Second phase of de-escalation plan to be next step on sports reopening

Fadhil Yunus

The second phase of the de-escalation plan will be the next step towards reopening sports facilities in the country with the capacity rate of participants set to be assessed.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin shared the move towards a second phase during a press conference at the Al-‘Afiah Hall yesterday.

“We’re waiting for the second phase of the de-escalation plan. It is important that we follow what is recommended by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and look at the developments of COVID-19,” said the minister.

Currently, the capacity rate is capped at 30 per cent and any developments on it are among the issues that could be looked at during the second phase of the
de-escalation plan.

The minister said the updated guidelines for indoor sports facilities marked a development whereby the first phase of the de-escalation process initially involved solo sports. Since then, the current situation has favoured them to move into sports which are performed in
single matches.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during the press conference. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS

Meanwhile, organised sports are still not allowed as stated in the initial statement on May 14.

However, contact sports or sports that require a large number of people might not be ready to be included in the next phase.

He said, “We will look into what type of sports and we will also assess the capacity
of participants.”

Meanwhile, as recommended by the MoH, the reopening of swimming pools is expected to be announced in the latter part of the de-escalation plan. Swimming pools remain closed since the initial statement on May 14.

“It will not be in the first or second part. For our national swimmers, we do understand that training is currently restricted but we do see the opening of swimming pools to be in the latter part of the de-escalation plan,” the minister said.

He said, “It is important for national athletes to maintain their fitness and we are glad to see them maintaining their fitness levels.

“We also see that our national athletes are training outdoors because of Operational Readiness Level 1, but mostly in small groups to maintain their physical levels.”