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Non-contact sports now allowed under GCQ; sporting events could resume in MGCQ

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Badminton players in provinces under GCQ can enjoy playing the sport again. Contributed photo
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Athletes and enthusiasts of non-contact sports can now enjoy playing the games that they love again as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) approved the re-allowing of such sports during a general community quarantine (GCQ) period.

IATF Resolution 38, which was approved on Friday and was made public on Saturday, states that the likes of walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, tennis, badminton, equestrian, and skateboarding among other non-contact sports can now be played.

It is noted, however, "that the minimum public health standards such as the wearing of masks and maintenance of social distancing protocols and no sharing of equipment where applicable" are still to be observed by everyone.

The resolution also said that establishments that cater to the said sports can reopen but they will be "limited to basic operations."

The IATF earlier approved walking, jogging, and running in areas under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Meanwhile, the IATF will also allow sporting events among other mass gatherings to push through under a modified GCQ through the said resolution. However, arenas are limited to at most 50 percent of seating capacity during such events.

Except for Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales (all under MECQ), and the cities of Cebu and Mandaue (still under the classic ECQ), the rest of the Philippines are placed under GCQ.

Many provinces were in fact initially placed under MGCQ due to them being "low-risk" for COVID-19, but the local governments there asked for them to be reverted to GCQ status due to the lack of implementing rules and regulations about the MGCQ then.

The national government led by President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to name which provinces will be placed under GCQ and MGCQ just before the end of the month, although it is considering a nationwide GCQ by August.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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