With COVID-19 vaccines about to arrive in a few months, normalcy is within reach right?
Well, not immediately.
For sports, the Games and Amusements Board, together with Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Philippine Sports Commission, and Department of Health, stressed that the bubble set-up for events will still be implemented.
This as vaccinated individuals can still carry the virus and be carriers even without getting sick.
“We may get healthy once vaccinated, but we can still infect our housemates,” said Mitra upon consultation with numerous health experts both locally and abroad.
Currently, only professional leagues can host sporting events, but can only do so in a bubble set-up at a low-risk area.
The PBA did their bubble in AUF Sports & Cultural Gym-Quest Hotel, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 in Inspire Sports Academy, PFL in PFF Training Center-Seda Hotel, and NBL in the compound of Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center.
Misinformation has been spreading on social media that vaccinating an entire sporting organization will bring back the home-venue-home setup. But it’s not actually true.
“One incident in sports will have an effect on everyone,” warned Mitra.
“For example, students are not allowed by their parents and the government to go to school so why will they be allowed to play?”
Earlier, GAB, PSC, and DOH reaffirmed that only pro leagues can play for the foreseeable future.
Section IX of the Joint Administrative Order no. 2020-0001 also expressly provides that penalties in the form of administrative fines may be imposed through the DOLE Deparment Order No. 198 S. 2018 for any willful failure to comply with the said JAO. Furthermore, any person or entity found to have violated the provisions in this Order are subject to penalties and other legal actions in accordance with, but not limited to, existing laws and orders for the COVID-19 response, Republic Act No. 11332 – Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, Republic Act No. 11058 – Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act, and other applicable laws, guidelines, and issuances within the jurisdiction of GAB and PSC.