The sports sector across Flanders will switch to the orange icon from Wednesday. Indoor sporting activities that cannot be kept one and a half meters away are prohibited for anyone over 12 years old. The changing rooms are closed except for swimming pools.
This was decided by Flemish Sports Minister Ben Waits upon request and in consultation with the sports sector. League matches for basketball, for example, cannot take place, but a contact can occur like singles tennis. Moreover, fitness and training is still possible as it is 1.5 meters away. Showers and changing rooms must be closed, except for swimming pools.
These aren’t fun routines, and certainly not with the autumn holidays approaching. 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 still is possible: We want to ensure that they can keep playing 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.
Canteen like serving food
Canteen may still be open, but they must follow the same strict rules for 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 stipulated in the ministerial decision: 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 act just like bar goers or concert goers. But we warn: if the situation continues to deteriorate, stricter measures will be in the picture. It is now important 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.