Allow some non-contact sports to resume, says Lee Bee Wah

Ms Lee Bee Wah suggested that stadiums in Singapore could be allowed to reopen with measures in place.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The risk of contacting Covid-19 while engaging in individual non-contact sports is low and, hence, they should be allowed to resume in the current phase one of the re-opening of Singapore, said Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) on Thursday (June 4).

Citing a study by the Italian Sports Ministry and the Italian Olympic Committee, she said the risk of getting infected was "non-existent or weak" for sports like athletics, sailing, open-water swimming, golf and tennis.

Ms Lee, who was speaking in Parliament during the debate on the supplementary Fortitude Budget, said some countries have allowed certain sports to resume with safety precautions in place.

For example, Malaysia allows up to two golfers to play golf together as long as they do not share a buggy, and swimming has been given the nod in countries such as Australia, the Netherlands, Japan and China - but with safe distancing measures like limiting swimming lanes to one swimmer each, she added.

Ms Lee suggested that stadiums in Singapore could be allowed to reopen with measures like mandating the use of the digital check-in system SafeEntry, controls on crowd size and designated lanes for athletes.

"I am sure it can be much safer than some of the park connectors, which are so congested," she said.

"Many associations such as the Singapore Swimming Association, and many clubs have already have thought about this. They would like more guidance and to resume their activities."

The MP called on the Government to work with Sport Singapore to determine which sports can be allowed to resume during phase one with safety guidelines in place.

"So many people feel so stressed when they cannot do their favourite sports," Ms Lee said. "Also, there are many freelance coaches who can no longer survive without income."

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.