BRIDGETOWN, Barbado – The green light has been given for sporting events to be reintroduced in phases, based on the risk involved, Minister of Health and Wellness Ian Gooding-Edghill announced on Saturday.
He said the return to sporting activity will be “gradual and purposeful”.
Among the major events which will resume after being put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are the popular schools’ athletic championships and horse racing.
“The National Primary School Athletic Championships and Barbados Secondary School Athletic Championships will be allowed. Horse racing fans will once again be able to enjoy the pleasure of horse racing in person as spectators, with fans being allowed to return to the Garrison Savannah in general,” Gooding-Edghill said in a statement announcing the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions with effect from Monday.
He added that there would be adjusted requirements for indoor and outdoor contact and non-contact sports.
For outdoor non-contact sports such as cricket, hockey, football, and swimming, there will be no requirements for vaccine or rapid antigen test for participants; while participation in indoor non-contact sports will require vaccination or rapid antigen testing, although Minister Gooding-Edghill said special consideration will be given to squash and indoor handball.
Vaccination and rapid antigen tests will be required for participation in indoor contact sports while either will suffice for outdoor contact sports.
Gooding-Edghill said the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment will set out the relevant guidelines and protocols for the safe reopening of sports, including what is required for normal practice sessions and competitions.
“It should be borne in mind that any sport that requires special approval may only proceed after official permission has been given by the COVID Monitoring Unit or the Chief Medical Officer,” he noted.
On the matter of cricket, the Health Minister said the vaccination only policy for the second match of the Apex Test series, between West Indies and England, will apply to all stands at the Kensington Oval. Unlike the Betway Test Series here in January, no rapid antigen testing will be required for the Party Stand.