The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has recently published Resolution No. 38, which contains guidelines on permitted activities and private and public facilities that are allowed to operate as areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) shift to modified ECQ (MECQ) or general community quarantine (GCQ).
Easily one of the articles that caught many people's eyes was the new leisure activities or outdoor sports that will be allowed under Modified GCQ. Under Section 5 (3) of IATF-EID Resolution No. 38, both indoor and outdoor, non-contact sports are allowed, such as but not limited to: walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, and badminton. Even skateboarding and equestrian sports will be permitted.
Having been confined to their homes for some time, many motorcycle riders — particularly those who are in the motocross (MX) and enduro riding — are beginning to wonder if it also counts as a non-contact outdoor sport that may be permitted under modified General Community Quarantine. After all, this sport does adhere to minimum public health standards like no sharing of equipment and proper observance of physical distancing. Also, face masks can easily be worn under the helmet.
Can MX and enduro riders finally hit the MX tracks and enduro trails?
MotoPinas.com has clarified the issue with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and they have since directed us to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
“For such activities, we can not answer if it is not in the guidelines. Please refer to your Local Government Unit (LGU) if they allow such activities,” said the PSC. Unfortunately for those just itching to hit the trails or dirt tracks, it is still up to the LGU's interpretation of the new guidelines.
While anyone familiar with the sport knows it can easily abide by the IATF's requirements of Resolution No. 38, Section 5, it is still best (and to be on the safe side and avoid jail time) to contact your LGU officials for clarification on the matter. Unless explicitly stated, it seems no MX or enduro (trail) riding for now.
The PSC assured us that since they are part of the support group that recommends certain policies to the IATF-EID, they shall have it in consideration in future discussions to jumpstart sports activities in the post-lockdown Philippines. But for now, safety is of utmost priority.
“We [PSC] believe that we have the same mind to have sports back on track, but safety precautions are topmost of everyone's mind these days of the pandemic.”