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Posted On: 26 January 2021 08:15 pm
Updated On: 7 February 2021 01:11 pm

[FURTHER UPDATED] Only outdoor activities allowed during this year's National Sport Day

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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UPDATE: February 5, 2021 10:27 PM

The National Sports Day Committee announced the amendment of the conditions and guidelines for the activities and sporting events of the 2021 National Sport Day on Tuesday, after coordination with the Ministry of Public Health.

Based on the decisions of the Council of Ministers issued on Wednesday 3/2/2021 regarding the plan to re-impose restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the State of Qatar to prevent its spread and in the interest of community safety, it was decided that:

  • All sports activities this year will be individual only, such as running, swimming, and cycling, the committee said in a statement on Friday.
  • It added that sports that require physical contact, such as ball matches, are not allowed, and sports in which several teams compete in a limited space are not permitted, in addition to not allowing public attendance in places of sports activities during Sports Day.
  • All sports activities must take place in outdoor places, while indoor sports are prohibited, in addition to not allowing the holding of sporting events in schools and clubs, the statement added.

The National Sports Day Committee called on all members of society who practice sports to commit to taking several preventive measures, such as wearing masks, except for the time of practising sports activity, stressing that a thermal examination must be conducted for practitioners of sports activity upon entering any area to practice and to prevent the participation of those whose temperature reaches more than 37.8 C, in addition to making sure that participants have a green color EHTERAZ application.

The committee urged the non-immune groups, including people over the age of 60 years and people with chronic diseases, to be discouraged from attending places of sports activities for the sake of their safety, indicating that providing meals in all public places is under the guidelines of the Ministry of Public Health and restrictions imposed on restaurants.

The National Sports Day aims to highlight the importance of sport with its moral and human values and health benefits, in addition, to educate citizens and residents of the importance of sport in daily life and encourage them to practice it throughout the year.

SCOPE OF ALLOWED ACTIVITIES & ITS LOCATIONS

  • This year, only individual sporting activities are allowed, such as jogging/running, swimming, and cycling.
  • Contact sports that require physical contact between players are prohibited, for example, football matches.
  • Competitive sports that require more than one team in a limited space is prohibited.
  • All sporting activities, during training and preparation and during the event itself, must be conducted entirely in outdoor settings. All sporting activities in indoor settings are entirely prohibited.
  • In case the use of vehicles is required to reach the locations of the activities, the number of passengers should not exceed 4 persons in each car, including the driver. In the case of using buses, the number of people on the bus should not exceed 30% of the maximum capacity load, taking into account the opening of the windows. All should comply with wearing face masks during transport.
  • All sports and gym equipment in parks, sports paths and all other public places are closed.

Other Public Health Measures:

  • Face masks are mandatory and should be worn at all times except during the sporting activity itself. In the event of stopping sporting activity, it must be put back on.
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging or kissing at all times.
  • Close interaction with other people should be avoided before starting and after finishing sporting activities and a safe distance must be maintained at all times.
  • A safe distance of at least 3 meters must be strictly maintained at all times during the sports activity.
  • Participants are advised to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters while talking to other participants with strict compliance to wearing face masks
  • Participants are not to share clothes, towels, soap, or any other personal items, and they must use their own drinking bottles and not share them with others. They should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean hands.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces. No spitting, no cheering, no live choir, and no live singing by spectators as this can spread the virus.
  • Provide trash cans with lids to dispose of used tissues in all vehicles and venues. • Anyone who is feeling unwell should not participate in any sports activity and should report to the nearest health center.

Participants in the individual sports activities during the National Sport Day should take into account the following:

  • Spectators are not allowed to attend any of the activities during the sports day.
  • Family groups of the same household can sit together in the open air, but with a minimum of 2m distance from other families in all directions.
  • Thermal screening must be conducted for athletes upon entry to any area to practice any sports activity. Entry will be prohibited for those with a temperature above 37.8 degrees. In addition, check that the status is green in the EHTERAZ app to allow entry.
  • Everyone must wear face masks all the time when they are not performing an exercise or during walking
  • Vulnerable and high-risk groups including people aged 60 years and older and people with chronic illnesses should be discouraged from attending the activities for their own safety.

Catering:

  • It is preferable not to eat while exercising or during sports activities. Meals should be served in accordance with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) guidance for restaurants.
  • Food outlets at venue are restricted to ready-made, take-away in disposable packaging.
  • Only outdoor dining is allowed.
  • Queues for obtaining meals must comply with the minimum of 1.5m physical distancing precautions - mark floors to ensure compliance and provide staff or volunteers to ensure public compliance. No buffet food is to be served in any venue.
  • For more general health and prevention information, inquiries can be directed to the Ministry of Public Health.

    The protocol file can be downloaded and viewed by visiting the Ministry of Culture and Sports website www.mcs.gov.qa.
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    UPDATE: February 1, 2021 11:17 PM

    The committee organizing the State's Sports Day announced amendments to the conditions it placed to Sport Day activities, after coordination with the Ministry of Public Health, based on the public health indicators related to the Coronavirus pandemic in Qatar.

    Sports Day Training & Venue Preparation:

    • The sports day must only organize individual sports in open air, with a maximum number of participants of four in each group.
    • Practitioners must also adhere to physical distancing, keeping a safe distance of three meters.
    • No indoor sports will be allowed, based on public health protocols.
    • Group activities that require contact with other players and prevent physical distancing are not allowed.
    • The committee also called on all state institutions to avoid holding activities and events that would lead to overcrowding.
    • It also encouraged members of the society to make use of the sports day by carrying out sports either individually or in small groups in line with public health protocols.
    • Participants will arrive at the venue in their own vehicles, with no more than 4 people per car, including the driver. Everyone must wear a face mask during transport.
    • A safe distance of 3 meters must be maintained during all training and the activity itself.
    • Participants are not allowed to share clothes, towels, or any personal items.
    • Hand sanitisers must be present throughout the venue.
    • All participants must download the “Ehteraz” app. Only those who have a green status are
      allowed to enter.
    • Ensure that all used spaces and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected on regular basis.
    • Visual reminders and health awareness materials such as banners or posters must be present at the venues.
    • An isolation area for anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms must be provided, and health officials must be notified.

    Quarantine at the hotel:

    • All international participants or guests, if applicable, are required to enter into a hotel quarantine as per Qatar’s specific regulation and quarantine protocol in force at the time.
    • Upon arrival at the hotel, participants/guests will undergo thermal scanning and might be interviewed and screened for possible Covid-19 symptoms and signs. If the participant is found to be symptomatic (with fever, cough, flu-like symptoms… etc.) or showing other symptoms and signs he/she will be set for further assessment by medical staff at the nearest healthcare facility/emergency department and could be referred to a designated hospital for further assessment and management accordingly.
    • Participants tested positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to participate unless they have fully recovered after the lapse of 14 days of diagnosis and at least 5 days of
      the disappearance of any Covid-19 symptoms.

    COVID-19 testing:

    • All participants, as appropriate, should submit a certificate of clearance of Covid-19 (Negative RT-PCR or equivalent test) performed 72 hours prior to participation in the event.
    • RT-PCR or equivalent testing will be conducted using a mid-turbinate nasal swab at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) or the National Reference Lab.
    • Participants who test positive for Covid-19 will not be allowed to participate unless they have completely recovered i.e. after the lapse of 14 days of diagnosis and at least 5 days of disappearance of any Covid-19 symptoms and signs, or the lapse of 10 days of a positive PCR test in an asymptomatic individual.
    • Refusal of swabbing for PCR or equivalent testing will result in dismissal from participation in the event training and the event itself.

    Transportation:

    • In the case of participants’ arrival on a bus, they should be transported in small groups while maintaining the 1.5 meters distance to avoid spreading infection (maximum of 25 occupants in 50 passenger capacity bus). If participants arriving in private cars, the maximum number of occupants is 4 as per the MOPH guideline.
    • The participants will be asked to wear masks throughout the entire period while being in transport vehicles, and other times except during exercise.

    Catering:

    • Meals should be served in accordance with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) guidance for catering during Exhibitions/Conferences/Cultural Events. Only ready-made or prepackaged meals are allowed during preparations, training and during the actual event with a minimum of 2 meters distance between tables in all directions with not more than 4 people seated on same table and with 1.5 meter distance between people if on the same table.
    • Food outlets and concessions at the venue are restricted to ready-made take-away in disposable packaging. Prepackaged, grab and go food meals and drinks to shorten waiting time for customers are preferred. Dining in outdoor settings is preferred over indoor settings.
    • Queues for obtaining meals must comply with the minimum of 1.5m physical distancing precautions – mark floors to ensure compliance and provide staff or volunteers to ensure public compliance. No buffet food is to be served in any venue.

    Sport Events:

    • All participants must maintain a minimum of 3 meters of safe distance during the events.
    • Masks are mandatory and should be worn all the time except during exercise.
    • No cheering, live choir or live group singing is allowed during training or at the events.
    • Individual protection packages must be provided for participants containing:
      - Small personal packages of disposable tissues and plastic bags for tissue disposal.
      - Several medical masks to wear.
      - Small packages of alcohol-based hand wipes or hand sanitiser.
    • If a participant feels ill, he/she must not come to the event and should be advised to visit the nearest health centre.

    Other general health measures:

    • Participants need to guarantee physical distancing of 1.5 meters preventing face to face gatherings and avoiding handshakes, hugs, kissing, and general person-to-person contact.
    • Provide trash cans with lids to dispose of used tissues on all buses and in all facilities and in areas where the public will be seated.
    • Pre-event meetings are strongly recommended to be conducted online. If physical meetings are deemed inevitable, they should be done preferably in outdoor settings while maintaining the safe distance of 1.5 meters and wearing masks for all during the entire meeting period. If an indoor meeting is required, the meeting should not include more than 15 participants in the meeting at a time while wearing masks. Social gatherings are strictly prohibited during the event.
    • Ensure good hygiene signage across all venues, preparation rooms, toilets, and training facilities, etc.
    • It is preferable to have a medical post (field clinic and paramedics) and designated personnel on site to help assess urgent cases if needed.
    • Team staff and volunteer leads should ensure that their teams and volunteers are briefed on the protocols for suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases, on infection prevention and control measures and on where to find or seek more information.

    Audience and Spectators:

    • The public is not allowed to attend sporting events during NSD except the families within the same household when they sit together in an open-air seating, while keeping at least 2 meters between them.
    • EHTERAZ App must be downloaded, and people will 'Green' status will only be allowed.
    • Thermal screening must be conducted for employees, athletes, and the public before entering the stands area or rally place, entry will be prohibited for those with a temperature above 37.8 degrees.
    • Gates are to open early to avoid crowding at the entrances.
    • Smoking is not allowed on the stands and in public places.
    • Designated smoking rooms/areas should be approved by the relevant MOPH department.
    • Vulnerable and high-risk groups including those over 60, people with chronic illnesses and people with disabilities, should be discouraged from attending the event for their own safety.
    • Make special considerations for vulnerable groups if attendance is inevitable, keep vulnerable groups safe and protected all the time with strict adherence to public health measures.
    • No spitting, no cheering, no live choir and no live singing by spectators as this can spread the virus.
    • The health authorities might decide, any time based on the level of spread of infection in the community, to hold the event behind closed doors (no spectators) or even recommend postponing the event if necessary.

    For more general health and prevention information, inquiries can be directed to the Ministry of Public Health, including inquiries and compliance issues relating to the above-mentioned requirements.

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      January 26, 2021

      In a statement released by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the State of Qatar, the Organising Committee of the National Sport Day in Qatar, in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) released a document with the Healthcare Protocol and Public Health Measures to be followed during the National Sports Day this year. The document by the Organising Committee of the National Sport Day mentions the ways of safely holding sports events in celebration of National Sports Day this year amid the Covid-19 Pandemic and following public health measures to protect the health of all.

      The sports day committee announced that all sporting activities and events for Sports Day will be held in the open air, and that no event will take place indoors.

      The committee said in a statement released today that a RT-PCR test will be required if participants will carry out a contact sport like football, basketball, volleyball, and other similar types of sports activities. However other sports that do not involve contact like running and walking will not require a RT-PCR.

      The committee highlighted the importance of adhering to the guidelines related to organizing sports day events, to ensure the goals behind organizing that day are achieved. The committee also stressed the importance of focusing on events that involve physical activity, in order to promote the importance of doing sports as a healthy daily habit.

      The committee also asked all parties organizing events to choose activities that are appropriate with the age groups that are participating, in order to avoid fatigue or injuries. The committee also called on avoiding fast food meals and eating nutritious meals instead, and encouraging the participants to engage in sporting activities during the events.

      Source and cover image: Ministry of Culture and Sports, QNA, Qatar News Agency