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S. Korea to allow stadiums to be at 30 pct capacity for pro sports

Sports 15:21 August 07, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government said Friday it will start allowing stadiums to be at 30 percent capacity for local professional sporting events next week thanks to the recent virus-free experiences at ballparks.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it has agreed with the quarantine authorities to increase the limit of fans allowed at sports games to 30 percent of available seats from the current 10 percent.

It said there have been no recent COVID-19 cases related to baseball and football, which reopened their stadium gates for fans on July 26 and this past Saturday, respectively.

In this file photo taken July 26, 2020, fans are seated at a distance from each other at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul, during a Korea Baseball Organization match between the KT Wiz and the NC Dinos. (Yonhap)

Consequently, five Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) matches, including the Kia Tigers-LG Twins game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul scheduled next Monday, will be subject to the new 30 percent rule.

But the KBO remained cautious, saying it will have its 10 teams sell only 25 percent of tickets available at their respective stadiums.

"We will fill 25 percent of our stands until social distancing becomes commonplace in baseball parks," the KBO said. "We will strictly comply with quarantine guidelines and help fans enjoy baseball games."

The Korea Professional Football League (K League) will apply the expanded limit to a match between Seongnam FC and Busan I Park next Friday.

The government will tighten on-site quarantine inspections on sports facilities with sports associations and asked them to comply with health and safety protocols at ballparks.

According to guidelines, fans must wear face masks at all times and sit apart in the stands. Eating and loud chanting will also be prohibited.

brk@yna.co.kr
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