CEBU City officials have announced that they will allow the holding of contact sports in the city “very soon.”

However, Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy chief implementer, was quick to add that only individuals vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will be allowed to play contact sports.

Garganera met with the different ball clubs along with the City’s barangay captains, Acting Mayor Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros, City Sports Commission Chairman Edward Hayco and Dr. Bryan Albert Lim, an infectious disease specialist who has been helping the EOC formulate principles and protocols in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We already agreed that those who can play are those who are fully vaccinated,” Garganera said.

The barangay captains agreed to open the barangay gyms but only on a case-to-case basis.

“Once we have the guidelines to present to the captains, this is optional for the part of the barangay. If the barangay captain says we cannot do that because we still have a problem with cases, then they can opt out,” said Garganera.

Once the guidelines are in place, barangay-owned and -operated gyms and outdoor facilities may be used by fully vaccinated individuals.

A temperature check and the presentation of the player’s vaccination card will be among the new protocols set once barangay gyms open.

“Some barangays are hesitant because the percentages of their vaccinated residents are still very low. However, there are other barangays that already reached 70 percent and beyond,” Garganera said.

“We should not hurry and rush. I understand that many people want to play again, but we should be thorough and vigilant so that we could avoid another Covid surge. Because when we play basketball, we sweat a lot and do not use face masks. We have to do it in a safe manner,” he added.