There’s been a collective sigh of relief among from local sports bodies after President Cyril Ramphosa announced a lifting of various Covid-19 restrictions that allow stadiums to operate at 50% capacity.
More fans are now allowed entry to stadiums, as long as they are vaccinated or present a negative Covid-19 test.
SA Rugby has welcomed the announcement, with the change in regulations meaning the requirement that only 2000 vaccinated fans be allowed into venues has now been relaxed for upcoming Vodacom United Rugby Championship and Carling Currie Cup fixtures.
It is two years and one week since South Africa’s rugby venues were last able to host an unrestricted audience, but the revision in the existing regulations was welcomed by SA Rugby.
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“This is a major relief for our sport,” said Mark Alexander, President of the South African Rugby Union. “These have been two incredibly tough years for our teams, and we are excited to welcome more people back into stadiums for all levels of the game, from the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, and Carling Currie Cup, to club level. We have seen in the response to the ticket launch of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in September, that there is an appetite to share once again great rugby occasions with our friends and family. We have six Springbok test matches to look forward to across the country from July and it will be great to see the Boks running out in front of a proper crowd in South Africa for the first time since 2019.”
Alexander said rugby would continue to observe the necessary protocols applicable to venue attendance in relation to public health and safety.
“We’re very grateful for the good news from President Cyril Ramaphosa tonight,” he said. “Rugby remains in ICU as we battle for sustainability, but there is now a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Springboks kick off their season with a three-Test series against Wales, starting at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 2 July.