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Sport reverts to Stage 2 of Return to Play guidance

Step back: Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, has announced that the Government’s Return to Play guidelines have been put back into Stage 2 effective immediately (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The existing uncertainty around the sporting calendar has been compounded by the news just in that the Government’s Return to Play guidance has reverted to Stage 2 effective immediately.

In the wake of a recent spike in positive cases, a number of tougher Covid-19 restrictions were implemented on Saturday in an attempt to halt the spread of the deadlier UK variant of the virus.

Among them, the number of people allowed at gatherings was cut from 25 people to ten.

"We understand how disappointing this will be for many athletes and sports fans but the safety of the country is paramount at this time,“ Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, said in a release to the island’s sport federations that was shared with The Royal Gazette.

"With the new limits on numbers, team sport participation would be difficult at this time. We ask everyone for their patience and understanding. We must think of the safety of vulnerable and at-risk populations whose health must come first.

“We wish to further inform you that we will suspend Covid-19 testing for contact sports until we enter back into Stage 3 of the Return to Play guidance.”

The move comes as a significant blow to sport, with many edging towards a full return to action within the guidance — which for most was in its penultimate phase of a four-stage plan — as little as a week ago.

The start to the Bermuda Bicycle Association’s road racing season was halted with the postponement of the KPMG Team Time-Trial on Sunday, while another non-contact sport, swimming, had all activity at the National Sports Centre shut down because of the restrictions. The Bermuda Rugby Football Union was also forced to stop all activity over the weekend, while bowling returned to Warwick Lanes for a few days before the facility then closed again after the government announcement.

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Published March 23, 2021 at 4:40 pm (Updated March 23, 2021 at 5:02 pm)

Sport reverts to Stage 2 of Return to Play guidance

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