COVID-19 Brunei: Sports facilities restrictions ease on July 6 (2020)

BY Fadhil Yunus

The de-escalation plan will be upgraded to Phase 3 on July 6 for gym and fitness centres, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, and golf courses following advice from the Ministry of Health (MoH).

This was announced by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during a press conference at the MoH on Wednesday.

Under Phase 3 of the de-escalation plan, also known as Operational Readiness Level 3, guidelines and conditions on the use of the four types of facilities will be updated.

Measures on team sports will ease starting with a limit of five people in one team mainly for a training programme only. The exchange of individuals between groups and activities involving physical contact and sharing equipment are not permitted.

“This means football is allowed for training but only limited to a group of five, even though the team may comprise 20 players,” said the minister.

The minister added that outdoor-based activities such as paintball should not result in physical contact and that users must use their own personal equipment.

“I think we can look into this for paintball to start whether it is a small group of people playing. There should be no contact and in small numbers,” he said.

Contact sports and non-contact artistic sports are also allowed but for a training session only. Sparring training sessions are not allowed.

Sports played in doubles and pairs matches are now permitted. Single matches were only allowed under the previous guideline.

Gyms, fitness centres and indoor and outdoor sports facilities will operate with a 90 per cent capacity at one time depending on space.

These facilities will be open to registered members and non-members and use will be increased to a maximum of two hours per person per day.

The use of locker rooms and shower areas are permitted as stipulated under the soon-to-be-updated guidelines.

The number of players at bowling centres will be expanded to two per lane at one time. Meanwhile, the use of facilities has been increased to a maximum of two hours per person per day. The use of house balls and shoes are also permitted.

“If they are not using their own personal equipment, the equipment must be sanitised before it is being used,” the minister said.

Current guidelines for golf courses will be maintained with the addition of members and non-members being allowed along with the use of locker rooms and shower areas.

Each flight is limited to four players only and a golf buggy will only accommodate one person at a time.

The ministry also announced the commencement of Phase 1 of the de-escalation plan for swimming pools on July 6.

Swimming pools will open at 30 per cent capacity at one time subject to space and will only be open to users aged 15 and above.

The minister added that swimming pools will only open three times a week for one hour for each individual.

Swimming pools under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports will open on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday while days of operation for other swimming pools will depend on the owners.

Owners were reminded that the level of chlorine is in accordance to the health standards which has been set.

Meanwhile, 62 inspection visits were made in June and three premises were found to have not complied with the enforced guidelines.

A total of 78,878 sports facilities users were recorded since opening in May. Of the overall figure, 57,256 users visited gym and fitness centres, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, which are privately owned, while 7,080 people used the sports facilities under the purview of the MCYS, bringing a combined total of 64,336 users.

Meanwhile, 13,597 individuals had been to golf courses while 945 visited bowling centres.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin