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Contact sport for Over 17 athletes to return as from May 24

Contact sport for individual disciplines is set to be given the green light to resume from May 24, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced during a press conference yesterday.

Organised sporting events has been halted last March but in the last few weeks, the authorities had announced that sport will gradually resume as from next week.

In fact, Dr Fearne announced that since the number of COVID-19 cases has continued to remain in restricted numbers, the plan for the return of professional sport will come into effect as of Monday.

This means that all national team athletes who are currently preparing themselves to take part in an international competition will be permitted to return to training.

However, these will be done according to a strict protocol that will see only groups of six athletes training together and no sharing of equipment.

Only national team athletes that have been given permission by SportMalta qualify for these measures.

If these teams will compete in competitions, the health authorities must be notified.

Added to that non-contact sport, such as tennis, will also be permitted to be held. Groups here have to be of not more than four people and no equipment can be shared.

As regards recreational and amateur sport that will be permitted as of Monday, the number of athletes together has to be four persons and no contact sport is permitted with masks worn at all times unless high-level activity is being held.

The other category of sporting activities that will also resume next week are organised non-contact sport in venues and facilities.

Here the maximum people together have to be four people and each group must be separated by 3 metres inside and 2 metres outside. No competitions and leagues are permitted, and only essential personnel will be permitted in the venue.

The Health Minister then spoke of other measures regarding sports activities that will be relaxed in the coming weeks.

In fact, he announced that swimming pools and gyms will be given the green light to reopen on May 24 and here only sporting activities will be permitted.

Also, on May 24, contact sport for individual disciplines, such as judo, will also be given permission to be held but only for athletes who are 17 years and over.

Dr Fearne also said that the scheduled return for team sport, such as football, is being pencilled for June 7 and on the same date it is planned that contact sport for all age groups will also be permitted.

Young athletes under the age of 17 will be able to return to practice contact sport as from June 28 when the schools will close.

During the press conference, Dr Fearne also announced that discussions are also under way to organise events in front of spectators.

He said that these measures will only be relaxed if the number of cases remain at low numbers and are only being planned to be held for a later date than June 7.

Dr Fearne said that it is being proposed that the spectators that will be given permission to attend these events must present a vaccination certificate.

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