As part of the second phase of Manitoba’s reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, sports will be able to get back in play Monday — but that doesn’t necessarily mean an immediate return to the field or the court.
Sport Manitoba president and CEO Jeff Hnatiuk told 680 CJOB there’s still going to be an approval process with the province to ensure health and safety protocols are followed.
“Although June 1 is when the second phase kicks in, there’s still some approval and some planning that needs to occur with those sports to make their return safe and obey by the social distancing and the sanitization guidelines that are in place,” he said.
“How are they going to continue social distancing, proper sanitization? … There’s still a process sports need to go through to get approval to be able to continue to play, and of course, it’s all in the name of public safety and health.”
Hnatiuk said some sports have already been underway — for example, golfers are already out on the links — but team sports will finally be able to resume — with some modifications.
While players will be following physical-distancing rules as much as possible, he said, it won’t always be possible.
“In some sports, from time to time there will be closer contact. It’s trying to minimize, and the sports being able to modify their rules to minimize the encroachment, if you will, on the social-distancing guidelines.”
Phase 2 of Manitoba’s reopening plan has been given the go-ahead due, in part, to the province’s low number of COVID-19 cases and continued success in ‘flattening the curve’.
“Case numbers and positive test rates continue to be low and other key factors are also positive,” said Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, in a provincial release Wednesday.
“These additional steps to safely restore services will help ease the impacts on Manitobans and ensure the health system continues to be able to respond if case numbers increase slightly.”