Sports Ministry Allows Stadiums to be Filled Upto 50% in New SOP

According to the Sports Ministry, stadiums can be filled to 50 per cent of total capacity for outdoor sports events.

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According to the new Sports Ministry directive, stadiums can be filled to 50 per cent of the total capacity for outdoor sports events.

A maximum of 50 per cent of the total capacity of a stadium can now be filled with spectators during outdoor sports events, the Sports ministry on Sunday said in its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for resumption of sports competitions in the country.

The ministry said that the spectator management will be done in accordance to the Ministry of Home Affairs' guidelines issued on November 25.

The Home Ministry had put a cap of 200 people in case the event is taking place in a closed space.

It also allowed for state governments to reduce the according to their own assesments.

The SOP also calls for a "Covid task force" to be constituted for competitions by the respective organising committee. Apart from being responsible for the overall implementation of the SOP, the task force closely regulate and monitor "travel of athletes and ASP (Athlete Support Personnel)".

Organising committees are to designate a Covid response team that athletes and their support staff can contact if they experience symptoms suggestive of coronavirus.

Athletes are also to avoid physiotherapy or massages "unless absolutely necessary" and ensure physical distancing and wear masks at all times except when it becomes necessary on the field of play.

The ministry also said that thermal screening is to be done at the entrance of the competition area and athletes and support staff living in "containment zones shall not be allowed entry in the main competition arena/field of play, warm-up area".

Organisers are also to assess if it is to be mandatory for athletes and support staff to undergo RT-PCR tests within 72 hours of the event.

"In such cases. only those having a negative RT-PCR report shall be allowed to participate in the event. For this, organising committee may also make suitable linkages with ICMR approved laboratories for Covid-19 testing of athletes and ASPs who report wuthout a Covid test report," said the ministry in the SOP.

The guidelines also advised support staff whose physical presence is not required to work from home through "tele-work/video conferencing".

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