Guidelines Released by Sports Ministry for Resumption of Sports in Kenya

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The Sports Ministry led by Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amb. Amina Mohammed on Monday, August 24, 2020, issued out the guidelines which will determine the resumption of the various sports in the country.

The guidelines were issued in consideration with the report from the Advisory Committee CS Amina had appointed on July 10, 2020, to draw up protocols required for the resumption of sporting activities in the country which had been suspended following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines will see a 7-day review before they are officially implemented, to allow all stakeholders to have a view at them and give in their recommendations.

CS Amina stated that the Advisory Committee, which consisted of members the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, the Ministry of Health, Sports Health practitioners, Sports Stakeholders, and other eminent professionals in the sports industry under the Chairmanship of the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry, Hon. Hassan Noor Hassan, commenced its work immediately after their appointment, engaging stakeholders, undertaking an environmental outlook and eventually proposing the Guidelines.

On his part, Sports CAS in Hon. Hassan Noor Hassan stated that the guidelines for the resumption of sporting activities during the COVID-19 pandemic presents the State Department of Sport’s approach to opening up and supporting the Sporting industry, even as the Country tries to live with and mitigate the Corona pandemic.

“The Guidelines provide the State Department with an opportunity to ensure the resumption of Sporting activities with emphasis being placed on the safety and well-being of all the participants. The State Department also continues to deliver on its mandate guided by the Ministerial Strategic Plan, Kenya Vision 2030, and Medium Term Plans” Noor Hassan said.

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He, however, warned that the success of the guidelines will only be successful if the laid down protocols will be adhered to strictly, with a high level of coordination, dedication, and personal drive by the implementers.

“The success of these guidelines will require strict adherence to the laid down protocols, high level of coordination, dedication and personal drive by the implementers. Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the guidelines will be effected and efforts at administration level will be directed towards availing resources to facilitate enforcement of the same” he added.

The following are the guidelines issued by the Sports Ministry in regards with resumption of sports in Kenya:

  1. Respective Sports Organizations must ensure the disseminate information about COVID-19 as released by the Ministry of Health to Athletes, athlete support personnel, officials, staff and volunteers;

  2. All organizers and venue operators should appoint COVID-19 contact persons (preferably sports officers) and response teams;

  3. Ensure the availability of handwashing facilities, sanitizers and thermometers at the training and competition sites;

  4. All venue operators should ensure safe environments, carry out regular cleaning and disinfection of venues, associated fixtures and equipment

  5. Officials, the media personnel and all staff working in sports venues during events will all have to take the Covid-19 tests;

  6. No press conference will be allowed except flash interviews for athletes. Such interviews will be conducted respecting the social distancing of 1.5 meters and more;

  7. Handshakes, hugs to celebrate achievements during and after events will be prohibited;

  8. Exchange and sharing of uniforms will be prohibited;

  9. Team event organizers should gather teams in one place prior to and until the end of the championship. The organizers will keep records and contact information of all the athletes and any other person for ease of contact tracing;

  10. Any suspected cases of COVID-19 to be processed in line with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health;

  11. There will be signage at every entrance and strategic locations to remind all persons of the COVID-19 measures; and

  12. Body temperature checks shall be conducted to all persons at the time of entry to the venue. Anyone with a body temperature reading above 37.5 will not be allowed into any sporting venue.

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Further, health checks, testing and screening for athletes, athlete support personnel, sports officials, venue staff, sport goods suppliers, and any other persons authorized to facilitate sports as and when identified will be conducted.

According to the report, the State Department of Sports and its stakeholders together with Public health officials will oversee the implementation and compliance with these protocols.

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This will include the issuance of certificates of compliance before the commencement of any sports activities and trainings, while the  Sports Kenya shall be responsible for inspection of Sports facilities within its control in liaison with the County Governments.

Each Sports Organization shall also form a Safe return-to-training Committee by federations to oversee the preparedness activities, and shall incorporate medical personnel and a Sports Liaison Officer (appointed by the Principal Secretary of Sports) in their committees.

The report also barred fans from entering stadiums, unless all protocols are achieved to level 6 of the guidelines. This, according to the Ministry, was in compliance with the World Helth Organization (WHO) and Ministry of Health recommendations due to COVID-19.

“To keep in line with the COVID-19 WHO and MOH guidelines, spectators will not be allowed into the playing fields unless all protocols have been achieved to level 6 of the guidelines for every sport discipline. Strict adherence to the same will be enforced for the safety of all participants. However, adequate preparations will be made to avail alternative online and live forums for fans to enjoy their sports” read the report.

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