The NSW Chief Health Officer has advised further measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission at community sports events effective Wednesday 19 August. The Chief Health Officer’s advice is that that these measures will need to be in place for the next 6 weeks (https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/cho-advice-sports.aspx ).
Relevant areas of interest to the SSFA Competitions/ Matches are as follows:
• Cease any activities that result in overnight stays (e.g. multi-day training camps) due to increased risk of COVID transmission in residential-type settings with shared facilities.
• Cease face-to-face social activities relating to community sports (e.g. award ceremonies, end-of-season social gatherings, post-training group dinners).
• Avoid carpools or bus travel with people from different household groups where possible.
• For local activities, limit spectators to one parent [or carer] only, where the child requires parental supervision during the sporting activity.
Frequently Asked Questions.
• Why are additional restrictions being placed on community sport?
Sport brings together a range of people from across different communities, increasing the risk of community transmission. The public health advice is that these additional recommendations are needed for a period of 6 weeks in the first instance, to reduce the risk of community transmission.
• Are there any changes to the current gathering sizes?
No, at this point in time there is no change to the current gathering size restriction of 500 people at community sport activities.
• For local activities, they include a requirement to limit spectators to one parent [or carer] only, where the child requires parental supervision during the sporting activity. How are sports supposed to monitor the one parent per child rule at open sports grounds and venues?
Community sport organisations should already be considering measures within their COVID Safety Plans to minimise spectators at community sport. This may include communicating in advance with parents, erecting signage in the carpark around the grounds and via social media (e.g. this post).
Please be aware of (including reading the attached) and comply with these and all other applicable requirements (as listed below). In addition, each venue may/ will make its own determination and have relevant processes in this regard (and any such decisions/ requirements must be respected and adhered to).
A list of the appropriate NSW Health safeguards that are in place for all players, parents, officials and spectators are as follows:
• Only 1 parent/guardian is to accompany players aged under 18 years (including junior/youth football)
• Limit the number of family members, partners and other spectators that attend all other football matches
• Avoid car pooling and bus travel with people from different households where possible
• Cease activities that result in overnight stays
• Cease face-to-face social activities, for example post-training or post-match group dinners or awards functions
• Wash and/or sanitize hands before and after attending all training and games
• Players arrive dressed and ready to train or play
• Limit the use of changerooms. If changerooms are in use please adhere to the 4m2 per person rule in accordance with the public health order and minimise time spent in the change rooms.
• Players must comply with the 1.5m social distancing rule (except during games)
• No shaking hands, team huddles, high fives, or hugging other players, match officials, team officials or spectators.
• No player walkouts prior to matches
• Do not share drink bottles
• Do not share containers of food, including oranges. Players should bring their own food and snacks.
• Avoid bringing anyone who is elderly or may be at high or increased risk of illness
• Do not attend football if you have flu like symptoms or are feeling unwell
• Spectators must observe the 1.5m social distancing rule at all times unless from the same household
• All participants and spectators must cover their coughs and sneezes
• Players and spectators must not socialize or assemble in groups before, during or after football
• Once training and games are finished depart the venue as soon as possible
• Get tested for COVID-19 if you feel unwell or develop cold or flu like symptoms
The following should also be noted in relation to outdoor sport participation:
• an outdoor environment poses less risk of community transmission than an indoor environment
• casual contact (face to face contact with a person for less than 15 minutes) poses less risk of community transmission compared to that of close contact (face to face contact with a person for 15 minutes or more).
Therefore, compliance with the transmission prevention protocols, including social distancing 1.5 metres, good hygiene practices, limiting the number of adults present, not shaking hands and not attending if you are feeling unwell or have cold/flu like symptoms by all participants, parents and spectators is what is effective in minimising the risk of community transmission.
We ask that all participants continue to adhere to the protocols that have been put in place and we assure you that everything that can be done, is being done to keep football safe.
It is also recommended that the official government websites be monitored by interested parties.