When Bafana Bafana take on Ethiopia in their 2022 World Cup group qualifier at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg, they will be backed by 2000 supporters.
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has gazetted the amendment to the National State of Disaster which will see 750 people permitted to attend indoor venues and 2 000 people at outdoor venues.
It is the first time in more than 18 months that spectators will be allowed back into venues. Only fans that are fully vaccinated will be allowed to attend the match at the 94 000 capacity stadium.
Deputy Dean of Research at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health, Professor Tivani Mashamba-Thompson, said the announcement from the government is exciting and will also boost people’s mental health.
Mashamba-Thompson says she hopes that the opening of stadiums and lowering of lockdown levels do not lead to complacency by the public. She has advised fans attending the match at the FNB stadium to observe all Covid-19 measures.
She said, “we don't want to see more victims and we don't want the stadiums to be closed again because of people's poor behavior, so it's important that people behave themselves and if possible just keep the distance and have social distancing in the stadiums”.
Dlamini Zuma said if venues that are too small to accommodate the number of people permitted to attend an event, then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue must be used. People must also observe a one and a half meter distance between each other.
“As we go out to sporting events to support our teams, let us do so recognising that COVID-19 is still with us. Let us unite in observing COVID-19 protocols by wearing masks, washing hands, and adhering to social distancing measures,” concluded Dlamini Zuma.