Sport, exercise and physical recreation services sector guidance

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

Getting back to COVIDSafe Settings

From 11:59pm on Friday 26 February 2021, Victoria will return to COVIDSafe Settings 

For more detail, please see the Premier’s statement and the COVIDSafe Settings.

Industry Restart Guidelines

COVIDSafe Plan for Community Sport and Recreation

Frequently asked questions - COVIDSafe Settings

Updated: 2 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:

    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.


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.

  • 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.

  • 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 02 March 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and the Industry Coordination Centre

The Business Victoria hotline provides information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15

Contact Business Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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