The Russian Ministry of Sport has sent its member federations a list of guidelines for the safe return to sporting activity amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. The move comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin last week announced an end to the economic shutdown, in spite of the country still seeing a dramatic rise in cases.
In early March, Russia was reporting relatively-few cases of coronavirus infection, but that has since changed. The country is now approaching 300,000 cases and has the second-highest count of cases in the world – around 10,000 per day over the last week – behind only the U.S.
The proposal, which was distributed last Monday, is to lift restrictive measures in 3 stages in line with the recommendations of national health authorities. Restrictions will be lifted by region depending on the local situation.
The Russian plan loosely aligns with most other reopening plans for sports around the world, gradually allowing greater-and-greater capacities, along with a slow return to competition, first without and then with, spectators.
“I want to draw the special attention of regional leaders to the relevance of resuming training events for members of the national teams of Russia and the at regional sports facilities, subject to the requirements of (the Russian health service),” Oleg Matytsin, the Minister of Sports of Russia said of the plan, emphasizing the priority of returning professional and international-caliber athletes to training.
No dates were assigned by the ministry for the progression into each phase, though Russia
Below are the highlights of the plan.
- Individual physical education and outdoor sports for youth can resume with 5 meters of space between participants.
- No more than 25% capacity
- Organization of training events for members of Russian National Teams, professional sports clubs, and organizations involved in sports training.
- Professional sporting leagues and sporting competitions can review without in-person spectators.
- Fitness centers, sports facilities, and other training centers (indoors and outdoors) can begin to reopen
- No more than 50% capacity
- Individual and group training classes can resume with no more than 20 people
- Sporting events can begin again at the local and regional level without in-person spectators
- Resumption of Russian Championships Cups, All-Russian, and inter-regional competitions can resume with in-person spectators
- International competitions may be resumed in the territory of the Russian Federation with in-person spectators
- Resumption of participation of Russian athletes in events outside of the Russian Federation can begin.