Stadiums To Open For Vaccinated Fans?
South African Minister of Health, Dr. Joe Phaahla has confirmed that government are discussing whether stadiums will open for vaccinated football fans.
The South African government are looking for ways of encouraging citizens to get vaccinated after currently only a quarter of the country’s adult population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
However, Mzansi still has not managed to breach the short-term target of 300 000 daily jabs and is looking for incentives to drive more people to get vaccinated.
Those incentives, though, won’t be financial in nature because the country cannot afford them but instead they could look at granting access to stadiums and night clubs.
“At this stage it’s not our priority to even start thinking about some kind of legislation or regulation which says (that) every adult must vaccinate… so we’ll observe that debate (but) we don’t want to get involved,” said Phaahla, as per Business Insider.
“But, on our side, what we are discussing… it’s more encouragement, that’s what we are focusing on. What we’re looking at, is are there other soft kind of incentives. For instance… people are hungry for entertainment, for music festivals, to go to Orlando stadium to go and watch a soccer match.
“So, what we are exploring is the possibility where, with some kind of confirmation that you have been vaccinated, we could start up opening up various activities, sports, cultural, and more businesses and other get-togethers.
“To say, if you are vaccinated, so many people can go to the soccer stadium to watch a match. If you are vaccinated and you can prove that, so many people can go to Newtown to enjoy some music.”
Phaala confirmed that proposals tabled to government would be finalised “in the next few days or so”.
Meanwhile, SAFA CEO Teboho Mothlanthe also confirmed to iDiski Times recently that the football association has been making a contribution at the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on the return to stadiums.
“We have made presentations led by our chief medical officer Dr Ngwenya and we are just waiting for SASCOC to go to government and present. We have not yet got feedback from government,” Mothlanthe told iDiski Times in edition 34.
“But yes, of course with vaccination and we encourage football supporters all the way to go and vaccinate because that will be a key of a speedy return to the stadiums.”
Fans have not been allowed to watch games live in the stands since March 2020, during the first heavy wave of COVID-19.