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Sport, exercise and physical recreation services sector guidance

Sector guidance for sport, exercise and physical recreation businesses within Victoria.

Victoria to further relax COVIDSafe Settings

The Victorian Government has announced a further easing of COVIDSafe settings from 11.59pm Friday 9 April.

For more information, see the statement from the Minister for Health.

 

Updated settings 9 April 2021

The Victorian Government has announced a further easing of COVIDSafe settings from 11.59pm Friday 9 April.

The information on this page is currently being updated to reflect the new settings. Please check back soon.

For more information, see the statement from the Minister for Health.

Industry Restart Guidelines

Industry guidelines are being updated to reflect the latest health advice. For more detail on the latest COVIDSafe Settings, please see the Minister for Health’s statement

COVIDSafe Plan for Community Sport and Recreation

Frequently asked questions - COVIDSafe Settings

Last updated: 18 March 2021

Read below for frequently asked questions for businesses in the sport, exercise and physical recreation services sector.

What are the current face mask requirements?

You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.

Face masks continue to be mandatory in some locations, unless a lawful reason not to wear one applies.

For a full list of settings where masks continue to be mandatory, see: Face masks.

Community sport

  • A patron is anyone who is located in a physical recreation workplace, whether or not they are engaging in a physical recreation activity at the time. For example, a patron includes somebody entering a pool complex.

    A worker is not considered a patron.

  • Community sport refers to competitions and training sanctioned by a state sporting association or equivalent governing body, such as country football and netball competitions overseen by AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria. Physical recreation is any other activity that is not associated with competition or training sanctioned by a state sporting association or equivalent governing body, including unorganised, non-competitive casual sport and social play, fitness and gyms classes.

    See more information on physical recreation and exercising.

  • For more information on current face mask requirements, see face masks.

  • We all have a responsibility to make sure we can safely participate in community sport and recreation.
    This includes:

    Hygiene
    Participants should practise good hygiene by washing their hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or using hand sanitiser. Where possible, participants should maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others. 

    Physical distancing
    Where it is practical to do so, participants should bring their own equipment and limit the sharing of equipment. If equipment is shared, it must be cleaned in-between each use.

    For example, golfers should mark their own card, tennis players should use their own racquets, and all participants should minimise the sharing of exercise equipment. For example, tyres and ropes or scrum machines and avoid sharing uniforms such as hockey goalkeeper gear.

  • Yes. Change rooms and showers at indoor and outdoor sporting venues can open subject to the two square metre rule.

    Signage must be displayed at the entrance to club change rooms stating the maximum number of people permitted in the space according to the relevant density quotient. Floor markings are recommended to promote physical distancing in change rooms and toilet facilities. Increased cleaning is also recommended.

  • You can convert an outdoor smoking area into an outdoor exercise area. However, smoking would no longer be allowed in that space. If you chose to do so, you must also take into account the requirements of the Tobacco Act, which are set out on the  BetterHealth website.

  • Yes, tenpin bowling alleys are open subject to a density quotient of one person per four square metres. Venues are also subject to the hospitality guidelines if serving food and beverages.

    For further details see Industry Restart Guidelines: Hospitality.

  • Sporting carnivals or sporting events must meet specific requirements, in addition to the restrictions on community sport. For further information on events, refer to the Public events – information for organisers.

  • Yes. Golf carts can be shared by players. Course operators are required to thoroughly clean the carts in between each use. 

    You can use a golf cart with the people you are playing with but it is strongly recommended you wear a face mask while in the cart as you will be unable to maintain a 1.5 metre physical distance. 

    More information about cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is available at the Department of Health.

  • Yes. From 11.59pm on Friday 26 February 2021, the number of people permitted at sport or recreational facilities, personal training facilities, and cardio strength training facilities is subject to the following restrictions:  

    • In non-seated outdoor spaces (such as ovals):
    • In non-seated indoor spaces (such as yoga studios):
    • In seated outdoor spaces (such as tennis clubs with seating): 
      • 75 per cent of the maximum seated capacity; or
      • 1000 patrons, whichever is fewer. 

    • In seated indoor spaces (such as indoor basketball courts with seating): 
      • 75 per cent of the maximum seated capacity; or
      • 1000 patrons, whichever is fewer. 

    • In cardio or strength training facilities (such as gyms):

    Indoor space is an area, room or premises that is substantially enclosed by a roof and walls that are temporary (in a physical recreational facility, food and drink facility or creative arts facility only) or permanent structures rising either from floor to ceiling or are at least 2.1 metres high. 

    In indoor spaces 50 people are permitted per group, class or session. In outdoor settings, 100 people are permitted per group, class or session.  

    Venues must have a COVIDSafe Plan, and venues with a capacity of more than 500 patrons must publish their COVIDSafe Plan online before opening. Venues hosting events with more than 1000 people must operate under the Public Events Framework.

    Indoor sport or recreational facilities include: gymnasiums, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga studios, Pilates studios, barre studios, dance studios, spin facilities, indoor basketball courts, indoor climbing facilities, squash courts and table tennis centres. 

    Outdoor sport or recreational facilities include: golf clubs, tennis clubs, basketball centres, go-kart tracks, rifle ranges, equestrian centres, mini golf, paint ball, lawn bowling, outdoor swimming (for example, open water swimming in an ocean or lake) and water skiing.

    Cardio strength training facilities use cardio equipment (such as exercise bikes, elliptical trainers, steppers and rowing machines), free weights, kettlebells and weight and/or strength training equipment and machines. A cardio or strength-training facility may be a stand-alone facility or part of another facility (such as a gymnasium, health club, fitness centre or personal training facility).  

    These restrictions do not apply to play centres, skateparks, trampolining centres, swimming pools or creative arts facilities. 

  • Pools are open and subject to density quotients

    Indoor and outdoor pools (including any water or non-water spaces) are subject to a density quotient of one person per two square metres

    From 6.00pm on Friday 26 March 2021, electronic record keeping will be required in many settings. 
    Where this applies, the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or a Victorian Government API (Application Programming Interface) must be used. A 28-day compliance amnesty will be in place to 23 April 2021. Find out more information on the settings where electronic record keeping is required. 
    Find out more information on the Victorian Government Visitation Application Programming Interface (API).

    From 11.59pm Monday 15 March 2021 the density quotient limits for indoor and outdoor pools do not apply in any section of the pool being used for swimming lessons and water safety instruction. The density quotient also does not apply to members of the public participating in community sport, including training for an organized competition. A member of the public refers to a person who is not an employee of the facility, operator of the facility, or a person who attends the facility to provide a service (for example a swimming teacher). 

    If the  facility is being used exclusively by a single school, the density quotient for indoor and outdoor pools does not apply, however if somebody other than a student or staff member enters the facility, the density quotient must apply to every person in the facility.

    See the Industry Restart Guidelines - Physical Recreation and Community Sport for further information.

  • No. From 11.59pm Monday 15 March 2021, the density quotient for indoor and outdoor pools does not apply in any section of the pool being used for swimming or water safety instruction.

    People using other sections of the pool must continue to adhere to the density quotient.
    For example, if a swimming class is operating at one end of a swimming pool, the teacher and participants taking part in that swimming class will not be included when calculating the density quotient. However, if there are other members of the public at the other end of the swimming pool, swimming recreationally (and not part of a class) they will be counted in the density quotient.

    A member of the public refers to a person who is not an employee of the facility, operator of the facility, or a person who attends the facility to provide a service (for example a swimming teacher). A member of the public would include a person swimming recreationally at the pool. 

  • Restrictions on swimming schools depend on whether a single school has exclusive access to the facility, or whether swimming or water safety lessons are taking place. .

    If the facility is being used exclusively by a single school, the density quotient for indoor and outdoor pools does not apply.

    If the facility is not being used exclusively by one school and somebody other than a student or staff member enters the facility, the density quotient must apply to every person in the facility., 

    From 11.59pm Monday 15 March 2021, the density quotient does not apply to sections of the pool being used for swimming and water safety lessons. 

    See the Industry Restart Guidelines - Physical Recreation and Community Sport for more information about caps and other swimming pool restrictions:

  • Yes. Spectators can attend as long as:

    • if outdoors, the public gathering limit of 100 people is not exceeded for each group outdoors
    • if indoors, the overall attendance for the competition is within the capacity limits for that venue
    • there is appropriate physical distancing

    For information on events, refer to the public events — information for organisers.

  • Yes, however sporting clubs that operate a restaurant, café or canteen in their facility must adhere to restrictions that apply to the hospitality industry.

    Further information on these restrictions is available on the Hospitality — food and beverage sector guidance.

Exercise

  • Indoor physical recreation facilities, which includes contact and non-contact classes, can open for all ages.

    This is subject to: 

    • when staffed, a strict density quotient of one person per four square metres and a COVID Marshal is on-site
    • when unstaffed, a strict density quotient of one person per eight square metres
    • limits of 50 people per group, class or session
    • sharing of equipment is avoided, and if equipment is shared, it must be cleaned in-between each use
    • staggered class times and a minimum gap of 15 minutes between class sessions is recommended.

    For further information, please see Industry Restart Guidelines - Physical Recreation and Community Sport.

  • Full-contact training and competition is allowed indoors and outdoors. While physical distancing for these activities is not required, it should be encouraged wherever possible. Swim teachers and a parent, carer or guardian can be in the water and in contact with children or people with a disability for lessons, supervision and for safety.

  • It is recommended to set usage times so there is minimal overlap between different groups (for example, a booking or reservation system). If businesses choose to impose a time limit on bookings, this should be kept to no more than two hours.

Professional sport

For more information on professional sport, please visit Sport and Recreation Victoria.

  • Yes. All Victorian work premises that are open must have a COVIDSafe Plan.

  • Athletes who meet one or more of the following conditions will be defined as professional or high-performance athletes. 

    An athlete:  

    • performs their sporting activity in an open-aged national or international competition 
    • is contracted to an employer (for example, a professional club) to perform that sporting activity as their primary source of income  
    • is a National Institute Network Scholarship holder 
    • derives regular and meaningful employment from competing in their sport. 

    If you are unsure whether you meet the criteria, please contact your national sporting organisation or state sporting association. 

    For more information on professional sport in Victoria, please visit the Sport and Recreation Victoria website.

  • Outdoor stadiums and arenas can operate at 75 per cent capacity with a maximum of 1000 people, as stated in the Restricted Activity Directions.

    If seeking to host an event with more participants than what is stated in the Restricted Activity Directions, venues must apply under the Public Events Framework.

  • Yes. Victorians can travel interstate depending on the border restrictions of the state or territory they are travelling to. However, travellers should be aware that border arrangements are constantly reviewed based on the health situation in each state and territory and Victorians should check the rules in place in the state they’re visiting before they travel. 

    You will also have to apply for a permit to re-enter Victoria based on the zone you have been in or travelled through. The permit system is based on a traffic light system which allows for areas across Australia to be designated as green, orange or red according to their risk. Visit the Victorian Travel Permit System page to understand the rules and requirements around travelling to and from the different zones. 

Reviewed 22 April 2021

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Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15

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