The Ministry of sports has released guidelines to be followed as the respective sports activities resume across the country.
In the low risk (football and hockey) and high risks contact sports (eg All codes of rugby), only the top tiers and National teams have been given green light to resume. The teams and tiers will have to observe containment measures.
Some of the measures include mandatory testing of the athletes at the cost of Sports Federations, Sports Organisations, participants, or event organisers for all competitions while team Kenya testing costs shall be met by the Government. Federations will be required to submit returns of Covid-19 tests carried out on active athletes to the ministry on a weekly basis.
As the sports resume, fans will not be allowed in sports activities across all codes of the sport.
For federations whose teams will be participating in international tournaments, they will have to get travel clearance from the Cabinet Secretary for Sports. The ministry has also warned that it will not authorise travels to areas deemed to be COVID-19 high risk.
Schools will wait longer after the ministry announced that all Under 18 Sports remain suspended. There will however be special consideration for National Teams preparing for select international events.
All Olympic participating teams will be accommodated at designated Bubble training camps in strict compliance with the guidelines.
Athletes who will have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by a two-dose vaccine of AstraZeneca or full dose of any other vaccine as recommended by the government, will be considered “fully vaccinated” 21 days after the final dose of vaccine.
Those vaccinated will be required to continue following the Covid-19 prevention measures at all times. Should athletes or sport organizations fail to adhere to the guidelines, they risk suspension from participating in event/tournament; withdrawal/suspension from National Team (for National Team athletes); prosecution of the offenders under the existing laws.
The Guidelines will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
The following are key highlights drawn from the revised Protocols:
- COVID-19 testing will be mandatory at the cost of Sports Federations, Sports Organisations, participants, or event organisers as applicable for all competitions. Team Kenya testing costs shall be met by the Government.
- The Ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Health will continue with the sportspersons’ vaccination program on a priority basis.
- Federations entering teams for international events will be required to seek travel clearance from the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage and the designated Team Medical Personnel (with training in Medicine).
- The Ministry will not authorise travel to countries where the COVID-19 caseload is established to be high or where the Ministry of Health advises to be high risk.
- All Under 18 Sports remain suspended. Special consideration will be granted to National Teams preparing for select international events.
- The Ministry will prepare and release elaborate bubble camp training and event protocols. All Olympic participating teams will be accommodated at designated Bubble training camps in strict compliance with these Guidelines, the Ministry of Health Guidelines and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games playbooks. Testing of Athletes shall be done every 96 hours until the commencement of the Olympic Games to ensure that Kenyan athletes are safe and exposed to the rigors of Covid-19 control expected in Tokyo.
- Private fitness clubs may re-open immediately and observe all the containment measures including strict social distancing, sanitisation, handwashing among other measures as provided in the Guidelines. Strict adherence is expected from gym owners and users in this respect.
- No spectators shall be allowed at any sporting events.
- All sports Federations are expected to submit weekly returns of Covid-19 tests carried out on active athletes.
- The first athletes’ delegation to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will depart the country on 5th July, 2021 and will be based in Kurume City for 12 days in strict adherence with the released Tokyo 2020 Playbook.
- The Ministry, in conjunction with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) and the Kenya National Paralympic Committee (KNPC) will continue to educate and sensitise athletes on the playbook with daily activity logs submitted to the Ministry by the General Team Managers until the conclusion of the Games.