The Department of Health is open to engagements with relevant sporting stakeholders in a move that may pave the way for the number of vaccinated spectators allowed at stadiums to be increased.
Currently, regulations regarding Covid-19 precautions only permit 2,000 spectators at sporting venues, but some sporting bodies like the Premier Soccer League (PSL) have not taken up the allowance because it does not make financial sense for football clubs.
Spokesperson for the Department of Health Foster Mohale said though they don’t decide on amendments to the Disaster Management Act, they could make recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) if formal requests are made to them by the Department of Sport and sporting bodies.
“Yes, as long as the relevant or responsible department is in agreement, the health department will advise from a health protocol point of view, and also provide a mechanism to verify the vaccination status of all those attending the sports events,” Mohale said.
“This request can be done through the relevant department responsible for sports to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) for consideration after receiving proposals from the sports co-ordinating bodies.”
This past weekend firebrand EFF leader Julius Malema called on the PSL to challenge regulations that have limited attendance at stadiums for professional sports to 2,000.