The Australian Government has announced new community sport guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19, as of 18 March 2020.
This follows ongoing consultation with sporting organisations and is focused on providing relevant advice on change room access, physical contact, travel, and social distancing and hygiene practices.
These guidelines were developed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), comprising all state and territory Chief Health Officers and is chaired by the Australian Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy.
The guidelines were subsequently endorsed by the newly formed National Cabinet which is made up of all Premiers, First Ministers and the Prime Minister.
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:
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:
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.
Facilities should ensure that:
Settings like gyms, indoor fitness centres and swimming pools are not required to close at this time providing they meet these requirements for social distancing and hand hygiene. Such venues should take actions to ensure regular high standards of environmental cleaning take place.
The Prime Minister’s media statement can be found at https://www.pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirusmeasures
The most recent advice released by the AHPPC can be found at https://www.health.gov.au/news/australianhealth-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-coronavirus-covid-19-statement-on-17-march-2020
Additional information relating to the Government’s response to COVID-19 can be found at http://www.health.gov.au
The Australian Institute of Sport is maintaining an information page on COVID-19 and Sporting Activity