Professional sports able to resume in the Czech Republic from tomorrow

Czech football and hockey leagues will be able to resume activities from November 4 as long as they meet strict sanitary conditions

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 03.11.2020 12:34 (updated on 03.11.2020)

Prague, Nov 2 (CTK) - Professional sports will be able to resume in the Czech Republic if they meet strict sanitary conditions approved by the government, National Sports Agency head Milan Hnilička has tweeted.

Additionally, as of Wednesday, professional athletes will be able to train indoors at sport facilities that have been closed since October 12 within the country's lockdown measures, the Czech government cabinet has decided.

The restart of professional sports that were interrupted three weeks ago will be based on individually-issued exemptions.

They will apply not only to football and ice hockey, the associations of which were pushing for this intensively, but to all professional sport competitions that are able to meet the required sanitary standards amid the epidemic.

"[The conditions] are yet to be specified more precisely, but in general, they should be similar to those in the case of football, that is regular blanket [COVID-1] testing, among others," sports agency spokesman Jakub Vecerka told CTK.

In view of the current epidemiological situation, all sporting events will take place without spectators.

Unlike many other European countries facing a rapid COVID-19 spread, the Czech Republic restricted professional sports among their other measures. The government has now partially lifted these strict measures.

"The reason is that professional athletes have sport as their occupation, and we would like to enable them to work," Health Minister Jan Blatný told reporters.

However, not all sport competition organizers may take advantage of this opportunity.

"We are aware that not all professional competitions will be able to meet the conditions," Hnilička admitted, adding that the required measures would be costly and demanding when it comes to organization.

Exceptions have already been granted to international sport events held in the Czech territory, such as the European Judo Championship, which is to be held from November 19-21.

Professional footballers could previously keep training, but were not allowed to use their indoor premises, while hockey players could not fully train in ice hockey arenas. Both will be able to use indoor arenas as of tomorrow.

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Friday's extension of the state of emergency in the Czech Republic until November 20 also prolonged all lockdown measures, including the restrictions on sports.