Metro mayors allow conduct of contact sports for vaccinated individuals

Published November 13, 2021, 2:30 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Metro Manila mayors have agreed and recommended to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) the conduct of contact sports in the National Capital Region (NCR), provided that players and spectators are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19.

Under Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution No. 21-28, which was signed by all the 17 mayors, indoor and outdoor and organized and unorganized contact sports shall be allowed for inoculated individuals above 12 years old.

Players may take off their masks while playing, but they must wear them back and observe social distancing when taking a break, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said in a press conference on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Meanwhile, spectators shall wear face masks at all times, he added.

The resolution, which is the list of recommended guidelines of Metro mayors for contact sports, will only be effective once approved by the national government’s pandemic task force, Abalos said.

“Ngayon ang tanong effective na ba ito o hindi pa, well lumalabas na hinihingi namin sa IATF na aprubahan ito. Effective na ito, na-ipiublish na kanina, pero ‘yung sagot ng IATF wala pa (Now, the question is if it’s already effective or not. Well, it appears, we’re still waiting for the approval from the IATF. It may have already been effective since it’s already published earlier, but there’s still no answer from the IATF). So we have to wait for Tuesday probably,” he clarified as the guidelines under the latest MMDA resolution are slightly different from the national government’s guidelines.

Under current IATF’s guidelines, indoor sports are allowed at 50 percent venue capacity while outdoor sports at 70 percent. Those between 12 to 18 years old as well as adults will also be allowed to play and watch, regardless if they are vaccinated or not.

But under the new MMDA resolution, only those vaccinated will be allowed.

“Perhaps, for now, those activities that will not have any conflict with the current guidelines are allowed,” Abalos told reporters.

According to the resolution issued Saturday, the issuance of the resolution aims to “incentivize persons to get vaccinated.”

“However, players or spectators who are symptomatic shall not be allowed to play or watch the event. Further, the Local Government Unit shall have the prerogative to allow or disallow spectators in any contact sport event as the circumstances may require,” it added.

In organized sports events, organizers, venue owners and operators shall “apply for the necessary permit from the concerned local government unit and declare the nature of the event, number of participants and duration.”

Meanwhile, in unorganized events, concerned barangay officials or the venue owners and operators shall supervise and ensure observance of venue capacity limitations, vaccination requirements, and minimum public health standards.