During the COVID-19 pandemic, various precautionary measures are being implemented across the world. In South Korea, the government said that indoor sports facilities, which have been required to stay closed since early December, can reopen with some restrictions.
The South Korean government will ease social distancing regulations for additional indoor sports facilities. According to Health Ministry spokesperson Son Young-rae, the eased rules will apply to facilities that accommodate children and students for instructional purposes.
In line with this, business owners expressed discontentment and dissatisfaction toward the government for letting indoor sports facilities operate in a limited capacity. The Real Research aims to know how the public perceives the government’s decision and what do the people think of using indoor sports facilities at this time.
- The majority disagrees with the decision that the current indoor sports facility operation in Korea are being limited to children and students only.
- Many think that indoor sports facilities are somehow not safe to be used amid the COVID-19 situation.
- Out of all indoor sports facilities, the gym has the highest risk of spreading the coronavirus.
- People think that in terms of the current ban on gathering within these premises, a compromise needs to be sought by evaluating the risk level of each facility.
Safety in Using Indoor Sports Facilities
Over 1,000 of the Korean respondents agree that it is “somehow not safe” to use indoor sports facilities at this moment. The majority being aged 49-60 year old, many people think that it is better to stay at home and be physically active than actually using public sports facilities.
In contrast, around 700 Koreans think that it is already “somehow safe” to use these types of facilities. In terms of daily reports, South Korea has lesser COVID-19 cases, approximately within the 500-count. Moreover, the government’s plan of providing free vaccination might have influenced people’s perceptions regarding safety.
On the other hand, the minority of respondents either think that using indoor facilities is either “very safe” or “not safe at all”. This shows that the larger part of the Korean population still thinks that using indoor sports facilities are unsafe and should be considered at a later time. If the COVID-19 cases continue to be reduced consistently, the safety within these facilities may be regained.
Gym: Indoor Sports Facility With the Highest COVID-19 Risk
When asked about which indoor sports facilities do they think pose the highest risk of spreading the coronavirus, almost 40% agree that the gym is the riskiest place to be in. For gyms, COVID-19 transmission is deemed to be very high due to touching or handling frequently-touched surfaces and equipment. Moreover, being in close contact (within less than 6 feet) with other people may cause a higher probability of infection.
Despite that, over 25% also consider that all indoor sports facilities have the same level of risk when it comes to spreading COVID-19. These include billiard rooms, indoor table tennis courts, indoor golf driving ranges, and taekwondo gyms.
The remaining part of the respondents has no idea when it comes to this topic. In general, COVID-19 restrictions in indoor sports facilities have been strict during the pandemic season. Even with the government having more lenient rules, the limit for using these facilities are still set to less than nine people at a time. This is to encourage social distancing and prevent close contact with one another.
Current Ban on Gathering in Indoor Sports Facilities
In line with this, the majority of the respondents respect the government’s decision regarding this matter. More than 40% agree that when it comes to banning gatherings on indoor sports facilities.
In contrast, 650 people think that the ban should be lifted. With a small percentage difference, almost 600 people think that the ban has to be strengthened further and extended. Some individuals are already comfortable to be around other people in these facilities while others are still hesitant.
Thus, people neither agree nor disagree with the current ban on gatherings within indoor sports facilities. Many still prioritize their safety and comply with the government-implemented measures.
|Survey Title||COVID-19 Restrictions on Operations of Indoor Sports Facilities|
|Duration||January 10, 2021 – January 14, 2021|
|Number of Participants||2,500|
|Demographics||South Koreans, males and females, aged 19 – 60+|
|Participating Countries||Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam|