Play and go: New measures placed as PH welcomes select sports back
MANILA, Philippines – Sports is slowly returning as the government relaxed its quarantine measures combatting the coronavirus.
Several clubs offering golf, swimming, badminton, and tennis – among the select sports and fitness activities allowed under the general community quarantine – have reopened in and outside Metro Manila.
Aside from wearing face masks and disinfecting equipment, here are what to expect as the country welcomes sports back:
Play and go
Staying on sports club premises before and after playing for a long period of time is strongly discouraged to avoid crowding.
At the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club for example, players are told to arrive not more than 30 minutes before their tee time and to stay in their cars before their turn to register.
Players are also asked to leave immediately.
Even if it has been a practice to take a bath right after a game or after a swim, the Quezon City Sports Club and Valle Verde Sports Club have suspended the use of shower and locker rooms.
Now, players need to wash up at their own homes.
Considering the coronavirus can spread through objects and live on certain surfaces for days, sharing belongings is a no-no.
The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club advised its members to bring their own towels and to not share pens when writing on their scorecards.
Players bringing their own sports equipment – golf clubs, tennis and badminton rackets, and balls – will also be the norm.
Even with the return of select sports, players are still expected to observe proper social distancing measures.
The Valle Verde Country Club allows only one person per swimming pool lane, unlike before when 2 or 3 people can share a lane.
In tennis and badminton, doubles matches are not advised.
Meanwhile in golf, the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club has imposed a distance of at least two meters that players need to maintain on the course and limited a flight to a maximum of 4 players.
Caddies, who usually stay on players' side to carry bags and golf clubs and provide advice, now watch from afar.
No post-game bond
Sports clubs have lounges and restaurants for players to catch up or eat out after games, but now, friends have to do them elsewhere.
The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club has discontinued its dine-in services for the meantime, while the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club offer only take-out food, whether to the course or for home.
"Usually, we stay and eat first," said Yusof Marohombsar, a hobby golfer, in a mix of Filipino and English.
"For me, part of the enjoyment of the game is spending time with your friends after and talk about the game. You can still do that, but only in the parking lot." – Rappler.com