Govt Publishes Proposed Guidelines for Sports Resumption

  • Inside the Moi International Sports Complex (MISC) Kasarani Stadium
    Inside the Moi International Sports Complex (MISC) Kasarani Stadium
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Athletes and sports lovers in Kenya can breathe a sigh of relief after the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage on Monday, August 24, published proposed guidelines for the resumption of sports.

    Revealed during a virtual stakeholders' public participation forum, the protocols raised hopes that popular leagues and sporting events including the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League would soon return, provided that organisers comply with the regulations. 

    While unveiling the guidelines, Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed welcomed feedback and input from stakeholders and members of the public on the protocols. Final guidelines will be published on September 3.

    The guidelines draw heavily from protocols published by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of the virus. They were developed with the input of stakeholders including sports federations.

    General guidelines cutting across sports will see major changes at sports events, as press conferences, hugs and handshakes will be banned. Exchanging of uniforms will also no longer be allowed. 

    Sports CS Amina Mohamed speaking during the ground breaking ceremony of Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium at the ASK Kisumu Showground in Mamboleo, Kisumu County on June 24, 2020.
    Sports CS Amina Mohamed speaking during the ground breaking ceremony of Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium at the ASK Kisumu Showground in Mamboleo, Kisumu County on June 24, 2020.
    Amina Mohamed / Twitter

    Health breaks for athletes to hydrate were also recommended as part of the guidelines.

    Venues will also be required to comply with a raft of protocols before being approved to host various events.

    Organisers of sporting events will have to provide an action plan ahead of the event. As part of the venue preparedness measures, health checks and screenings for athletes will have to be undertaken.

    Athletes and personnel at events will be required to wear masks and observe social distance. To facilitate contact tracing, venues will also have to keep a temporary record of attendees at sports events for up to thirty days.

    Cleaning and disinfection of handrails, public areas and storage areas will be mandatory.

    Preparations will also have to be made to be able to isolate any suspected Covid-19 case at sporting events.

    Indoor sports facilities will also have to comply with new measures; including providing solid partitions in shared areas. They will also limit access to changing rooms and showers.

    Swimming pools and aquatic sports venues will, however, remain closed. Steam rooms and saunas will also remain closed. The Ministry promised to review the matter at a later date.

    Also provided for were post-competition guidelines; including on the disposal of waste and limiting of post-event meetings at the venue.

    The ministry issued a disclaimer that the guidelines were subject to modification depending on the rate of infection and public health policy changes.

    A panoramic view of the Nyayo National Stadium as of May 25, 2020
    A panoramic view of the Nyayo National Stadium as of May 25, 2020
    Capital Group

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