The sports sector across Flanders will switch to the orange icon from Wednesday. Indoor sports activities that cannot be kept one and a half meters away are prohibited for anyone over the age of 12. The changing rooms are closed, except for the swimming pools.
Flemish Sports Minister Ben Waits decided this upon request and in consultation with the sports sector. Competitive basketball matches, for example, cannot happen, but a contactless match can occur like singles tennis. Moreover, 1.5m fitness and training can still be done. Shower and dressing rooms must be closed, except for swimming pools.
These are not fun actions, especially with the approaching autumn holidays. But we must act decisively if we have indications that the world of sport could be a fertile ground, says Whits. “For the youngest athletes, something is still possible: We want to make sure they can continue to play sports.”
There is no list, says a Weyts spokesperson. Clubs have to judge for themselves whether offline training is possible. For example, a basketball team cannot play a competition, but adapted training that focuses on dribbling or throwing can continue if sufficient distance is maintained.
Canteens are like restaurants
Canteen may still be open, but they must follow the same strict rules in catering: seated only, with a maximum of 4 people at a table and 1.5 meters between tables. In Brussels, it was decided to close the canteens for a month.
The public remains acceptable, with the restrictions set out in the ministerial decree: a maximum of 200 spectators indoors, a maximum of 400 spectators outdoors, always with distance and face masks.
More stringent procedures
“You can apply the rules in the stadium or the canteen,” Witt justifies the decision. Athletes and their fans can behave as bar goers or concert goers. But we warn: if the situation continues to deteriorate, stricter measures will be in the picture. It is now necessary to comply with all safety regulations.
During the autumn break, the sports camps can be continued in smaller groups, according to the protocols that apply to all youth camps. The stricter measures will be reassessed after the autumn holidays.
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