In the hope to further prevent the surge of coronavirus cases, the sports bubble continues even with the presence of the COVID-19 vaccine.

/ 2 February 2021

Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chair Abraham Mitra made clear that the sports activities will stick to the bubble-environment to protect athletes in battling against the pandemic.  

“We may get healthy once vaccinated but we can still infect our housemates,” Mitra said after a series of consultations with health professionals overseas. 

Along with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Joint Administrative Order (JAO), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and Department of Health (DOH), the decision was implemented to strictly follow safety protocols, particularly for the coaches and athletes. 

According to Mitra, GAB allows the professional level to resume sports events in a low-risk area. Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is one of the pro leagues approved for season resumption. 

“Professional sporting events may be allowed in low-risk areas, provided that such events are compliant to the minimum public health standards set by the DOH,” Mitra said in his statement. 

Meanwhile, non-professional sports organizations have strictly given a word of their non-allowance to hold any sporting events such as tournaments, competitive events, and athletic meets. 

Considering that the vaccine is still not available, JAO said that the ruling on non-pro tournaments “shall remain effective, until and unless amended or revoked” and penalties and legal actions may be imposed on those who willfully fail to comply. 

Even with vaccination present soon, the safety and no transmission of the virus is a non-guarantee. Thus, bringing home-venue-home set-up will stir imprudence to the public. 

“We may be healthy but we can infect our housemates. One sports incident (transmission) will have an effect on all. Our students are not allowed by our parents and government to go to school much more, be allowed to play,” he added referring to collegiate student-athlete level. 

However, the amateur athletes that belonged to the national team have been given a stamp of approval to train in the bubble by the government in preparation for the coming Olympic Qualifying Tournaments like the Tokyo Olympics. 

Under the guidance of PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez, the elite athletes started the action last month in Calamba, Laguna.