COVID-19 Monitoring Unit Chapman: No permission was ever granted
The recent abrupt halt of The Island Linkz Rum Punch, Glassesco & Infra Equipment Rentals Over 40s Old Boys League Football Invitational tournament can be categorized as a misunderstanding or misinterpretation.
Last weekend the masters' football fixtures were cancelled less than 24 hours ahead of their scheduled league match between Carlton ATP and league leaders Diamond Park.
Where many were referring to it as a suspension of matches, the Director of the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit Ronald Chapman said his department never authorized for the resumption of the sport in the first place.
Chapman said that the expression of the protocols must be consistent. He told Loop Sports that football is a close contact sport and it sits outside of the principles of what the protocols are trying to achieve.
“In an abundance of caution, you want to make sure that you’re consistent with the rest of the protocols and ensure persons are kept safe during this period”, said Chapman.
He said non-contact sports such as cricket, road and lawn tennis are not major threats and are considered sports of physical distance.
Chapman explained that his department could not approve any kind of scrimmages or any kind of football activity which will have full contact as it poses a direct threat to persons’ safety.
The COVID-19 Monitoring Unit head said that his team is continuing on a cautious path, especially due to the second wave which our international neighbours have experienced as well.
“This [decision] is also on a backdrop of there being a resurgence of COVID-19 internationally and there are still people coming into Barbados”, Chapman said.
Chapman said he remains optimistic that things will be relaxed for contact sports in the near future, however, he will not announce a particular time.
“With COVID things change very rapidly. There are now vaccines available, so I would believe once we have a vaccine and its proven its efficacy and it’s made available to everyone. We can start to see the light going to some resemblance of normalcy”.