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Fans to Return to S.Korean Baseball, Obliged to Wear Masks

Fans to Return to S.Korean Baseball, Obliged to Wear Masks

Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 - 07:45
Munhak Baseball Stadium, Incheon, South Korea - May 5, 2020 A SK Wyverns fan wearing a protective face mask during the match, despite most sports being cancelled around the world the local league starts behind closed doors due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Asharq Al-Awsat

South Korea’s professional baseball league said it will require fans to wear masks and to sit at least a seat apart as it prepares to bring back spectators in the coming weeks amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

The Korea Baseball Organization on Tuesday said fans will also not be allowed to eat food in the stands. They will also be screened for fevers and discouraged from excessive shouting, singing and cheering during the game to prevent contact or dispersion of droplets, the KBO said.

Teams will be initially allowed to sell only 30% of the seats for each game, a figure that could be expanded to as much as 50% depending on the progress in the country’s anti-virus efforts, according to the league's plans, the Associated Press reported.

They will be able to buy tickets only with credit cards so that health authorities could easily locate them when needed. South Korea has been actively tracing the contacts of virus carriers using credit-card information, cellphone location data and surveillance camera footage.

Also, the KBO is also considering requiring fans to register themselves with smartphone QR codes, a technology that has been enforced at businesses such as nightclubs, karaoke rooms and gyms to track customers when transmissions occur.

If a fan is confirmed as a COVID-19 patient during a game, the KBO will immediately suspend play and shut down the stadium for sanitation as health authorities trace the person’s contacts.

Players or team staff will be tested if needed.

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