New Lockdown Rules: Non-Contact Matches & Contact Training Resume

Staff Writer, 9 July 2020

COVID-19 has led to some big changes in sport (we published a whole magazine about that – check it out here). And as the situation on the ground continues to evolve, so do the rules around training and matches.

Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture Emmanuel Nkosinathi Mthethwa published Department of Sport Arts and Culture Government Gazette No 751 on 6 July 2020, detailing directives which explain the rules and restrictions under which sporting activities will be able to resume.

Basically: Non-contact sports matches are allowed to resume under specific circumstances, while contact sports will be allowed to resume for training only. But sporting bodies may NOT resume training or matches before receiving the approval of the Minister in writing.

Here’s what you need to know…

Contact sport training may resume without any spectators, and must comply with the health protocols.

Non-contact sporting bodies may resume matches as well – but these matches may only include players, match officials, journalists, medical and television crew.

But Apply Now: All sports bodies must apply within 14 days after the publication of the directives for the resumption of training and/or matches. Applications must include information such as a full operational plan, the number of players and officials involved, and the date of resumption of training. 

Keep A Register: Sports bodies must also keep a register with the names, residential addresses and contact details of all participating athletes. 

Appealing Applications: Applications will be considered within even days of submission. If the Minister declines the sporting body’s application, they will be allowed to appeal this ruling, which will be considered within 14 days after filing. 

Keep It Clean: All sports bodies must comply with the guidelines for quarantine and isolation in relation to COVID-19 exposure and infection issued by the Department of Health. Premises must be deep-cleaned before use, and facilities such as equipment, tools, and bathrooms must be cleaned regularly.

These directives fall under the advanced level 3 lockdown rules which were announced by Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the end of June 2020, which relaxed a number of lockdown restrictions.

And if you’re unlucky enough not to be able to return to training yet, or if you’re looking for some entertainment between training sessions, there’s some other good news: in the same directive, the Minister also explained the rules required for the reopening of cinemas and theatres.

Please note: many businesses will still remain closed under level 3 lockdown – including gyms and fitness centres, night clubs, unlicensed accommodation, conference facilities, and bars and taverns.

So…stay fit, stay safe, and stay entertained – and we’ll keep you updated.