Live sporting activities are now free to resume in Fiji with some restrictions.
Most sporting facilities have remained closed since March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, although some non-contact sports were allowed to resume on a recreational level last month.
It's been 65 days since the country confirmed their last new case of Covid-19 and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced yesterday that organised sport can now restart provided formal indoor and outdoor venues are restricted to 50 per cent capacity and physical distancing is maintained.
"Contact sports simply weren't safe when community-based transmission posed a threat," he said at a public press conference.
"With Fiji's outbreak contained, we can safely reclaim our status as the beating heart of world rugby and welcome back football, boxing and all other contact sports as well. Fijians are a sporting people and I know how much it means to fans across Fiji to attend games and see our athletes in action."
With no new COVID cases in over two months, Fijians can again lace up their boots and reclaim Fiji's status as the beating heart of @WorldRugby. Touch rugby can be played everywhere, and matches can be held with stadiums at half capacity. But if you're feeling unwell, stay home!— Frank Bainimarama (@FijiPM) June 21, 2020
Mr Bainimarama said athletes and event organisers will still have to adhere to strict guidelines and all spectators must download the careFIJI App to assist with contact tracing.
"Our formal indoor and outdoor sporting venues can host sporting events with spectators at 50 per cent capacity, so long as physical distancing is maintained within the venue," he said.
"For informal sports events at the community level, the 100-person limit applies."
He also stressed that any athlete who is feeling unwell should stay home.
"Officials will be responsible for symptom screenings, and should not allow anyone who is sick to play."
Raring to Go
Fiji National Rugby League's domestic season normally runs from April until October but Acting CEO Don Natabe said they have remodelled their competitions with an eye to kick-off in a month's time.
"We've come up with a few concepts for the men's and women's competitions," he said.
"From when the official announcement that we can resume sport in Fiji we will then plan a compulsory four weeks pre-competition to allow teams to go back into training."
The Fiji Sports Council said it will reopen its facilities, including ANZ Stadium and the Vodafone Arena in Suva, from tomorrow.
Meanwhile gyms, fitness centres and swimming pools are permitted to re-open from today.