SEA Games: Team Hanoi awaits relaxed restrictions for the Philippines

Vietnamese performers participate in the closing ceremony of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Vietnamese performers participate in the closing ceremony of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. —AFP file photo

When the Philippine team goes on its overall title-retention drive at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Manila, Philippines-Hanoi, Vietnam, it will no longer be necessary to present a vaccine certificate against COVID-19.

Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Talentino also shared that Vietnamese organizers would allow athletes and coaches to visit restaurants, bars, shopping centers and tourist spots in their area.

“Athletes and coaches will be confined to their respective areas and hotels for the duration of their stay, but will be able to tour the neighborhood,” Talentino said, adding that the organizers would bring together 3,000 volunteers to assist them.

About 8,000 athletes from 11 countries will arrive in Hanoi from May 12 to May 23 with the host country setting up a unique set of health and safety protocols against the epidemic.

A total of 498 events – 256 for men and 242 for women – 40 games will be played at the SEA Games, which Vietnam will be staging for the second time since 2003.

“Countries can also replace an athlete or athletes who tested positive for the virus before the start of the Games, but not when the competition is ongoing,” Talentino said.

“Football is exempt from the rules because it allows the team to have extra players,” Talentino added.

Ramon Fernandez, commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission, said the organization would fund the participation of 918 Filipino athletes, coaches, officials and support staff in the Games.

The Philippine delegation actually has 987 members, including 646 athletes, 296 officials and 45 representatives of the National Olympic Committee, said Fernandez, who was nominated by the country’s chef de mission at the biennial sports meeting.

Attendance fans

Fernandez said the agency would help self-funded members of the delegation book their flights and get tax breaks. Fernandez added that as of March 30, air tickets and travel insurance cost US $ 1,100 each.

Regarding the attendance of spectators at the Games, Talentino said that it would depend on the COVID situation in the area or cluster.

“If the numbers are high, fans will not be allowed in the venue. If they are low, they will be allowed to watch the game, “said Talentino.

Vietnam posted more than 65,000 new cases on Sunday, now on a downward trend since March 17, when 353,965 infections peaked.

Team Philippines, which reigned in the 2019 edition of the Games held in Manila, New Clark City and Subic, will fly Hanoi in batches with the main bulk departure on May 10.

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