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Sport included in safe zone policy; Govt gives green light in time for mid-week WI U-19 fixture

Sport is back—but only if you have taken the jab. Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe confirmed today, via email, that sport has been included in the Government’s Safe Zone policy.

It means that, like cinemas, restaurants and bars, national governing bodies and ‘sport serving bodies’ can resume events. But only vaccinated persons are allowed to be involved.

Photo: Signal Hill Secondary goal scorer Justice Williams (right) celebrates his winning strike in his own unique way during Big 5 action against Arima North on the Arima Old Road on 2 November 2019.
Domestic sport in Trinidad and Tobago has been outlawed since March 2020.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

‘The Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, minister of sport and community development, is pleased to announce that the Safe Zone Return to Play proposal developed by the Ministry of Sport and Community Development after consultation with stakeholders and officials has been approved,’ stated a media release. 

‘National governing bodies and sport serving bodies will now be able to host sporting events and execute sporting activities for fully vaccinated athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators, at specific sporting facilities.’

Further, the Ministry of Sport and Community Development revealed that fully vaccinated spectators will be allowed to attend matches.

“Approval has also been granted for fully vaccinated spectators to attend events at 50% facility capacity for outdoor events,” stated the release, “and 25% facility capacity for indoor events subject to guidelines to be issued by the Ministry of Health.

“The new Public Health Regulations will be published today and will take effect from tomorrow, Monday 24 January 2022.”

Photo: West Indies bowler Shiva Sankar (right) celebrates during their U-19 Cricket World Cup win over Scotland.
On Wednesday, his friends and family in Trinidad will have a chance to see Sankar, a Presentation College (Chaguanas) student, play–provided they are vaccinated.
(Copyright ICC/ Getty)

The government’s decision will have an immediate impact on the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup with West Indies due to play their first game in Trinidad on Wednesday 26 January.

West Indies’ failure to advance to the Super League phase of the competition means they are consigned to play in the Plate League in Trinidad instead. The Rising Stars face Papua New Guinea at the Diego Martin Sporting Comple from 9am.

The government has now amended the Public Health Ordinance to allow local cricket fans to see the contest live. Every other sport benefits too, once the players, coaches and officials involved are fully vaccinated.

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