Taekwondo students shout while throwing punches and kicks.
These students in Seoul were able to return to class on Monday after the government eased social distancing measures for some indoor sports like Taekwondo.
While current social distancing measures ban indoor sports until January 17th, the government has allowed Taekwondo classes as a care space.
However, the classes have a cap of nine students.

“In the past, we had 5 Taekwondo classes a day, but due to the government’s new limit of 9 students per class, we decided to extend that to 8 classes to teach more students.”

He said, however, he felt it was unfair to only allow some sports and not others, even though they all take place in indoor sports facilities.

“Now, under the government’s stricter measures
some indoor sports facilities like Taekwondo, Judo, Boxing, and Wrestling can stay open.
But other similar sports facilities like gyms, Jiu-Jitsu, and Kickboxing must stay closed.”

In December, there were 538 cases linked to indoor sports facilities, showing the risk of cluster infections from such places.

“Forceful breathing there can be a release of the virus through droplets even if a person is wearing a mask virus can be exposed to the air and potentially can breath in by other people who are using the facilities.”

She added that contamination through surfaces is another risk with shared sports equipment.
And poor ventilation could cause further virus spread.
But what does it take to allow such facilities to reopen?
Dr. Tan also stressed the importance of limiting the number of people who are allowed in at any one time by allocating time slots which would allow owners to deep clean surfaces and ventilate.

But she thinks it still seems a little early to reopen these facilities under the current COVID-19 circumstances.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said on Wednesday that the health authorities should consider ways to improve fairness and announce new measures for all indoor sports facilities.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.

Reporter : peterwjchoi@arirang.com

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