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COVID19: No chanting or cheering for Cyprus sports fans

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Following your favourite team on a Saturday afternoon will be a much duller affair in Cyprus after the Health Ministry announced that fans are forbidden from cheering on their side due to COVID-19 fears.

Although a restricted number of spectators will be allowed back into grounds for sporting events, crowds are expected to watch in silence and restrain from any passionate behaviour.

This will make going to a game more akin to going to church on Sundays.

“Spectators are not allowed to sing or cheer loudly in groups. This is important because droplets are scattered during loud singing and cheering and therefore increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19,” said a Health Ministry decree issued on Thursday.

According to new health protocols for sporting events, indoor and outdoor, fans will have to sit 2 metres away from each other and refrain from any activity that could see the virus spread through droplets.

The Health Ministry will issue specific guidelines for football later, but they are likely to follow similar hygiene and social distancing measures.

Stadiums hosting outdoor fixtures can have attendances 40% of their capacity and 25% for indoor events but an upper limit has been set regardless of size.

Open-air stadia can host up to 500 fans maximum, while indoor ones can allow just 200 through their gates on the basis of online ticketing.

If tickets are not available online, then outdoor games can only have a maximum of 200 people while indoor events can only have a maximum of 100 fans.

Fans must be seated two metres apart and are advised to wear a mask, although this is not obligatory.

Upon entry, fans will be asked to provide their contact details, in case authorities need to locate them for tracing purposes, the information will be kept by the manager of the stadium for two months.