S. Korean pro sports leagues to welcome back spectators, but with strict virus prevention measures
Updated: 2020-06-29 17:03:54 KST
South Korea's professional sports leagues have been underway since May,without spectators.
But starting next month, the games will reopen to fans under strict virus prevention measures and limits on stadium capacity.
This is part of the government's newly imposed, so-called "Level 1 social distancing", which is the lowest level in the three-stage system laid out by the health authorities on Sunday.
"In accordance with the Level 1 distancing in daily life measures, public facilities and sports stadiums with lower infection risks will reopen in phases.
Under the government policy, all fans must wear face masks and get their body temperature checked at the gates.
Seats will be distanced, and eating food in the stadium will be banned.
Group chanting is also restricted to prevent droplet infection.
And all tickets will be sold online so contact tracing will be easy.
The country's baseball league will be the first to welcome fans, as early as this weekend, according to the Korea Baseball Organization.
"The KBO and all 10 teams have been preparing quarantine measures to welcome baseball fans. We'll gradually open with 30 percent capacity."
The organization hopes to increase the capacity to 50 percent in consultation with the culture and health ministries.
But Korea's professional football league says it will take at least one week of preparation before it can welcome fans.
Once it does, the number of spectators will kept at around 30 to 40 percent of the stadiums' capacity.
The Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association is also preparing to follow suit.
More detailed guidelines for each type of sport will be announced by the culture ministry and respective sports organizations in the coming days.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.