PROFESSIONAL sports in the Philippines will be played without a live audience until a vaccine for the coronavirus has been developed.
That was explicitly stated in the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) drafted by the Department of Health, Games and Amusements Board, and the Philippine Sports Commission that was released this week.
Under the JAO, professional basketball leagues such as the PBA as well as other sports may be held in areas under MGCQ under strict health protocols, but without any fans in the venue.
“Professional sporting events may be allowed in low-risk areas provided such events are compliant to the minimum public health standards. Provided further that no live audience shall be permitted regardless of the risk severity, until an effective vaccine and/or appropriate standard of care for COVID-19 cases is developed,” stated the JAO.
It will take a while for spectators to return to the arenas or stadiums with the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of easing up in the country or elsewhere.
The only way fans can watch the games is through livestreaming or a television broadcast of the event.
So far, only practices and training for professional sports including the PBA are allowed although the JAO has provisions as to when actual games can be held.
In the JAO, a maximum of five players can participate in practices in GCQ areas, while a maximum of 10 are allowed in MGCQ with modifiers and MGCQ areas.