South Africa suspends all contact sports in schools

A boy in a school uniform, wearing a protective mask to protect against the coronavirus, walks past other boys playing at Alexandra township in South Africa, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa’s department of basic education has on Wednesday announced that the council of education ministers has decided to suspend all contact sports in schools with immediate effect.

“Non-contact sport training in schools can continue provided that all social distancing, hygiene and safety measures are observed and that there is no physical contact between participants during training.” The department said in a statement.

This is as a result of school sports activity-related COVID-19 outbreaks in Gauteng Province which were reported during the last week of Term 1, and have been gradually increasing in Term 2.

“Following the school sports activities related COVID-19 outbreaks in Gauteng and the general rise of cases in communities across the country, the Outbreak Response Team said that the risk was high when engaged in close-contact sports, especially with people who did not live together.”

A government gazette is set to be issued with the notice, in the coming days.