveSG stadiums, lawns, playfields and open spaces in parks and state lands under NParks and the Singapore Land Authority, will be re-opened for public use. Organised group sports as well as physical exercises and activities may proceed in these spaces.

The public are advised to be socially responsible when using these shared spaces and to observe the safe management measures in place. Enforcement officers and safe-distancing ambassadors will continue to be deployed around the island to ensure adherence to these measures.

Senior-centric activities limited to individual ones

Senior-centric activities may resume under Phase 2, limited for now to activities that can be done individually, with safe management measures in place and no sharing of equipment between participants.

As Seniors are more vulnerable to the coronavirus, SportSG has advised that they should stay at home as much as possible, and continue to keep fit by doing exercises at home. ActiveSG has online resources which offer access to virtual classes and events, as well as tips and advice on how to stay active at home.

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