Last night the NSW Government released their updated Public Health Order (PHO) – linked here. As we have throughout the Pandemic we will be following to guidance of NSW health and following the Public Health Order.
We have also consulted the office of sport, Football NSW and other metropolitan Football Associations.
The advice received is that it is safe to proceed with community sport at the current time with some changes to the way we operate. So therefore we will be proceeding with Football this weekend as per the draw. We will begin an education campaign this afternoon and over the coming days via MyCompApp and Social media to the football public, but in essence, the changes affect three key areas around masks, movement, and social distancing.
The key message is that clubs can continue to conduct football activities but that existing COVID-19 Safety Plans need to be reviewed and that steps are taken to ensure compliance with rules around masks, movement, and social distancing.
These steps include education and signage. I must stress that clubs and officials are NOT law enforcement. Our job is to educate and make people aware. Enforcement of the Public Health order is the responsibility of the Police.
Please see below for more detail on the three key areas.
Anyone attending football matches or training must wear a mask.
People may remove their mask only for strenuous physical exercise (e.g. to warm up, train, play or referee), or when eating or drinking, and must put their masks back on at all other times, including spectators, coaches, managers, substitutes etc.
Similar to earlier orders there are other exemptions that apply, including for children under 12, people with autism or intellectual disabilities and other health conditions.
More detail is available here: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/public-health-orders.aspx#face-coverings
There are also restrictions on movement that people may be broadly aware of, but that we can outline in some more detail.
People who either live or work in seven named LGAs (Bayside, City of Sydney, Canada Bay, Inner West, Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra) may not leave the Metropolitan area (as defined in the linked map: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney#metropolitan-sydney-map) without a “reasonable excuse” (see Schedule 1 of the PHO).
The practical meaning of this as it affects football is that if you live or work in one of these areas, you cannot play football outside of the Metropolitan area. This has particular impact on CCF and its clubs (as anyone who lives or works in these LGAs cannot come to the Central Coast). We understand this may leave teams short and may increase forfeits.
Capacity restrictions now apply so that spaces must have no more than one person per 4 metres squared, and masking also applies.
Dugouts and changerooms can again only be used with appropriate social distancing.
We are confident that our football community will come together to ensure that we comply with these orders.
Our tagline for the weekend will be “Wear your mask, practice social distancing, and if you’re unwell, get tested and then stay home.”