SPORT lovers and professionals are itching to get back on the court, pitch, track or fairway, but many questions remain. 

In the coronavirus deescalation plan announced last night, it was not made clear exactly what sports can return and when.

So while we wait for clarification, what do we know?

According to the BOE (state bulletin), from May 2, ‘non-contact sport activities (cycling, running, skating, surfing) are allowed provided they are practised individually and with adequate protection (masks, distance in non-water sports where possible).’

While you think it would be safe to assume similar sports are also allowed, such as BMX, climbing and kitesurfing, the government has yet to clarify all the permitted activities, but is expected to in the coming days.

It will also have to confirm whether or not there will be a timetable for sports. In Andalucia, the government proposed 7-9am and 9-11pm, but it has yet to confirm these times.

Also yet to be revealed is how far a person can leave their home for their sport of choice and whether or not they have a time limit such as one or two hours.

Federated athletes, both young and senior, will be able to practice ‘individual training and sports activity without contact.’ They too, must be alone and maintain a distance of at least four metres from others. Soccer and basketball professionals can use their facilities with the protocols they already have in place.

According to the government’s new plan, in Phase 1 (from May 11), access will be allowed to ‘open-air sports facilities without an audience (only for sports in which there is no contact: athletics, tennis)’. This does not clarify what happens with swimming pools or water sports.

Additionally, the ever popular padel tennis, which is played in pairs and sees more closeness among players than tennis, is not addressed.

It also allows for ‘individual sports activities by appointment in sports centres (gyms) that do not involve physical contact or the use of changing rooms.’ That suggests sessions with personal trainers will be available as long as social distancing is maintained, but professionals have demanded to know whether they will be permitted to use the changing rooms between clients.

For federated athletes, from May 11, there will be an ‘opening of high-performance centres with reinforced hygiene and protection measures.’

In Phase 2, from May 25, provinces will allow for ‘outdoor sports with limited capacity’ – meaning a third of normal capacity and with a maximum of 400 people.

Meanwhile, it will also allow for ‘indoor sports facilities’, as long as there is no contact or the risk of contagion is low. Gyms will be allowed to open to a third of capacity and there will still be no use of changing rooms.

At a professional level, usual training can return and leagues can reopen.

By Phase 3, (June 8), there will be ‘outdoor sports activities with capacity limits reduced’ to 50% and a maximum of 800 people.

“Indoor sports activities can take place only to practice sports in which there is no contact or the risk of contagion is moderate, for example, a skating rink,” the government’s plan reads, adding that there should be one person per 20sqm.

The plan also says there can be matches with a maximum of one third of the capacity in venues, ‘always guaranteeing a safe distance between spectators and the activities.’

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