Coronavirus: Indoor sport activities banned, except for children

Summary

Non-professional adult sports that take place indoors must stop as of today in order to slow the spread of Covid-19

‘Breeding ground’

Amateur sports that take place indoors and cannot guarantee social distancing of 1.5 metres cannot take place in Flanders starting today. The regulation applies to anyone over the age of 12 but does not apply to professional sports.

In the face of fast-rising coronavirus infections and hospitalisations, sport minister Ben Weyts made the announcement yesterday. It applies to sport activities where social distancing cannot be guaranteed, such as basketball and judo. A sport like tennis, however, could still take place. Fitness clubs may also remain open so individuals can work out.

The new measure applies to Flanders, not Brussels, and takes effect today. “It’s not a nice thing to hear, especially with the autumn school holiday coming up,” admitted Weyts to VRT. “But we have to act decisively if we have indications that the sports world is a breeding ground for the virus.”

Medical experts have indeed been asking the government to consider tightening controls on indoor sports, where people come into close contact while breathing heavily and sweating. Weyts stopped shorted of applying the regulation to children, however, as they spread the virus much less easily than do adults.

Cafes in sport clubs can remain open, and the public continues to be welcome as long as the federal regulation regarding no more than 200 people inside is followed.

Photo courtesy VC Pandas