Science makes surfing a 'complex' lockdown issue

Surfing protesters (Gallo)
Surfing protesters (Gallo)

There have been "complex" discussions over whether surfing should be allowed as South Africa begins to relax its national lockdown regulations. 

On Monday, the country will move to Level 3 of its coronavirus lockdown and, on Saturday, members of the department of sport and recreation looked to provide clarity on what that means for the sporting community. 

It was confirmed that all professional sports teams and individuals would be allowed to resume training, but only non-contact sports would be allowed to return to official competition. 

There was limited clarity on what the lockdown would mean for social sports, but the bad news for the surfing community with only professional surfers allowed back in the water.

"This issue of surfing and water and the virus has been one of complex discussions based on scientific versions," said director general of the department, Vusumuzi Mkhize.

"There is a version of this virus thriving in cold environments and therefore people are at risk if they are in a group swimming together.

"There are those who say that chlorine attacks and kills the virus, but on the other hand, the issue of surfing is in open water.

"Those issues are the matters we need to discuss for surfing where it is individuals involved in an open water environment.

"We will engage with the surfers associations to deal with the matter."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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