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Fans to watch Airtel final as Covid restrictions take effect Monday

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The country’s football fans can heave a sigh of relief after the government suspended enforcement of Covid restriction measures aimed at halting the spread of coronavirus.

The measures were announced yesterday but it was later communicated that they would come into force on Monday, effectively giving soccer lovers a chance to watch the Airtel Top 8 Cup final between Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers at Kamuzu Stadium.

The match also marks the conclusion of the 2021 domestic football season.

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The development means the restrictions will come into force during the off-season period, with the hope that matters would have improved by next season’s kickoff date.

Among the measures to come into force is a limitation on public gatherings to 250 people for outdoor events and 100 for indoor activities.

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, who is also co-Chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid, announced the restrictions yesterday at a press conference in Lilongwe.

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“In addition to general preventive measures including use of facemasks in open places, observance of social distance, frequent washing of hands and use of sanitisers, all religious, recreational and wedding gatherings should not exceed 100 people indoors and 250 people subject to social distancing requirements of at least one metre between persons,” Kandodo-Chiponda said.

Football Association of Malawi Special Taskforce on Covid Chairperson Chimango Munthali said they are hoping
that the situation would have improved by commencement of the new season.

“We are going into our official off season. We hope things will be different when we resume the games early next year. Otherwise, we are in full support of government’s enforcement of measures aimed at safeguarding lives. We, as football stakeholders, we are part of this fight,” Munthali said.

Bullets Chief Administration Officer Albert Chigoga said they appreciate the need for enforcement of the measures and appealed to every individual to comply with preventive and safety precautions.

“This is the way to go in the fight against Covid. All we need to do is adhere to preventive measures even during the Airtel Top 8 Cup final to save lives,” Chigoga said.

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