SINGAPORE – Sport Singapore (SportSG) will continue to review its physical distancing procedures, which kicked in at ActiveSG venues on Monday last week. Rules such as lane segregation at tracks and swimming pools were enforced by the national agency to minimise gatherings but led to overcrowding in some lanes.
This week, SportSG announced more physical distancing rules after the Ministry of Health (MOH) imposed stricter new measures.
Organised activities must be kept to a maximum of 10 participants with a one metre spacing between them. The operating capacity of facilities, such as gyms, stadiums, swimming pools and indoor sport halls, is restricted to one person per 16 sq m.
To prevent crowding at gyms, efforts to increase the space between equipment will be taken. Users will also be reminded to wipe equipment after use and maintain physical distancing.
A SportSG spokesman told The Straits Times: “In view of MOH’s advisory on March 24, we have updated our advisory for sport and physical exercise/activity, to provide operational guidance on the tighter physical distancing measures. These measures are to be strictly followed by private operators and national sports associations.
“We appreciate the public feedback and patience as we adjust our measures. We are committed to work together to enable everyone to exercise and stay healthy. We also appeal to all our visitors to practise social responsibility.”
The new preventive steps apply to all ActiveSG stadiums, sports halls, gyms, swimming complexes and studios. These facilities have also implemented a single point of entry where possible to facilitate temperature taking (except stadiums) and recording of visitor details.
Pools remain open as there is currently no evidence suggesting the virus can be spread through water and experts have said that it is generally safe to go swimming.
Infectious diseases expert Leong Hoe Nam noted that the water and chlorine in swimming pools could help to kill the virus.
Dr Leong, who practises at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, also advised against lingering around the pool area.
While the risk of transmission from surfaces is relatively low, professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee’s College of Nursing Roberta Lavin told US Masters Swimming the bigger concern is the people one meets and mixes with at the pool.
When several swimmers go into a lane together, the few moments at the wall in close proximity to one another can be a prime opportunity for viral transmission if one person is carrying the virus.