COVID-19: Restriction Explanation for Community Sport
COVD-19 restrictions are complex and it can be difficult to work out how they apply to us as a Sailing Organisation. Following is an attempt to put the pieces together and hopefully help people make sense of it. There are several different levels to it and then there are industry and sector specific requirements.
When the pandemic was declared in 2020 the Federal Government specified the areas that restrictions would cover. Broadly these included Social Distancing, Health and Hygiene, and Contact Tracing requirements. Initially the Federal Government defined the details of the restrictions, now the details are determined by the states, eg in the NSW Public Health Orders.
At the time the Prime Minister stated that these requirements would not be lifted until a vaccine was rolled out and subsequently there has been no change to these requirements. Lately the Prime Minister has been saying that he expects these restrictions to be in place for 12 to 18 months after the vaccine rollout. Therefore, we can expect to have some form of Social Distancing, Health and Hygiene, and Contact Requirements in place for the long term.
The details of COVID-19 restrictions are now left to the states and they vary according to the risk level determined by each state. Therefore, there are periods of restriction easing followed by periods of restrictions tightening. In NSW the details are contained in the Public Health Orders, which are a collection of orders that are revised each time the risk level is re-assessed. They tend to be revised quite frequently.
Industry or Sector
The NSW Government has currently identified 41 different industries and sectors that each have their own COVID-19 requirements and restrictions. The range of different industry specific requirements in NSW means that COVID-19 Help Lines are unable to provide industry specific advice. Therefore general COVID-19 helplines should not be the first point of contact in determining what we are able to do as a Community Sporting Association. The onus is on every business and incorporated association to inform themselves of the requirements that apply to them.
The industry and sector specific requirements are detailed in the COVID-19 Safety Plans, which are again updated on a regular basis. For us this is the ‘Outdoor Events - Community Sports’ Safety Plan and we are required to agree to 18 specified requirements. The plan is completed and submitted on line and then emailed back to us. The plans for each industry or sector can be found at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe#covid19safetyplans .
The main restrictions in the Safety Plan that impact our activities are (see https://www.nsw.gov.au/form/covid-safety-plan/community-sporting-competitions-and-full-training-activities ):
Minimise co-mingling of participants;
Ensure 1.5m physical distancing where possible;
Where possible, encourage participants to avoid carpools with people from different household groups;
Encourage participants to bring their own water bottle, snacks/orange slices and sweat towels.
Have strategies in place to manage gatherings that may occur immediately outside the premises;
Reduce sharing of equipment where practical and ensure these are cleaned with detergent and disinfectant between use.
In addition the NSW Public Health Orders [Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2021 require us to implement an electronic contact tracing system and limit gatherings at outdoor events to 200 people.
9 April 2021