WWhile numerous club officials and sports officials in almost all other parts of Germany fear that they will have to do without sports competitions for months and lose members, North Rhine-Westphalia plans to resume competitive sports in all amateur leagues at the state level in early summer. The so-called “North Rhine-Westphalia Plan” of the cabinet of Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) provides for extensive approval of all sporting activities in leisure and recreational sports from the end of May.
Among other things, the paper presented on Wednesday evening reads: “From May 11, it will be possible again to open fitness studios, dance schools and sports halls / classrooms of the sports clubs under strict clearance and hygiene requirements. Open-air swimming pools are allowed to open from 20 May under strict conditions of distance and hygiene – except for pure fun pools. From May 30, the practice of sports with unavoidable physical contact and in closed rooms should be allowed again, as well as the operation in indoor pools. Sports competitions in the children’s, youth and amateur sector are then also permitted – the use of changing rooms and sanitary facilities is permitted subject to conditions. “
On Thursday afternoon, State Secretary Andrea Milz, who is responsible for sport at the Düsseldorf State Chancellery, specified the most far-reaching plans for easing corona pandemic restrictions that have so far been presented by a state government with a view to sport. She said the end of May date is a “target” for resuming contact sports: “Please don’t let everyone jump on May 30th. I can prepare myself, but I cannot say that it is definitely May 30th. ”Everything else is dependent on recent infection rates. “One or the other,” said the State Secretary, “maybe it will take a lot longer.” The state government defines all leagues below the first Bundesliga as an amateur sport, with the exception of football, in which the second division is also classified as a professional division.
Glue dots in classrooms, distances from fitness equipment
In principle, any loosening, including the opening of fitness and dance studios, is already in the coming week, subject to the requirements of the Corona Protection Ordinance. Implementation regulations relating to sport are currently being drafted under high pressure and should be made public this Friday. This involves questions as to how “distances on equipment in fitness studios” can be maintained and how “adhesive points are attached in classrooms”. “It is all in the implementing regulations. Maybe small devices like mats have to be brought from home, ”said Andrea Milz. “Perhaps fewer couples are allowed on the floor in the dance studio than was allowed before Corona. I think everyone understands that. ”
First, the focus was on the resumption of health and rehabilitation sports, in this area many people were waiting for “that this can go on”. How big the differences will be in the near future is shown by the use of the swimming pools: while in North Rhine-Westphalia outdoor pools will open in a few days and indoor pools will open at the end of the month, it is said in Baden-Württemberg, for example, that pools should only be used for swimming lessons in the foreseeable future and – courses are opened. In Düsseldorf, the State Secretary explicitly referred to the preparatory work of the German Olympic Sports Association, which had asked its professional associations to develop concepts for how “club members can be set in motion”. These should now be given the opportunity to implement them. The state government “deliberately did not want to write a Lex for any sport,” said Andrea Milz.
The consequences of a possible new infection in sports do not yet appear clear. In principle, the quarantine provisions continue to apply, said the State Secretary. Most recently, sports physician Professor Wilhelm Bloch from the German Sports University in Cologne pointed out that there is an increased risk of breathing a high dose of the virus into the lungs during sports, which could result in a more difficult course of infection.
Regarding the health risks, Andrea Milz said that “if the numbers deteriorate where sport was practiced, you would have to check whether you have to look at things differently”. It is “coffee grounds reading” whether the risk is higher or lower in sports. “I gain participation through exercise,” she said, and asked whether it would be proportionate to limit exercise if there was “no evidence” of increased risk. With all the release efforts that the Düsseldorf cabinet is currently driving, however, watching sporting events remains prohibited for the foreseeable future. The topic “we have to put it behind,” said Andrea Milz.