All indoor sport and physical activity classes and programmes for youth aged 18 and below will be suspended and moved online from today to June 13 as part of heightened measures amid a spike in Covid-19 cases in the community, Sport Singapore announced yesterday.

All outdoor sport and physical activity will be limited to one coach and one student, while those who are 18 and below can continue exercising in pairs. The national agency’s latest ruling is to “safeguard the well-being of children and youth” after a number of schoolchildren tested positive for Covid-19.

Prior to yesterday’s announcement, some sports academies and facilities had decided to halt their programmes after stricter measures for phase two (heightened alert) were announced last Friday.

Optimum Badminton Academy owner Jeron Wong felt it was the best option, given the dynamic situation. The 32-year-old shifted training sessions online, with pre-recorded videos and live coaching over videoconferencing platforms. He said: “It’s a disastrous thing for academies like us because everything is face-to-face. But you never know, in a couple of days, there may be tightening of measures.”

Bubbles Gymnastics, which caters to children aged one to 13, closed its indoor gym in Turf Club Road on Monday. Acknowledging that it was a big loss, gymnastics coach Foo Seck Ying, 40, said: “We look at the number of cases, and it involves a lot of children from different schools. We’ve got kids from many different schools and we don’t want them to intermingle… We don’t want to form a cluster.”

While New Century Table Tennis Academy in Katong Shopping Centre is staying open, it is expecting revenue to be badly hit. About 80 per cent of its revenue comes from training programmes for children. Earlier measures had affected business too, as its adult customers found it hard to play with masks on.

Owner and head coach Zhu Mu, 37, said: “We are hoping that it’s something similar to last year… We can stop all these children’s lessons for safety, but… we’re hoping that rental relief will be given so that even without profits, the loss won’t be so great.”