Happy Long Weekend!
On Monday 27 September the NSW Government announced that community sport would be permitted once the state reached the level of 80% of the eligible adult population (16+) being fully vaccinated against COVID.
This would come into effect on the Monday following the 80% target being reached, which is currently forecast to be Monday 25 October, however that date is subject to change pending vaccination levels.
Importantly, the current NSW Government 80% Roadmap indicates that participation in community sport upon its return would only be available to those adults (16+) who had been fully vaccinated, or children under the age of 16.
The Roadmap also indicates that from 1 December, community sport will be permitted for all people. However, it should be noted that this date is also indicative and could change.
Manly Touch attended a meeting with NSWTA on Thursday night and were advised that unfortunately the level of detail being provided by the Government is still not sufficient for us to provide absolute clarity on a number of questions we still have regarding a commencement date for our local competitions because of our size. Manly Touch are working very closely with NSWTA to obtain as much detail as possible, as early as possible, from the Government and this information will be passed on as soon as we have it. For now, a brief summary is as follows:
What we know:
- Community sport is currently not permitted in any part of NSW;
- Community sport can recommence from Monday 25 October (to be confirmed) for fully vaccinated adults and any children under the age of 16;
- Community sport can recommence from 1 December for all people
What we don’t know:
- Whether community sport after Monday 25 October will fall under the requirement of needing to be a ‘COVID Safe Event’ (as referenced in the Roadmap) with a limit of 200 people;
- If this is the case given our Senior Summer competition currently exceeds 200 participants, we will need to implement a number of measures to adhere to the Public Health Order, but we believe that we will be able to start our Senior Summer competitions in early November;
- Whether community sport after 1 December will fall under the requirement of needing to be a ‘COVID Safe Event’ (as referenced in the Roadmap) with a limit of 1000 people;
- If this is the case given our Junior Summer competition currently exceeds 1000 participants, we will need to implement a number of measures to adhere to the Public Health Order similar to our 2020 Junior Competition and we will be unable to start until after December 1. However, given Senior State Cup is scheduled for 3-5 December this gives us one week in which we could play touch before we break for the Xmas and New Year Period, which is not practical;
- The specific requirements of the COVID Safe plan that will be needed and if these are different to previous COVID Safe plans;
- How vaccination status of participants (players, coaches, referees, officials etc) and spectators will be checked, recorded, monitored, and enforced by our volunteers, committee and organisers;
- What happens if a positive COVID case attends a community sporting event of fully vaccinated people, does the event get shut down with everyone needing to isolate?
There is no doubt that there are significantly more questions than those shown above, and we will endeavour to provide more clarity at the earliest opportunity.
At this stage we understand there is a meeting with all key players (NSWTA, NSW Health, Sport NSW) this Wednesday in which we hope there will be more clarification on the above.
The best-case scenario for us is that the number limits for ‘Organised Outdoor Gathering’ do not apply to community sport which would mean we could potentially kick off our touch season for not only seniors but junior participants in early November. If this is the case, there will be very quick and strict deadlines on team registrations so that we have enough time to get our competitions underway as quickly as possible. In the interim, we would encourage you to organise your teams and be ready to go at short notice.
As always, Manly Touch will continue to provide updates as circumstances change.
For any further information, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.