: The sports and recreation sector is expected to be fully re-opened before the end of the year, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
However, he said the implementation of Phase 5 (attendance of spectators in stadiums on a small scale) and Phase 6 (attendance of spectators in stadiums on a large scale as well as the participation of foreign athletes in local tournaments) for the sports and recreation sector would depend on the COVID-19 situation in the country.
"This requires building confidence from one phase to another. For now, let's celebrate the opening of phases three and four, with the hope it will pave the way for the next phases to be allowed to operate and sporting activities can return to normal," he said when met at the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) Tower here today.
Earlier, Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a press conference after a Special Ministerial Meeting on the implementation of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) today that the government would allow the opening of the sports and recreation sector under Phase 3 and Phase 4.
Commenting on the announcement, Reezal Merican hoped that the positive development would provide relief to the sports industry players and an opportunity for the people to return to more productive lives through sports activities.
"The sports industry has become an economic generator, one of the contributors to GDP. Surely, the announcement is a relief to the people and I hope it will encourage the people to take up healthy activities through sports," he explained.
Phase 3, effective July 15, allows contact sports and recreational activities to be carried out as well as local tournaments and competitions for non-contact sports without spectators to be organised.
Phase 4, which starts on Aug 15, allows the hosting of local tournaments and competitions for contact sports but without spectators, including the Malaysia League (M-League).