MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has released its recommendations on reintroducing sports and fitness activities to the general population following the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The framework, developed by the PSC Philippine Sports Institute Medical, Scientific and Sports Services, takes into account the different limitations of each quarantine scenario and is based on information provided by the Ministry of Health and the interagency work. .
“The priority at all times must be to preserve public health, without unnecessarily straining our health system with sports-related medical consultations, and at the same time, minimizing the risk of community transmission of COVID-19”, said declared the PSC.
The PSC has emphasized that while resuming sport and recreation can bring many “health, economic, social and cultural benefits”, it should not compromise the health and safety of individuals and the community.
It is crucial that the resumption of community sports and recreation be done in a “staged” manner, said the PSC. This means training sessions and individual activities first, before moving on to small group activities with less than 10 people involved. Large group activities, and possibly full contact sports, can only be done if the situation allows.
The PSC has developed a framework recommending activities that can be carried out based on the quarantine classification of each area. High-risk areas are those subject to enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine; moderate risk areas are those under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine; and low risk areas are those under the “new normal” state.
Their recommendations are as follows:
* For areas under ECQ, activities must be carried out within the boundaries of the house, “where the occupants have been together, without symptoms, for 14 days or more.” Solo or family exercise sessions and video tele-exercise sessions are recommended. Improvised weights and resistance devices can be used.
* For the sectors under MECQ, the activities must be carried out within the perimeter of his residence or in front of the residence. Masks are mandatory and social distancing protocols should be followed during fitness activities such as solo races, kata events, or yoga.
* For areas under GCQ, a person can use their own equipment in an indoor public place once it is allowed to operate, but person-to-person interaction is still not allowed. Masks are mandatory and social distancing protocols must also be observed. Barangay zumba sessions can be arranged and people can use the recreational facilities in the park. Swimming is also permitted, as long as there is no interaction in the showers or changing rooms.
* For areas under MGCQ, a person can now use public facilities in indoor public places such as gyms or fitness centers. Person-to-person interactions may be allowed, but masks are still required and social distancing protocols must be observed. People can do individual workouts and train in public gyms. When it comes to team sports, non-contact scrums are allowed, such as batting and field training in baseball. In contact sports, the use of the heavy bag, speed bag and mittens is permitted, but person-to-person sparring is still prohibited.
* For “new normal” areas, multiple person-to-person interactions are allowed, but masks must still be worn and social distancing is still required. Full games and team activities can resume, as well as formal competitions.
However, the PSC warned that sports activities under the new standard “may not be possible in a COVID-19 scenario without available treatment, vaccine, immunity passport recognized by the WHO / CDC.”
View the full PSC document here.
In the end, the PSC stressed that the resumption of sporting activities “may not be linear”, given the situation in the country.
“Sports stakeholders may need to be flexible to adapt and respond to changes in community transmission rates and associated changes in the advice of our government experts,” they said. “The pandemic does not have a precise playbook. “
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