South Africa Suspends Contact Sports in Schools with Immediate Effect
South Africa Suspends Contact Sports in Schools with Immediate Effect. Photo: iStockPhoto

Following Covid-19 cluster outbreaks in public schools, the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) has pulled the plug on all contact sports, with immediate effect. The decision was taken this morning after a virtual meeting, according to the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

Non-contact sports training is permitted to continue… provided all safety protocols are observed and there is zero physical contact between participants.

Minister Angie Motshekga gazetted directions allowing non-contact sports, sports-related activities, school-based art, and cultural activities to resume without spectators when the schools reopened this year… subject to adherence to health and safety measures.

The Department revealed today that “during the last week of term one, school sports activity related COVID-19 outbreaks in Gauteng province were reported and have been gradually increasing in term two.”

The Department says it is now evident that despite following the protocols to prevent Covid-19, contact sport has been a contributor to the spread of the virus.

Following the outbreaks, “the Outbreak Response Team said that the risk was high when engaged within close-contact sports, especially with people who did not live together”.

Last week SANews reported that academic activities were suspended in two schools in Gauteng after 11 Coronavirus infections were detected in Krugersdorp High School and six at St John’s College.

“In this regard, all sporting activities have been suspended with immediate effect until the cluster outbreak is subsequently over with no further cases reported including the preparatory school sport,” said the Department. –