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Sport, exercise and physical recreation services sector guidance

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

COVIDSafe Summer — new restrictions apply from 11:59pm, Sunday 17 January 2021

From 11:59pm on Sunday 17 January face masks will no longer be mandatory in most public indoor settings.

  • Face masks continue to be mandatory in airports, hospitals, large retail stores over 2000 sqm, shopping centres, indoor markets, in taxis and rideshares, on public transport, and on domestic flights to and from Victoria.
  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • It is strongly recommended you wear one whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

Find out more about COVIDSafe Summer restrictions.

Information to help your business Stay Safe and Stay Open

Every Victorian business must have a COVIDSafe Plan and follow the six principles of COVIDSafe workplaces.

Also see:

Industry Restart Guidelines

COVIDSafe Plan for Community Sport and Recreation

Frequently asked questions

Updated: 22 January 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 page. 

Face masks are strongly recommended in all settings whenever a physical distance of 1.5 metres from others cannot be maintained. 

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 page.

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

  • 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.

  • Outdoor contact and non-contact community sport is permitted throughout COVIDSafe Summer, subject to:

    Indoor contact and non-contact community sport is permitted throughout COVIDSafe Summer, subject to a density quotient of one person per four square metres when staffed, or one person per eight square metres when unstaffed, and group sizes of no more than 50 people.

    Spectators can attend community and professional sport and will count towards the overall cap of the facility. 

    Venues (indoor or outdoor) with a capacity of greater than 500 patrons must publish their COVIDSafe Plan on their website.

    Individual sports, like running or cycling, must limit participants to 50 (indoor) or 100 (outdoor). To prevent mixing, measures like staggered start times and modifying access arrangements at venues should be implemented.

  • 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 page.

  • 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 coronavirus (COVID-19) is available at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

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:

  • Pools are open and subject to density quotients. 

    Outdoor pools (including any water or non-water parts) are subject to a density quotient of one person per two square metres. Venues using a density quotient of one person per two square metres must use electronic record keeping, for example QR code technology, otherwise the density quotient of one person per four square metres applies.

    Indoor pools (including any water or non-water parts) are subject to a density quotient of one person per four square metres. Indoor pools are not required to use electronic record keeping and may use paper-based record keeping; however, electronic record keeping such as using a QR code is recommended. The Victorian Government has a free QR code service for businesses to use which can be accessed via the QR Code Service page.

    See the Sector Guidelines for further information: 

  • 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. 

  • 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 page.

  • 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 page.

  • Restrictions on swim schools are determined by whether they have exclusive access to the pool facility.

    If the facility is being operated for the exclusive use of a single school, the density quotient for indoor and outdoor pools does not apply.

    If the facility is not being operated for the exclusive use of a single school, swimming lesson participants and spectators must be included in the density quotient.

    See the Industry Restart Guidelines – Physical Recreation Indoor and Outdoor for more information about caps and other swimming pool restrictions:

  • Yes, swimming 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. They are not included in the facility’s density quotient


    See the Industry Restart Guidelines – Physical Recreation Indoor and Outdoor for more information about caps and other swimming pool restrictions:

Reviewed 25 January 2021

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Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15

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