The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill will go ahead despite the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant in South Africa.
With the new Omnicron variant driving a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, concerns have been raised about health and safety at public events.
However, a stringent Covid-19 safety programme to protect contestants and visitors, will ensure that the 2021 Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill goes ahead from December 9 to 19 at Willard Beach, Ballito, on the KZN North Coast.
Event organiser, Collette Bundy, said in planning for The Ballito Pro, their Covid-19 safety programme has taken into account the potential of a fourth wave, as well as the restrictions for higher lockdown levels.
“The safety of festival-goers and competitors is a priority and everything is being done to minimise the risk of transmission at the event. We will constantly monitor the situation and adhere to changing regulations as they arise.”
All athletes, staff and officials at The Ballito Pro are required to provide Covid-19 documents on arrival at the event.
Vaccinated individuals must show proof of full vaccination and unvaccinated individuals must show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours or a negative antigen test within 48 hours, Bundy said.
As part of the safety programme The Ballito Pro Covid-19 Safety Campaign and Vaccination Site has also been established.
This is being run in partnership with IPSS Medical Rescue, Thrive, as well as the Department of Health. Organisers will have a designated Covid-19 testing site at the event entrance where they will conduct Covid-19 PCR and antigen tests.
Bundy said this will ensure compliance with Surfing South Africa and Department of Sport and Recreation’s regulations for hosting the event.
The awareness and safety campaign includes a vaccination and testing site at Willard Beach throughout the event for event goers.
People can book via the Thrive website (www.wethrive.co.za) for vaccination at Thrive Ballito.
Alternatively, Thrive and Department of Health nurses will vaccinate at the Ballito Pro vaccination stand.
In addition to this, the Covid-19 safety programme will ensure strict regulations including mandatory mask wearing for on the contest site and in public, regular sanitising with stations set up throughout the event, physical distancing and the prohibition of sharing of wetsuits, wax or other items.
The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill will broadcast the event in partnership with DSTV People’s Weather channel 180, Openview Channel 115, and Ballito TV.