Dr Thulani Ngwenya, South Africa Football Association chief medical officer has break down the process that needs to be followed in order for competitive football to resume in the country.
The Premier Soccer League’s ‘return-to-play’ protocols ensure training and matches must take place in a biologically safe environment [BSE].
But, while a number of clubs have already reported positive coronavirus cases, Dr Ngwenya has explained that there’s no cause for alarm and that the plan in place is very stringent.
“We have said to government, we’re going to test first, the training fields are going to be sanitised and people are going to be screened on a daily basis – that is just for training,” Dr Thulani Ngwenya told KickOff.
“But, over and above that, before they come to the BSE, they are going to be tested again for a second time and then go into a mini-camp wherever they are [based].
“Now, when they are cleared for a second time, they are then going to travel – for which there is also a protocol that we have to adhere to, which speaks about the number of people allowed in a transport, because we still have to have social distancing.
“Then, in terms of the BSE, when you identify this, it must be a place where it is not a hotspot or an epicentre, so we’ll be going to an even safer place.
“For instance, one of the other things that can perhaps be looked at is the issue that different regions in the country have different weather conditions, where, for instance, Polokwane is warmer than Johannesburg, but it doesn’t take priority over the issue of capacity.
“The first thing is that the area must not be an epicentre; the second is that it must have capacity in terms of training fields, accommodation and of course the match venues.
Talks are currently underway to restart the local leagues, with teams cleared to return to training once certain health measures are completed, including the first round of Covid-19 testing.