COVID-19: SNSW advice

Lane Rope in a pool

Swimming NSW will provide relevant COVID-19 updates through this dedicated page. The situation remains fluid and we encourage our members to stay up-to-date with the latest health advice.

Return to play in a COVID-safe environment

Prior to resuming sporting activity, all clubs are recommended to have a clear Return to Play in a COVID-safe Environment framework. Clubs and venues must also have a COVID-safe plan in place.

Swimming NSW has developed activity guidelines to help both clubs and areas, and technical officials, with staging COVID-safe events for the foreseeable future. 

 

If you have additional questions or want to know more about how to implement the guidelines, you can watch the full recording of the 2020 SNSW State Forum Webinar #3: COVID-19 Restrictions Update & SNSW Activity Guidelines presented by Swimming NSW's CEO, Mark Heathcote, on 1 October 2020. 

 The presentation slides are available here.


Further to the above, the following general COVID-safe principles apply:

  • Maintain 1.5m social distancing at all times
  • Get in, train and get out
  • Practice good hand hygiene before and after training
  • Come ready to swim
  • Stay home if you, or a family member, are unwell
  • Don’t share food, drinks, equipment or towels
  • Follow the one person per 4 square metres rule to ensure sufficient physical distancing between participants

Please also note the following SNSW Hygiene Best Practices, which are widely considered by health experts to be key to disease prevention and management.

Further information

You can also stay up to date with the health situation, credible advice and recommendations at the following links:

NSW/ACT Government

    Australian Government

    Sport Australia/AIS

    Swimming Australia

    World Health Organisation

    We understand that this is a worrying time for many in our community. We want to assure you that our staff and SNSW Board are responding to the situation as it evolves.

    Thank you again for your ongoing support in putting the health and safety of our Swimming NSW family first.

    Latest news

    • 20 October 2021: New maximum gathering size for outdoor community sport and COVID-19 Safety Plan
    • The NSW Government has released the Public Health (COVID-19 General) Amendment Order (No 3) 2021. This amendment relates to outdoor community sport and recreation activities.

      The amendment outlines the following changes to the maximum gathering size for outdoor community sport gatherings:

      • Clause 2.12 (1) (b1) enables a COVID-19 safe outdoor public gathering for a community sporting activity to be the lesser of 1,000 persons or 1 person per 2 square metres.
      • All people attending the gathering must be:
        • Fully vaccinated; or
        • under 16 years of age; or
        • have been issued with a medical contraindication certificate compliant with the Order
      • The activity organiser must have a 'community sport' COVID-19 Safety Plan

      The Office of Sport has clarified with NSW Health that outdoor community sport gatherings includes training and competition activities, and outdoor active recreation activities.

      This amendment acknowledges the need for a larger gathering size to enable some community sport activities to recommence, while taking into account the significant number of children that participate in community sport and are not yet fully vaccinated. It is anticipated this gathering limit will remain in place until at least 1 December 2021.


      New COVID-19 Safety Plan for outdoor community sport

      In line with the amendment, the Office has been advised a new COVID-19 Safety Plan for outdoor community sport will be released.

      This plan will reflect the outdoor gathering size being changed to 1,000 persons or 1 per 2 square metres, and will also have language which better reflects the nature of community sport, including the role of volunteers. The plan is available via the NSW Government COVID-19 Safety Plan webpage.

      The Office of Sport is currently working with the Department of Customer Service to develop some resources to assist community sport organisation with implementing the COVID-19 Safety Plan requirements. Whilst these are in development, organisations are encouraged to access the range of COVID-19 business resources: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/business/covid-safe-business
       

    • 18 October 2021: Community sport (competition) can resume
    • The NSW Government has now published the Public Health (COVID-19 General) Amendment Order (No 2) 2021, which outlines restrictions in place from Monday, 18 October 2021.

      Please see the below information relating to the sport and recreation sector.

      The following restrictions apply to;
      a) Fully vaccinated people aged 16 years and over;
      b) Children under the age of 16; and
      c) People who have been issued with a medical contraindication certificate compliant with the Order.

      Clause 2.13 of the Order, which previously referenced outdoor sport and exercise gatherings, has been removed. This means community sport and exercise falls under the general restrictions and is now permitted to take place (including both training and competition).

      Outdoor events

      The maximum number of persons in an outdoor area must not exceed more than 1 person per 2 square metres of space.

      The maximum number of persons permitted at the following outdoor events are;
      a) for a controlled outdoor public gathering – 3,000 persons
      b) for a COVID-19 safe outdoor public gathering – 200 persons
      c) for any other outdoor public gathering – 50 persons.

      These restrictions apply to any community sport (including both training and competition), exercise and recreation activities. They also apply for outdoor events such as team BBQs and end of season presentations.

      Recreation facilities

      The maximum number of persons in an indoor recreation facility area must not exceed more than 1 person per 4 square metres of space.

      There is no limit on gathering sizes within an indoor recreation facility, except for gym and dance classes which remain capped at 20 persons.

      All occupiers of indoor recreation facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

      Entertainment facilities and recreation facilities (major)

      There have been no amendments to restrictions for entertainment and major recreation facilities. The below restrictions continue to apply.

      The occupier of an entertainment facility must ensure the maximum number of persons on the premises does not exceed the number of persons equal to;
      a) 75% of the fixed seating capacity of the premises**, or
      b) 1 person per 4 square metres of space in the premises.

      **The 75% of fixed seating capacity may only be applied by an occupier when;
      a) admission to the premises is by way of a ticket, and
      b) all persons on the premises, other than persons engaged in work, are assigned to specific seats.

      The occupier of a recreation facility (major) must ensure the maximum number of persons on the premises does not exceed the lesser of;
      a) 1 person per 4 square metres of space in the premises, or
      b) 5,000 persons.

      The occupier of both entertainment facilities and major recreation facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

      Fitted face coverings

      The following rules and restrictions remain in place regarding the wearing of fitted face coverings (ie. face masks);

      a) A person who is over 12 years of age must wear a fitted face covering over both their nose and mouth while in any indoor area of non-residential premises.

      Removing fitted face coverings
      a) A person may remove a fitted face covering if the person is engaging in strenuous physical activity, except in an indoor area as part of a gym class or dance class.
      b) The person must resume wearing the fitted face covering as soon as practical after the strenuous physical activity ends.
       

      Unvaccinated adults

      An unvaccinated adult means a person who is more than 16 years of age and is not fully vaccinated.

      The occupier of the following premises must take reasonable steps to ensure that an unvaccinated adult is not on the premises;
      a) Entertainment facilities;
      b) Recreation facilities (major);
      c) Recreation facilities (indoor); and
      d) Public swimming pools.

      The occupier of entertainment facilities and recreation facilities (major) must ensure that a person who is under 16 years of age and is not fully vaccinated is not on the premises unless the person is;
      a) On the premises to carry out work; or
      b) Accompanied by a person who is;
      a. A member of the person’s household, and
      b. A fully vaccinated person.

      Travel for recreation

      Travel between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW will not be permitted until 1 November.

      Therefore, a person who resides in Greater Sydney must not participate in recreation outside Greater Sydney, and a person who resides outside of Greater Sydney (ie. Regional NSW) must not participate in recreation in Greater Sydney.

      Unvaccinated adults must not participate in recreation outside the local government area in which they reside.

    • 8 October 2021: ALL pools across NSW to open on Monday 11 October
    • Location and types of pools that can open

      • ALL indoor and outdoor pools, including pools on school sites, can open across NSW.

      Purpose of activities - squads can operate

      • All pools across NSW can open for swimming lessons, squad training, lap swimming, and rehabilitation activities.

      Vaccination status

      • Individuals who are 16 years and over must be fully vaccinated in order to attend a pool.
      • Individuals who are under the age of 16 years may attend a pool if not vaccinated, however if these individuals are accompanied by an individual who is 16 years or over that person must be fully vaccinated.
      • Workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from October 11 and will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second dose. Regional areas are those outside Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast.

      COVID-safe measures

      • All pools must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.
      • For indoor pools, there is maximum of 1 person per 4 square metres.
      • For outdoor pools, there is a maximum of 1 person per 2 square metres.
      • There is maximum of 20 participants per class or group for lessons/squad/training activities
      • All staff and customers over the age of 12 must wear face masks in indoor venues, except when swimming.
    • 6 October 2021: Maximum number of people for outdoor exercise
    • The NSW Government has published the Public Health Order which outlines restrictions in place from the Monday after the state reaches the 70 per cent double vaccination milestone.

      The Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 is available for download HERE.

       

      Maximum number of persons — outdoor sport or exercise

      • Clause 2.13 of the Public Health Order states that people can undertake sport and exercise at outdoor public gatherings in groups of up to 20. This figure includes participants, coaches and support staff and spectators/parents.
      • This will enable community sport training activities that are compliant with the Public Health Order to take place.
      • Organisations are expected to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

      Maximum number of persons—group classes and activities at recreation facilities (indoor)

      • Clause 2.9 of the Public Health Order states that ‘the occupier of a recreation facility (indoor) in the general area must not allow more than 20 persons to attend a group class or other group activity at the facility.’
      • The occupier of an indoor recreation facility must not allow the total of more than 1 person per 4 square metres, as per Clause 2.3 (1) a).
      • Multiple group activities or classes of up to 20 persons may take place within an indoor recreation facility provided the facility complies with the Public Health Order.
      • This will enable community sport training activities compliant with the Public Health Order to take place.
      • Facility operators must have a ‘Gyms and indoor recreation’ COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

      Parents accompanying children under 16 years of age

      • Clause 2.18(3) of the Public Health Order states the occupier of higher risk premises in the general area must ensure that a person who is under 16 years of age and who is not a fully vaccinated person is not on the premises unless the person is accompanied by a person who is -
        (a) a member of the person’s household, and
        (b) a fully vaccinated person.
      • A higher risk premises includes an entertainment facility, a major recreation facility, hospitality venues, places of public worship, and premises at which a significant event is being held, other than a small funeral or memorial service or small wedding service.
      • Indoor recreation facilities are not classified as a higher risk premises.

      Indoor pools reopening at 80% double vaccination target

      • In the updated roadmap published over the weekend, it has been confirmed that indoor pools will reopen for lessons only.
      • Further advice relating to this matter will be provided as NSW approaches the 80% double vaccination target.

      Resources to assist with reopening

      The NSW Government has developed a range of resources to assist organisations with reopening. This includes information about COVID-19 Safety Plan requirements, customer proof of vaccinations, guidance about business rights, vaccination of staff and customers and what to do if your business becomes and exposure site.

    • 24 September 2021: Return to squad training and swimming lessons this Monday
    • As noted through the course of last week, outdoor swimming pools in Greater Sydney and in the local government areas in regional NSW that are subject to stay at home directions are permitted to open from Monday 27 September 2021 provided they comply with a COVID safety plan for outdoor swimming pools.  

      The COVID safety plan for outdoor swimming pools has been published on the NSW Health.  It provides that capacity at outdoor swimming pool facilities, including in any pools, must not exceed one person per 4 square metres of the outdoor area of the premises.  Please note that swimming lessons and squad training are permitted, and unvaccinated persons may attend.  

       Indoor pools remain closed in Greater Sydney and in the local government areas in regional NSW that are subject to stay at home directions.  They are currently scheduled to reopen once NSW reaches the 70% double-dose vaccination target, which is likely to occur in mid-October 2021.  

       Please note that both indoor and outdoor swimming pools in local government areas in regional NSW that are not subject to stay at home directions are permitted to open, with capacity limits of one person per 4 square metres of space for indoor areas and one person per 2 square metres of space for outdoor areas. 

    • 19 September 2021: Reopening of outdoor pools across NSW from 27 September
    • The NSW Government has announced that restrictions in local government areas of concern will start to align with other lockdown areas, as vaccination rates continue to rise in Sydney’s West and South-West.

      From 12.01am Monday, 20 September, the following restrictions will ease for those who live in LGAs of concern:

      • No limit on the duration of outdoor exercise and recreation (previously a two-hour limit);
      • Outdoor gatherings of up to five fully vaccinated people (not including children aged 12 and under) will be allowed in a person’s LGA or within 5km of home (previously only fully vaccinated household members could gather outdoors, or up to two fully vaccinated people from different households);
      • Shopping, exercise and outdoor recreation can be done 5km from home or within your LGA (previously only 5km from home);
      • Attend a small wedding (maximum 11 people) in Greater Sydney as a guest (previously only allowed in their LGA); and
      • A person’s single’s bubble buddy can live in Greater Sydney (previously must have resided within 5km of a person’s home). A person from a LGA of concern can also now be a buddy for someone in Greater Sydney.

      Nearly all restrictions in the LGAs of concern are now aligned with other lockdown areas, with the main differences being authorised worker conditions and travel permit requirements which remain in place in the LGAs of concern. 

      Reopening of outdoor swimming pools across NSW

      From 12.01am Monday, 27 September outdoor pools across NSW will be able to open, provided councils have a stringent COVID safety plan approved by NSW Health. Natural pools are already permitted to be open.

    • 10 September 2021: Sport and Recreation Sector Update
    • The Minister for Health has made the Public Health (COVID-19 Additional Restrictions for Delta Outbreak) Order (No 2) Amendment (No 7) Order 2021. The Amending Order amends the Public Health (COVID-19 Additional Restrictions for Delta Outbreak) Order (No 2) to:

      • move a number of areas of the State out of the stay at home area to the general area from the beginning of 11 September, 
      • vary the rules for general areas as well,
      • from 13 September, make changes to the rules in the areas of concern and the stay at home area in relation to outdoor recreation for vaccinated persons 
      • repeal the Public Health (COVID-19 Mandatory Face Coverings) Order (No 3) 2021

      Details are below.

      Parts of regional NSW move out of lockdown – rules for the general area will apply

      From 11 September, the following LGAs will still be considered to be a stay at home area:
      Bathurst Regional, Bega Valley, Blayney, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, City of Broken Hill, Cabonne, Central Coast, Central Darling, City of Cessnock, Dubbo Regional, Dungog, Eurobodalla, Forbes, Gilgandra, Goulburn Mulwaree, Kiama, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Lithgow, City of Maitland, Mid-Western Regional, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Narromine, City of Newcastle, City of Orange, Parkes, Port Stephens, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional, City of Shellharbour, City of Shoalhaven, Singleton, Snowy Monaro Regional, Upper Hunter Shire, Walgett and Wingecarribee.

      The rest of NSW (other than Greater Sydney) will move out of the stay at home area and be considered a “general area”.

      For clarification, please refer to Regional and rural areas with limited restrictions webpage.

      Note: if a person who lives in a general area goes to a stay at home area or an area of concern after 12.01 am on 11 September, the person will be subject to the direction that they can only leave home with a reasonable excuse for 14 days after they were last in the stay at home/area of concern.

      Changes to the rules in the general area

      The following gathering limits and rules apply in general areas. You can take part in exercising and outdoor recreation activities that comply with the Public Health Orders and are not held in a venue required to be closed.

      Restrictions relevant to exercising and outdoor recreation activities in the general area include:

      • There are capacity limits for outdoor events
        • For COVID-19 safe outdoor public gatherings (outdoor events with a COVID-19 safety plan) – the limit is 50 persons
        • For a controlled outdoor public gathering (which are seated ticketed events held in enclosed area), the limit is 500 persons
        • For major recreational facilities - the density limit will be the lesser of 1 person per 4 square metres or 5000 people.
        • For other outdoor gatherings – the limit is 20 persons
      • Masks are not required at a major recreation facility or any outdoor gathering
      • Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn at all times, including when undertaking strenuous exercise).
      • For a recreation facility (indoor) and indoor swimming pools, an occupier of premises in the general area must not allow more than 1 person per 4 square metres of space. Masks must be worn in all indoor premises except when undertaking physical strenuous exercise unless exempt. 

      Changes to the stay at home area – outdoor gatherings for vaccinated people 
      From 13 September, a person in a stay at home area can participate in an outdoor gathering in a public place subject to the following limits

      • If all persons at least 16 years are fully vaccinated (i.e. two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or a person with a medical contraindication certificate)– no more than 5 persons but not including persons who are 12 years and under. In addition, a person over 16 years of age must carry evidence of the vaccination evidence and produce it to a police officer on request.
      • Otherwise – no more than 2 persons
      • The outdoor gathering must take place either within your LGA or within 5km of your place of residence.

      There is a new reasonable excuse for leaving your place of residence – being to transport a member of your household who is authorised to leave their house (this will permit, for example, a person to leave the house to drive a household member to work).

      Area of concern – limited outdoor recreation for households 

      From 13 September, a person in an area of concern will have a reasonable excuse to leave their home to engage in outdoor recreation no more than 5 kms from your home if 

      • The person is fully vaccinated (i.e. two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or a person with a medical contraindication certificate) or under 16, and
      • the outdoor recreation is only with persons who live in the same household and, if over 16 years has been fully vaccinated
      • the outdoor recreation can only be for 2 hour per day
      • persons over 16 must carry vaccination evidence and should it to police on request

      There is a new reasonable excuse for leaving your place of residence – being to transport a member of your household who is authorised to leave their house (this will permit, for example, a person to leave the house to drive a household member to work).

    • 29 March 2021: Easing of restrictions in NSW
    • From 12:01am Monday 29 March 2021, a number of COVID-19 restrictions across NSW will be eased as the state continues to move forward in a COVID-Safe way. 

      Following this announcement, the Public Health  (COVID-19 Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021 was gazetted overnight, including several changes which will see restrictions ease in the sport and active recreation sector and a change to some COVID Safety Plan requirements.

       The Office of Sport has summarised the changes below and would encourage all organisations to review the new Public Health Order (PHO) and COVID Safety Plan requirements. Please note that at this point in time, the updated COVID-19 Safety Plans referenced in this email have not yet been updated. These plans will be updated on the NSW Government COVID Safe webpage.

      The most significant change is the removal of the reference to 'community sporting activities' within the PHO. Community sport and recreation activities will now fall under one of the below categories.

      Indoor Sport and Recreation Activities

      All community sport and recreation activities that take place indoors now fall under the category of 'recreation facility (indoor)'. This includes but is not limited to all community sport and recreation activities taking place indoors (e.g. basketball, netball, ice hockey, ten pin bowling etc); gyms; indoor pools, spas and saunas; dance; and health and wellness studios (e.g. yoga, pilates, boxing etc).

      Under Clause 11 in the PHO, these facilities will be permitted a maximum of 1 person per 2 square metres, or a maximum of 25 persons if the space is less than 50 square metres. Gyms no longer require a COVID Safe Marshal.

      Under the PHO, as occupiers of an indoor recreation facility, your organisation will be required to have a 'Gyms and indoor recreation facility' COVID-19 Safety Plan. If you are hiring a facility, we encourage you to liaise with the venue owner/operator with regards to the development of the COVID-19 Safety Plan.

      Outdoor Sport and Recreation Activities

      All sport and recreation activities that take place outdoors now fall under one of the four categories below.

      For all community sporting activities registered as COVID safe outdoor events (see detail below), there is a new requirement for all record keeping to be managed electronically. Community sport organisations can support this by registering as a COVID Safe business or organisation.

       1. A non-controlled outdoor gathering (up to 200 people) (Clause 19)

      These activities are restricted to 200 people (unless the gathering is a COVID-safe outdoor gathering with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

       2. A non-controlled outdoor gathering (up to 5,000 people) (Clause 19)

      The organiser must have and comply with the relevant COVID-19 Safety Plan.

      The organiser of a COVID-19 safe outdoor gathering is directed to ensure that the number of participants in the gathering is the lesser of:

      (a) the number of persons equivalent to 1 person per 2 square metres of space of the premises in which the activity is conducted, or

      (b) 5,000 persons.

       3. A controlled outdoor gathering (up to 10,000 people) (Clause 20)

      A controlled outdoor public gathering means an outdoor public gathering lasting no longer than 5 hours in an area with the following criteria:

      • is enclosed or bounded by fencing or another form of barrier, and
      • access to which is controlled by way of a ticket, and
      • in relation to which all persons, other than persons engaged in work, are assigned to specific seats or to a seating area

      The organiser of a controlled outdoor public gathering is directed to ensure the maximum number of persons participating in the gathering is the lesser of:

      (a) the number of persons equivalent to 1 person per 2 square metres of space of the premises in which the activity is conducted, or

      (b) 10,000 persons.

       The Organiser must have and comply with the relevant COVID-19 Safety Plan.

       4. A recreation facility (major) (Clause 12)

      A recreation facility (major) means a building or place used for large-scale sporting or recreation activities that are attended by large numbers of people whether regularly or periodically, and includes theme parks, sports stadiums, showgrounds, racecourses and motor racing tracks.  The occupier of an entertainment facility or indoor recreation facility (major) is directed to ensure the maximum number of persons on the premises does not exceed the greater of:

      (a) the number of persons equal to 100% of the fixed seating capacity of the facility, or

      (b) the number of persons equivalent to 1 person per 2 square metres of space in the facility.

      The occupier of an outdoor recreation facility (major) is directed to ensure the maximum number of persons on the premises does not exceed the greater of:

      (a) the total of:

      (i) 100% of the fixed seating capacity of the facility, and (ii) the number of persons equal to 1 person per 2 square metres of space of any unfixed seating areas of the facility,

      (b) the number of persons equivalent to 1 person per 2 square metres of space in the facility.

      If the occupier of an entertainment facility or recreation facility (major) calculates the maximum number of persons allowed to be on the premises based on the percentage of the fixed seating capacity of the facility, the occupier is directed to ensure:

      (a) admission to the premises is by way of a ticket, and

      (b) all persons, other than persons engaged in work, are assigned to specific seats. 

    • 25 September 2020: Inter-regional community sport to resume
    • Yesterday, the NSW Chief Health Officer updated the guidelines for community sport to allow inter-district and inter-regional competitions to recommence from tomorrow, Saturday 26 September. Swimming NSW has updated its Club & Area Activity Guidelines to reflect these changes (see below).

      Read the Chief Health Officer's advice - 24 September 2020.

    • 18 September 2020: SNSW COVID-19 Club & Area Activity Guidelines
    • Swimming NSW has developed guidelines to help Club and Areas and technical officials to navigate COVID-19 restrictions and stage COVID-safe events ahead of the upcoming summer season.

      If you have additional questions or want to know more about how to implement the guidelines, you can register for our upcoming SNSW State Fourm Webinar #3: COVID-19 Restrictions Update & SNSW Activity Guidelines on 1 October 2020. 

    • 11 September 2020: FAQs for clubs
    • Are there limits to the number of swimmers allowed per lane?

      There are no specific limits to the number of swimmers allowed per lane. When determining how many people can be in the pool at any time, you must apply the one person per 4m2 of space rule.

      Does the 4m2 rule still apply?

      Yes. The number of people in a facility cannot exceed one person per 4m2 of space (excluding staff) – up to a maximum of 500 people. Spectators must maintain a physical distance of 1.5m (or wear a mask if this is not possible), such as through staggered seating, and should not mingle with spectators from different events or timeslots, where possible.

      Sport and recreation organisations are required to ‘take all reasonable steps to minimise the number of spectators attending community sport events’. For juniors, encourage only one parent/carer to accompany their child for the purpose of supervision.

      Are there different guidelines for indoor pools and outdoor pools?

      No. There is no difference in the rules between indoor and outdoor pools.

      Does the size of the pool affect capacity limits?

      Yes. Pools must adhere to the one person per 4m2 of space rule, which means larger pools will be able to accommodate a larger number people. As such, there may be multiple classes in a pool if there is sufficient space to accommodate this and the classes remain separate. Ensure participants maintain 1.5 metres physical distance where practical.

    • 19 August 2020: Updated guidelines for community sport
    • New guidelines for community sport have been released by the NSW Chief Health Officer. These changes come into effect from today (19 August 2020) and will remain effective for six weeks (until 30 September 2020). 

      These recommendations are as follows:

      • Cease activities that result in the mixing of participants and staff from different regions, for example by ceasing zone, regional or state championships or competitions
      • Cease any activities that result in overnight stays (e.g. multi-day training camps) due to increased risk of COVID transmission in residential-type settings with shared facilities
      • Cease face-to-face social activities relating to community sports (e.g. award ceremonies, end-of-season social gatherings, post-training group dinners)
      • Avoid carpools or bus travel with people from different household groups where possible; and
      • For local activities, limit spectators to one parent only, where the child requires parental supervision during the sporting activity.

      Read the full letter from the NSW Chief Health Officer to community sporting organisations.

      Clubs are reminded to ensure they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and that it is updated to reflect the current NSW Government health advice. For the full update and FAQs regarding community sport and recreation go to: https://www.sport.nsw.gov.au/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

      While these recommendations are not enforceable, we encourage our clubs and members to fully comply with these updated health guidelines to reduce the chance of transmission and limit the potential for the restrictions to be extended beyond 30 September 2020.

      As such, we ask that:

      • Swimmers only compete at meets in their local areas
      • Club/event organisers ensure that no out-of-area participants attend their events.

      For the purposes of this recommendation, 'local area' is defined by our 12 swimming association areas as follows:

      • ACT
      • Coast & Valley
      • Metro North East
      • Metro North West
      • Metro South East
      • Metro South West
      • Mountains & Plains
      • New England & North West
      • North Coast
      • South Eastern
      • Southern Inland
      • Western
    • 17 July 2020: Revised COVID-19 Safety Plan template
    • As a result of rising COVID-19 case numbers in NSW, NSW Health has revised the COVID-19 Safety Plan template for community sporting competitions and full training activities.

      Clubs will need to update their COVID-19 Safety Plans detailing the actions that will be put in place to address the additional requirements set out by NSW Health.

    • 30 June 2020: Updated Public Health Order
    • On Tuesday, 30 June 2020, the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, The Hon Brad Hazzard MP, made the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) under the Public Health Act 2010. This Order revokes all previous Public Health Orders and, amongst other areas, provides the rules governing the conduct of sport and active recreation. The full Order may be viewed here.

      Clubs should be aware of the important change concerning maximum number of participants: The Minister directs that the organiser of a community sporting activity must ensure that a gathering for the activity involves no more than 500 participants.

      It is also important to note that a COVID-19 Safety Plan is mandatory and must be kept at the venue / clubhouse with the Duty Officer aware of its location for access and inspection by an authorised officer if required. To view the NSW Government approved Safety Plans, please click here.

    • 26 June 2020: SNSW Return to Competition Plan
    • Swimming NSW welcomes the news that competitive sport can resume from 1 July.

      While we recognise that pool managers have interpreted the easing of restrictions differently and are managing the return-to-swimming risk in different ways, we are confident that all clubs will be back to full pool access over the coming months. With this in mind, Swimming NSW has been working with its various stakeholders to map out a fair and safe return to competition in NSW. Read more.

    • 11 June 2020: 1 July return to sport guidelines
    • On 1 June 2020, the NSW Government announced the resumption of competitive sport from 1 July 2020. Below is a summary of the conditions and requirements for swimming.

      From 13 June 2020:

      • Indoor recreation facilities can re-open with the following conditions:
        • the number of people in a facility must not exceed one person per 4 square metres, including staff (i.e. the 100 person indoor premises rule will not apply to indoor recreation facilities)
        • sport and recreation activities (including swimming classes) must have no more than 10 participants, plus the instructor and any assistants, per space and comply with one person per 4 square metres.
      • Under NSW public health orders, indoor facility owners and operators must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that details how their buisness will keep participants, visitors, volunteers and workers safe. The NSW Government has developed this COVID-19 Safety Plan template that can be used by swimming pool operators recommencing from 13 June 2020.

      From 1 July 2020:

      Visit the NSW Government website for more information on becoming a COVID-safe business. It is important that all swimming pool owners and operators also remain up to date with current NSW Government public health orders

      Some of the conditions outlined above differ in the ACT. From 12 noon, Friday 19 June 2020, Phase 2.2 of Canberra's Recovery Plan came into effect. The changes, as applicable to pools and swimming, are as follows:

      • Swimming pools can open with a maximum of 100 people (including staff, trainers and spectators) per indoor or outdoor space or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.
      • Swimming pools should have a maximum of four swimmers per lane.
      • Communal facilities (such as changerooms) can open if a risk assessment has been done and a strict cleaning regime is put in place. This should be outlined in the COVID Safety Plan.
      • Canteens can operate, however, physical distancing must be encouraged.

      Visit the ACT website for more information on restrictions within their borders.

      It is important to remember that although state and territory governments may ease restrictions, the decision to re-open may differ between individual facility owners and their businesses and across communities based on local conditions and other factors.  

    • 24 May 2020: Sport Australia launches 'Return to Sport Toolkit'
    • Sport Australia has launched a suite of practical resources that focus on giving community sporting clubs and associations a roadmap for the safest return to sport at all levels. Sport Australia’s Return to Sport Toolkit comes with comprehensive checklists, adaptable COVID-19 safety plans and templates that can be used by sporting organisations at any level. It is in step with the AIS Framework for Rebooting of Sport in a COVID-19 Environment and the Australian Government’s National principles for the resumption of sport and recreation activities. Read more.

    • 20 May 2020: Squad training given the green light in NSW
    • NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard MP, has signed off on an exemption for squad training to resume in indoor pools. The directive, released this morning, will allow indoor pools to open for the purpose of allowing squad training to take place. Up to 10 swimmers will be able to participate at one time, along with their coaches and trainers. Read the full ministerial exemption here.

    • 14 May 2020: Club guidelines for restarting swimming activity
    • Last Friday 8 May, the National Cabinet announced a national three-step plan to re-open a COVID-safe Australia. For several weeks, Swimming NSW has been working in collaboration with Swimming Australia, State/Territory associations and ASCTA, along with the AIS, Sport Australia, and Federal and State Governments on a plan for clubs and swimmers to safely return to swimming activity once restrictions have eased. Today, we sent a communication to all club administrators on the Swimming Australia - National Guidelines for Restarting Club Environments. This email contains important information to help clubs prepare for the resumption of swimming activity. View email.

      Clubs can also check in with our 5 things clubs can do right to prepare for the return to swimming.

    • 13 May 2020: ACT enters first phase of recommencement for community sports
    • From midnight on 15 May 2020, the ACT will enter the first phase of recommencement for community sporting activity. This phase allows social and community sport to resume in outdoor spaces with a maximum of 10 people. Read more or you can watch a webinar delivered by Sport and Recreation for ACT for State Sporting Organisations regarding the first phase of recommendations for community sports.

      In line with this announcement, the ACT Government has released a framework for community sport in the ACT and FAQs that specifically address the use of swimming pools

       

    • 8 May 2020: National Cabinet announces plans to re-open a COVID-safe Australia
    • Today, the National Cabinet announced a three-step approach to ease restrictions.

      Swimming NSW has been working in collaboration with Swimming Australia, State/Territory associations and ASCTA, along with the AIS, Sport Australia, and Federal and State Governments on a plan for clubs and swimmers to safely return to swimming activity. Stay tuned for further details next week.

      Read more about the Australian Government's three-step plan for re-opening a COVID-safe Australia and economy.

    Resources

    • Looking after the mental health of yourself and others
    • Swimming NSW is working hard to develop ways we can support our members during this very difficult time. We encourage everyone to look after themselves, their family and friends. If you are feeling overwhelmed by it all, there is help available. Our friends at ReachOut Australia have a number of resources to help you through challenging times. 

      Here are a few links that you might find useful (for yourself or to share with others who are doing it tough):

      We are here to help, too. Swimming NSW will remain operational throughout the months ahead and we encourage our members to reach out at any time they need support - even if it's just for a chat!

    • Dryland exercises and home workout tips
    • With all swimming pools closed, the options for swimmers to train in the water have all but dried up. Remember this is only temporary and we hope that you will all be back in the pool in the not too distant future. In the meantime, there is a host of workout from home content popping up to help you keep up your fitness and stay motivated so you can be ready to hit the pool again when life returns to normal. 

      Here are a few to get you started. Read more.

    • Governance advice and support available to clubs
    • From changes to how clubs can operate in the current environment to the longer-term financial implications, the COVID-19 impact on sport at all levels will be significant.

      We've compiled some information that can help clubs to navigate some of the uncertainty and access crucial government support and assistance. Click here for more.

      14 May update: NSW Fair Trading has updated its rules around holding AGMs.

      To assist incorporated associations in the changing circumstances resulting from COVID-19 restrictions, associations are no longer formally required to apply for an extension of time to hold 2020 annual general meetings by lodging the form: A11 - Application for extension of time for holding annual general meeting.  

      Associations may conduct their AGM when restrictions are lifted or may conduct the 2020 AGM, for the purpose of presenting the financial information to members, in conjunction with the 2021 AGM. You can find more COVID-19-related information on their website.

      11 May update: The Office of Sport has developed a resource library that brings together resources from a variety of expert providers and official organisations to help support your sporting organisation. It doesn’t matter your size, if you employ people or not, there will be something here that can help you.

      The Office of Sport has also compiled an overview of financial and stimulus measures that may be available to all types of NSW sport and recreation organisations and businesses as a result of the impact of COVID-19 public health measures on their organisations.

    • Webinars and podcasts
    • There are a lot of great webinars and podcasts on a wide selection of relevant topics to help keep clubs, swimmers, families and coaches informed and entertained through this uncertain time.

      WEBINARS

      Timeout Talks hosted by the NSW Office of Sport

      With timeout currently called on sport, the Office of Sport, in collaboration with Sport NSW and The Australian College Of Physical Education, has launched a new webinar series to keep our sporting community connected and united so we can return as one.

      Timeout Talks will offer a wide selection of webinar topics, discussing key points pertinent to organisations and clubs during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sessions that provide valuable personal and professional development opportunities in areas such as coaching, high-performance pathways, inclusion in sport and much more. It's a free resource for the industry to support individuals and organisations across all levels of sport in NSW, from grassroots sport to professional sport. Register for an upcoming webinar and view recordings of past episodes here.

      'JX Xtra' hosted by Swimming Australia

      Swimming Australia and its nutrition partner, Bio Island, are delighted to present a new three-part ‘JX Xtra’ webinar series hosted by Bio Island ambassador and dual Olympian, Dolphin Elka Whalan (nee Graham).

      Covering an array of topics across a three-week period, the series aims to provide parents – and junior swimmers themselves – with ideas around how to stay motivated and maintain wellness during the COVID-19 situation, as well as provide recipes to make healthy, nutritious-filled snacks and meals.

      The series kicks off Friday 15 May. View full details here.

      Post COVID-19 Community Sport hosted by Play by the Rules

      Play by the Rules is running a series of webinars to help clubs through the challenges presented by COVID-19 and their journey beyond. The next webinar, Governance Challenges and Planning for the Future, will be held at 10.00 am, Friday 15 May 2020. You can view past webinar recordings here.

      Gold Class Swimming

      Gold Class Swimming recently ran a series of webinars aimed at helping parents of competitive swimmers, coaches and swimmers during lockdown. You can view the past webinar recordings here.

      ASCTA – Australian Swimming Coaches & Teachers Association

      This one is for the coaches and swim teachers. ASCTA regularly offers professional development webinars for its members. You can view and register for upcoming webinars here.

      PODCASTS

      Off The Blocks

      Australia’s Number One Swimming Podcast Off The Blocks brings you the latest interviews from Australian swimming’s biggest legends, superstars of today and rising stars of the future. Take a look here.

      Olympics Unleashed – Australian Olympic Council

      Olympics Unleashed features Aussie athletes on their journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

      Throughout the series, presented by Olympian David Culbert, you will hear from Olympians, athletes aspiring to make the Tokyo 2020 Australian Olympic Team and from some of the most senior people driving the Olympic Movement in Australia. Take a look here.

      Swim.Rocks

      The show that shares information, ideas and inspiration between swimming people who stay dry! Take a look here.

      Coach Connection

      Jon Shaw, Swimming NSW Coaching Director, interviews and chats to leading coaches within NSW and Australia. Many topics will be covered to keep you up to date with coaching swimmers from Age to Open level. These chats will be for coaches about coaches and they will lend their experience to support your development and challenge your thinking. Take a look here.

      Swimming with Bobby

      Talking all things SWIMMING with Bobby Hurley, former World Champion turned coach and commentator. Hear insights from the best swimmers and coaches around the world about their journey to the top and performing at the highest level. Take a look here.

      On Her Game

      Sports journalist, Sam Squiers, speaks to elite sportswomen about their challenges, triumphs and setbacks in an effort to get to know the person behind the athlete and learn what it takes to get to the top of their field. Take a look here.

      Swim Like a Fish - Social Isolation Podcast

      Swim Like A. Fish is an online, educational resource for swimmers and coaches started by retired UGA swimmer, Abbie Fish. Coach Abbie has coached clients as young as 5 and as old as 90, including some Olympic athletes. In her podcast she investigates the importance of dryland workouts for swimmers, techniques and the greatest rivalry that never happened (Thorpe v Phelps). Take a look here.

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