SINGAPORE: Mixed martial arts promotion firm ONE Championship will hold a live sporting event for up to 250 spectators next Friday (Oct 30), with the event being among the first to pilot the use of COVID-19 antigen rapid tests.
In response to CNA’s queries, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Saturday that all fans attending the event, titled The ONE: Inside the Matrix, will be required to undergo an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) and produce a valid negative ART certificate before they are allowed into the event.
Earlier in the week, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said Singapore will pilot pre-event rapid testing from mid-October to December to identify a model that can be widely implemented, so that more large-scale events can safely resume.
READ: COVID-19 - Singapore to pilot pre-event rapid testing from mid-October so more events can safely resume
“As ART is by appointment only, attendees are required to book a slot at any of the designated clinics before heading down (to the event) to avoid crowding,” said Ms Ong Ling Lee, director of Sports at STB.
“Individuals who test positive on ART will be required to undergo a PCR confirmatory swab to determine their COVID-19 status.”
She said the tourism board has worked with ONE to “refine and implement a rigorous set of safe management measures”.
These measures include the mandatory use of the TraceTogether app and/or token, and a safe seating plan based on the Government’s safety measures.
The event comes after a closed-door production held on Oct 9.
As with the “initial pilot” on Oct 9, foreign athletes and production crew who are taking part in the event have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests “at various junctures”, including before departure, upon arrival in Singapore, as well as before and after fights.
Local athletes and ringside crew will also be subjected to mandatory tests before and after fights.
“All of them will be required to follow a strictly controlled itinerary to reduce transmission risks,” said Ms Ong.
“In line with Singapore’s approach to resuming activities in a calibrated and safe manner in Phase Two, the event will implement all necessary measures to ensure the safety of all attendees, including piloting the use of antigen rapid tests prior to the event,” said ONE Championship in its announcement.
Ms Ong said STB has been working with government and industry stakeholders on the safety measures for leisure events, including sports events, to resume gradually.
“The safety and well-being of the public and all stakeholders remains our top priority. The resumption of leisure events, including sporting or large-scale events, will be carried out in a careful and calibrated manner to reduce transmission risks,” said Ms Ong.
She added that the tourism board will study the “learnings and findings” from the pilot to “further refine” safe management measures. This could provide a template for future international sports events to adopt, said Ms Ong.
SIX MATCHES FOR THE CARD
Six matches have been announced for the card, including a bout involving local fighter Christian Lee defending his ONE Lightweight championship title.
Fellow local fighter Tiffany Teo will take on China’s Xiong Jing Nan in a rematch from their title bout in 2018.
The 250 participants will be able to attend the event live as part of the “Superfan” ticket packages, priced at S$148.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in September that it was accepting applications to pilot large-scale meetings of up to 250 people from Oct 1, as part of plans to gradually resume economic activities in the country.
Events should feature five zones of 50 participants, which will be further divided into cohorts of 20 or fewer, according to guidelines published on STB’s website.
Attendees are permitted to remove their masks only when they are within a group of five people or fewer.
Safe distancing should be observed at all times and there should be no intermingling between cohorts to limit opportunities for close contact, said STB.