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COVID-19 – Information for Sport and Recreation Organisations

10:30 AEDT, 24 March 2020

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19’s) impact on communities across NSW and Australia is evolving rapidly. The Office of Sport is monitoring advice from NSW Health and the Department of Health in relation to physical activity. The Office of Sport has developed information for sport and recreation organisations and event organisers.

Advice and resources for sport and recreation organisations

Latest information

The latest information relating to COVID-19 can be found on the NSW Health website.

State and national sporting organisations are currently working through the impact of COVID-19 on community sport and recreation activities. The Office of Sport is working with these organisations to ensure communities are kept up to date

Resources for sport and recreation organisations

NSW Health has developed a range of resources that can be utilised by organisations such as sport and recreation providers. These resources include face sheets, videos and social media collateral.

Key messages for sport and recreation organisations

You have an important role to play in helping keep members, fans and visitors healthy by encouraging them to practice good hygiene.

Key messages you can provide to your association/club:

  • On 20 March 2020 and 23 March 2020, the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard MP, made public health orders to deal with the public health risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus).The Minister directs that recreation facilities (indoor) must not be open to members of the public. Recreation facility (indoor) means a building or place used predominantly for indoor recreation, whether or not operated for the purposes of gain, including a squash court, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, table tennis centre, health studio, bowling alley, ice rink or any other building or place of a like character used for indoor recreation. Activities and businesses that are not listed in the order can continue but must still adhere to existing restrictions on mass gatherings. That is no: 
    • Indoor gatherings of 100 or more people are not permitted, and 
    • Outdoor gatherings of 500 or more people are not permitted
  • Health authorities are continuing to closely monitor the situation following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
  • The easiest way to protect participants, officials, coaching staff, volunteers and spectators is to pay attention to good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • You do not need to wear a face mask if you are well.
  • Buying an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol is recommended.
  • For the virus to spread, extended close personal contact is most likely required. But visitors to locations where cases have been identified should be aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Close personal contact is defined as at least 15 minutes face-to-face or more than two hours in the same room.
  • If you are feeling unwell, you should avoid attending public gatherings or events.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 stay at home (self-quarantine).
  • If you are concerned, please call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

 

Organising and attending events

On 20 March 2020 and 23 March 2020, the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard MP, made public health orders to deal with the public health risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The Minister directs that recreation facilities (indoor) must not be open to members of the public. Recreation facility (indoor) means a building or place used predominantly for indoor recreation, whether or not operated for the purposes of gain, including a squash court, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, table tennis centre, health studio, bowling alley, ice rink or any other building or place of a like character used for indoor recreation.

The restrictions apply across NSW, including regional and rural NSW. 

Activities and businesses that are not listed in the order can continue but must still adhere to existing restrictions on mass gatherings. That is no: 

  • Indoor gatherings of 100 or more people are not permitted, and 
  • Outdoor gatherings of 500 or more people are not permitted. 

If you are an event organiser of an event for less than 500 people (outdoors) or 100 people (indoors), NSW Health encourages you to focus on:

  • Reminding the public and event workers not to attend if they are feeling unwell.
  • Reminding the public and event workers they must not attend if they are returning from overseas.
  • Ensuring your emergency management plan is up to date.
  • Briefing your event staff on how to practice good hygiene and making it easy for staff and attendees to practice good hygiene.
  • Having adequate hand washing facilities available.

 If you are an attendee, NSW Health encourages you to:

  • Stay home and not attend if you are feeling unwell.
  • Stay home and not attend if you are returning from overseas. 
  • Practice simple hygiene by: 
    • Making sure to clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow.

Community Sport Guidelines 

All community sport participants must play a role to help reduce the transmission of COVID 19, including those organising, attending or supporting attendance at these activities.

Participants should not attend and participate in Community Sport if they:

  • Have travelled internationally or been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days; or
  • Are at a high risk including the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Attendance at Community Sport activities

Only essential participants should attend activities, i.e. players, coaches, match officials, staff and volunteers involved in operations and parents/guardians of participants;

All players, visitors should practise the following social distancing measures at Community Sporting activities:

  • Players, visitors and officials should minimise physical contact as much as is practicable, for example no shaking hands, no walking out with player mascots, no pre- or post-match celebrations and no celebrating between players during the match.
  • When spectating or attending a game or training session, ensure a distance of 1.5 metres is kept between yourself and others.
  • Access to change rooms should be restricted solely to players, officials and essential staf.
  • If spectating, try to maintain 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • It is recommended that sporting teams, including school sporting teams, maintain local competitions only, with no inter-district, or inter-club travel. As with all gatherings, basic protective measures should be observed, such as regular hand hygiene practices before, during and after the match, do not share drink bottles, and avoid touching your face.

It is acknowledged that contact sports have a greater risk of transmission than other sports, and as such, should be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, other mitigation strategies for match socialisation and contact must be employed to reduce the risk to players, visitors, and officials more broadly.

General hygiene measures at facilities

Facilities should ensure that:

  • Spaces at each facility, surfaces and objects are regularly cleaned with disinfectant.
  • Provide hand washing guidance.
  • Promote regular and thorough hand washing by staff and participants.
  • Provide sanitising hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the event (particularly entry or high use areas such as a registration desk, change rooms, toilets or kiosk).
  • Make sure dispensers are regularly refilled.
  • Promote exclusion of ill persons.

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