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All ActiveSG indoor sports halls to shut for safety ‘time-out’ after Covid-19 patient played badminton in large group

Singapore — All ActiveSG indoor sports halls will be closed on Sunday (June 28) as part of a “time-out” for users to better “understand the rules and spirit” of safe management measures in place under Phase Two of reopening, Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced on Saturday.

All ActiveSG indoor sports halls to shut for safety ‘time-out’ after Covid-19 patient played badminton in large group

A positive Covid-19 case who played badminton at the ActiveSG Jurong East Indoor Sport Hall on June 22, 2020 was mixing in a large badminton social group, breaching safe management measures and rules.

Singapore — All ActiveSG indoor sports halls will be closed on Sunday (June 28) as part of a “time-out” for users to better “understand the rules and spirit” of safe management measures in place, Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced on Saturday.

This came after the national sports agency was alerted to a positive Covid-19 case who played badminton at the ActiveSG Jurong East Indoor Sport Hall on June 22. 

That person and a large badminton social group that he had played with had breached the safe management measures and rules put in place by SportSG, it said.

“The badminton social group had, between them, booked up to six badminton courts from 9am to 12pm,” it added.

“During the badminton sessions, there was cross-mixing of players across multiple courts, despite the physical partitions and clear rules that badminton is restricted to four players to a court and that mingling with players on other courts is not allowed.”

SportSG said it hopes that users of its facilities will make use of the one-day time-out to “reflect on the importance of exercising individual responsibility for the collective good, so that we can overcome Covid-19, together”.

The Jurong East hall will closed on Saturday and Sunday for thorough disinfection and cleaning.

SportSG's chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin said: “It is very disappointing that some members of the public had not adhered to the rules and circumvented the measures that were put in place by SportSG.

“Such irresponsible behaviour will jeopardise everyone’s efforts to minimise Covid-19 transmission within the community.

"As much as we are excited to catch up with our friends and to keep active, we must do the right thing and abide by the rules and the spirit behind them. This way, we can ensure that our sport facilities can remain open, so that the community can continue to participate in sport and stay healthy.”

SportSG said that it views any violation of the safe management measures “very seriously”. It is investigating the incident and will take strong action against the individual and the other players who have infringed the regulations, including barring them from the use of ActiveSG facilities.

It also said that it will implement new measures to reinforce adherence to the rules at all its indoor sport facilities, with coloured wrist bands to be issued and worn by players to identify different groups for each badminton court.

The agency will be scrutinising badminton social groups who plan to gather as a large congregation at any venue. 

Individuals involved with such groups, as well as those who play and mix across different courts, will have their bookings cancelled or ejected from the indoor sport hall or both, as well as barred from the future use of ActiveSG facilities.

The Ministry of Health had first announced on Friday that a man who was among the six new community cases of Covid-19 in Singapore had met a large group of “social contacts” for sports and social activities.

The ministry warned that such behaviour increases the risk of transmission and has resulted in the man’s contacts being quarantined.

Singapore entered the second phase of reopening its economy on June 19 after stay-home curbs in April and May, with more businesses resuming operations and sports facilities being oepned for use.

An advisory from SportSG issued on June 17 stated that the use of sport facilities are subject to the following safe management measures:

  • Individuals having to maintain a safe distance while exercising

  • A rule of maximum five persons in group activities with no mixing between groups

  • A minimum safe distance of 3m between groups

  • Facility capacity limited according to its gross floor area based on 10 sqm per person or 50 persons, whichever is lower. In the case of ActiveSG badminton courts, the maximum number of people allowed is capped at four for each court. Cross-mixing of groups is not allowed.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus SportSG badminton quarantine

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