EXPLAINER: When can sports resume amid coronavirus pandemic?
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) crafted a framework that gives guidelines to the general Filipino public and high-performance athletes on when sports and fitness can resume amid the community quarantine (CQ) situations.
The PSC's sports science arm, the Philippine Sports Institute, led the research on how to reintroduce sports back to the country with respect to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines and the country's coronavirus situation.
The government sports agency also emphasized that nothing is set in stone, as new information and research on the pandemic will continuously affect the framework. (PSC: No coronavirus vaccine, no PH sports events)
"Fluctuating restrictions may be required in response to community numbers of COVID-19 cases," read the study.
"Sporting stakeholders may need to be flexible to accommodate and respond to changes in community transmission rates and the associated changes in advice from our government experts."
Here are the recommended guidelines of each community quarantine phase as of Wednesday, May 20:
Enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)
ECQ is a high-risk alert for a locality, which enforces a strict lockdown due to the sustained virus spread and critical healthcare capacity.
General fitness: Person-to-person interaction is limited to the household that has been quarantined for 14 days and each household member shows no symptoms. Workouts can be done in their own private indoor area, while members living under the same roof can share equipment.
Recommended physical activities: Solo home exercise, family exercise session within the home, video tele-exercise sessions, own enclosed garage workouts either with single or multiple person participation, improvised weights resistance devices, dumbbells and bands.
Hygiene practices: There's no need to wear masks and practice physical distancing. Cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene should be practiced.
High-performance athlete activities: Own home workout; court within owned premises only.
Modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ)
MECQ is still classified under high-risk alert in terms of physical activity because the difference with ECQ is on the economic side such as operation of certain businesses.
General fitness: Person-to-person interaction continues to be limited to the household that has been quarantined for 14 days and each household member shows no symptoms. Workouts continue in private spaces, but it can extended to the outdoor area that is traffic-enclosed. Only members living under the same roof can share equipment.
Recommended physical activities: Activities that practice physical distancing between 2 persons inside own private space (ex. badminton), solo physically distanced activity in a condo outdoor communal area (ex. yoga), solo runs on public streets that are traffic-enclosed, kata events, solo activities in remote locations (ex. biking), non-draft cycling with multiple participants of less than 3, no cross region travel, open water swimming in private beach.
Hygiene practices: Wearing of masks and physical distancing are required, while cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene should be practiced. Personal disinfection of materials is recommended for contact surfaces and current IATF recommendations will be followed.
High-performance athlete activities: Ball or skill drills in front of the home that will be limited to an enclosed public street fronting the household; solo workouts.
General community quarantine (GCQ)
GCQ is now under moderate-risk level, where the locality has exhibited a partial decline in virus spread and healthcare capacity is partially coping. The "stay-at-home" restriction is lifted, while public outdoor areas are open.
General fitness: No person-to-person interaction in a public outdoor area. Only members living under the same roof can share equipment.
Recommended physical activities: Solo workout in community barangay, village basketball court or recreational area; barangay zumba; use of open park-based recreational facilities like slides, swings, circuit stations; one lane per person swimming with no interaction at shower or change areas. Showering is preferably done at home after the workout.
Hygiene practices: Wearing of mask is required en route to and from facility or public area and at the destination itself. Physical distancing, cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene should be practiced. Personal disinfection of materials is required for contact surfaces and current IATF recommendations will be followed.
High-performance athlete activities: Individual training in a public basketball or village court with no person-to-person interaction and no sharing of equipment.
Modified general community quarantine (MGCQ)
MGCQ is classified under the moderate risk category where the community spread is moderately declining and the healthcare capacity is moderately coping. Public indoor and commercial sports facilities are now open.
General fitness: No person-to-person interaction in public indoor area. You can use public equipment with strict guidelines.
Recommended activities: Individual gym workouts, using own equipment to practice at public gyms and sports facilities for solo events (ex. gymnastics), team practice activities including skill-set training, non-contact scrimmage to run patterns, contact sports sparring against equipment (ex. heavy bag, speed bag, mitts workout), no person-to-person sparring, baseball batting and fielding practice, soccer non-interactive practice.
Hygiene practices: Wearing of masks, physical distancing, personal disinfection of materials are required. Cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene should be practiced. Venues should consider indoor ventilation issues, hepa filter systems, strict equipment regulations on hygiene, venue entry limit, and use of communal indoor gym facilities. Current IATF recommendations will be followed.
High-performance athlete activities: Multiple person interaction (ex. passing drills ), no-contact play or scrimmage, skill-set run, agility drills or ball skills among distanced individuals.
No community quarantine (CQ)
In No CQ, the alert is brought down to low-risk as the virus is eradicated in locality. But this is only possible if the coronavirus treatment and vaccine are available.
General fitness: Contact sports and the use of multiple equipment are allowed in public outdoor and indoor areas.
Recommended activities: Organized contact team activity, full games, contact sport practice with sparring, contact sport competitions with pending guidelines from IATF, organized meets, organized leagues, formal competitions, spin classes with more than 4 participants (one per room corner) with in an indoor public location.
Hygiene practices: Wearing of masks, physical distancing, assignment of team safety officer who will monitor compliance and personal disinfection materials are required. Regular health assessment screening and monitoring for participants will be done, while being provided with adequate healthcare coverage, and current IATF recommendations will be followed.
High-performance athlete activities: Resumption of contact games and practices in a public location with shared equipment. – Rappler.com