Exco: Sports complexes, stadiums in Penang to remain closed after May 13

The Penang Botanic Gardens is closed to the public. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
The Penang Botanic Gardens is closed to the public. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

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GEORGE TOWN, May 7 — All sports complexes, stadiums and recreational parks in Penang will remain closed even after some social and sports activities will be allowed from May 13 onwards, said state exco Soon Lip Chee.

The sports and youth committee chairman said the decision to keep these places closed was in compliance with the National Security Council's (NSC) standard operating procedure (SOP) that doesn't allow indoor sports activities and contact sports.

“Only individual activities such as jogging and outdoor workouts at a two-metre distance from each other in public areas such as pocket parks in housing areas, or at the Esplanade and Padang Polo, are allowed,” he said.

He said contact sports like football, rugby, sepak takraw, basketball and netball are not allowed at all.

“Any sport involving groups such as Zumba, senamrobik, taichi and qigong are not allowed,” he said.

Indoor sports such as badminton, ping pong, gyms, futsal, snooker, billiards and bowling are also not allowed.

Soon said outdoor badminton and tennis, cycling at a five-metre distance and golf are allowed.

Hiking activities, recreational fishing, water sports and swimming are also not allowed.

Under the Penang Gradual Recovery Strategy, almost all businesses are allowed to operate tomorrow while selected social and sports activities are only allowed from May 13 onwards.

Facilities under the city councils such as the city stadium, Balik Pulau sports complex, Relau sports complex, Bertam sports and recreational complex, Sony sports and recreational complex, Jalan Betek sports and recreational complex, Batu Kawan stadium and all community centres will remain closed.

The Penang Botanic Gardens, Youth Park, Metropolitan Park, Air Itam Dam and Mengkuang Dam recreational areas are also closed to the public.

“The spaces in the sport complexes, stadiums and public fields are still not open for rental,” he said.

Soon said the public can jog around their neighbourhood pocket parks and use the existing outdoor exercise equipment individually.

“Sports activities are only limited between 7am and 7pm at all neighbourhood pocket parks,” he said.

He said the public is discouraged from crowding around the playground and exercise equipment at the pocket parks and to always sanitise their hands after using these facilities.

As for state athletes that will be representing Penang at Sukan Malaysia in Johor this year, Soon said they will be allowed to start training in two different phases.

“The first phase starts on May 13 and the second phase will start on June 1 and this is based on the SOP by the NSC,” he said.

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