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Sport makes limited return

The Government’s announcement that sport will be able to return to team training from yesterday proved significant for sports such as cricket and athletics.

The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport announced yesterday that as Bermuda enters Phase 2 of reopening, in the wake of the Stay at Home Order, sport will be permitted at Stage 2 of the Return to Play Guidance, effective immediately.

Tinée Furbert, the Acting Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Stage 2 allows for team training within the requirements permitted by the Emergency Regulations:

• Groups of ten

• No contact

• Six feet between participants

• Masks except during physical exertion

• Thirty minutes between groups to allow for cleaning

• No spectators

While Stage 2 activities are permitted, the ministry is reminding athletes and their families that household mixing raises the risk of Covid-19 spread, is generally discouraged, and should be kept to a minimum while Bermuda continues to have community transmission.

The ministry also reminded that sporting groups are not a bubble, and all precautions should be practised, including during Stage 2 activities.

As before, individual, non-contact sport may apply to the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation with their operational plan to progress to Stage 3.

Also, as before, adults entering Stage 3 will require a Covid-19 saliva test to be repeated monthly. Tests can be booked online at the public test sites.

Immunised athletes do not need to be tested for Stage 3 purposes. Individual national sport governing bodies can require more testing for adults, immunised individuals and children according to their needs and standards.

“I’m pleased that as we take the next steps to reopening, we can return to the very thing that bring us mental and physical wellbeing during such trying times: sport and exercise,” Tinée Furbert, the acting sports minister, said. “Please co-operate and follow the guidance to keep all athletes and Bermuda safe. Limit household mixing as much as possible.

“We want to get to the next reopening phase in June and it will take diligence on all our parts to keep the Covid numbers going down and prevent another wave of illness and deaths. This is Heritage Month, which this year reminds us that we are a resilient people. We got through this before and have learnt a lot from it. We can get through this phase, too.

“Sport is an important part of the Bermudian spirit and identity, and we will adapt to the new norms while a pandemic rages globally and locally. Let’s avoid the three c’s — closed spaces, crowded places and close contact — and let’s stick to the guidance and stay safe as we return to sport.”

Ms Furbert added: “Lastly, each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Follow public health guidelines, wear a mask, practise good hand hygiene, maintain physical distance and download the WeHealth Bermuda app. Do the research, talk with your doctor and make an informed decision about getting the Covid-19 vaccine.”

Cricket clubs were recently directed by the Bermuda Cricket Board to cease preseason training after a spike in Covid cases. However, yesterday’s announcement will be good news for the board and the clubs as they eagerly look forward to starting their season in the coming weeks, ahead of major events such as the Eastern Counties, Cup Match and international competition.

Track and field athletes will welcome a return to training as they prepare for the Carifta Games, which will be held here in August. The Bermuda National Athletics Association was holding events on a small scale, recently but had to stop because of further government restrictions.

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Published May 10, 2021 at 9:25 pm (Updated May 10, 2021 at 9:25 pm)

Sport makes limited return

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