Government opens door for pro sport in level 3 – and you can exercise when you want

Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at Thursday’s briefing to announce the new level 3 regulations. Image: GCIS
It’s official: from June 1, you can exercise at any time of the day.

But if you wanted to go for a surf, or run on the beach or at your local park, you are not yet allowed to.

Cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said this on Thursday in announcing the level 3 restrictions, which kick in on Monday.

“As said by the President [Cyril Ramaphosa, on Sunday], we will lift the curfew and allow more time for exercising, walking and cycling. However, this is permitted so long as this is not done in organised groupings. In this regard, health protocols and social distancing must be strictly observed,” said Dlamini-Zuma.

She said that “public training, fitness and recreation facilities” would remain closed.

However, she said that facilities “conducting non-contact sports matches, without spectators” can open.

Arts, culture and sports minister Nathi Mthethwa would “elaborate on this”, said Dlamini-Zuma.

Regulations sent to the media ahead of Dlamini-Zuma’s address state that “a professional non-contact sport match, which may only include players, match officials, journalists and medical and television crew” would be allowed – but only after the consultations with the responsible cabinet members for sports and health, presumably Mthethwa and health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

While the exercise restrictions have been lifted, “sports grounds and fields and swimming pools” will remain closed, except for the training of professional athletes of non-contact sports.

Beaches and public parks also remain closed.

By Matthew Savides

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