South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved his nation to an ‘alert level 3’ as of June 1st regarding the coronavirus lockdown.
Per his published statement, the implementation of alert level 3 will involve the return to operation of most sectors of the economy, subject to observance of strict health protocols and social distancing rules.
This includes people being able to exercise at any time during the day, provided this is not done in groups. However, any place open to the public where cultural, sporting, entertainment, recreational, exhibitional, organizational or similar activities may take place will remain closed.
This means that elite swimmers based in South Africa will remain out of the water for the moment.
However, Swimming South Africa is in the midst of negotiating its athletes’ return to pool training according to directives outlined by the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Matthews.
Swimming South African has 14 days to submit a ‘state of readiness’, defining who is a professional swimmer, what COVID-19 regulations will be adhered to while training and how careful surveillance of athletes heading into and out of hotspots will transpire.
Currently, South Africa defines coronavirus hotspots as areas containing more than 5 infected people per every 100,000, or where new infections are increasing at a ‘fast pace’. Per the President’s level 3 announcements, the following metros have been identified as coronavirus hotspots: Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Ethekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and Cape Town.
You can read Swimming South Africa’s latest update on its ‘state of readiness’ initiative here.
As a reminder, Swimming South Africa published its revised 2020-21 competition calendar, which we published here.
Below are the South Africans who have hit an Olympic-qualifying time (FINA A cut) since March 1, 2019:
- Brad Tandy, 50 free
- Chris Reid, 200 back
- Michael Houlie, 100 breast
- Chad Le Clos, 100 fly, 200 fly
- Ryan Coetzee, 100 fly
- Erin Gallagher, 100 free, 100 fly
- Tatjana Schoenmaker, 100 breast, 200 breast
- Kaylene Corbett, 200 breast