COVID-19 Impact on Sport and Recreation - 14/1/22


COVID-19 restrictions, requirements, key messages

Please find below a summary of the current COVID-19 restrictions and requirements impacting the active industry.

Current restrictions for the sport, recreation and fitness activities

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can still participate in many sport, active recreation, and fitness activities including indoor and outdoor events - state-wide.

Indoor venues, activities and events are required to operate in accordance with the COVID Safe Checklist for Restricted Businesses and comply with occupant density limits apply.

These organisations are required to collect contact information via the Check In Qld app - please note you are not required to collect contact information is the person is or appears to be a primary or secondary school-aged child and is a part of a group attending an activity organised by a school, sporting team or community group. However, all escorting adults must check in.

Face masks are required in all indoor settings across Queensland including workplaces, indoor stadiums, sports arenas, sports centres, gyms and sport activities (exemptions apply). As always masks can be removed during strenuous exercise.

It is important to note that organisations are able to self-impose additional restrictions for patrons and can decide to refuse entry to unvaccinated persons. If your organisation or one of your affiliates is looking to self-impose restrictions relating to vaccination status, we would encourage to seek legal advice. The Fair Work Ombudsman has also released detailed advice for employers around mandating vaccinations.

Aspects of our industry that are impacted by the restrictions whereby vaccination is a requirement of entry

Bowling alleys captured as indoor entertainment venues.

Major Stadiums with more than 5000 patrons.

High risk settings including education settings.

Commercial recreation organisation operating tourism experiences.

Hospitality venues such as cafe, clubs, restaurants and bars (licensed areas) that form a part of indoor sport centres, community halls and clubhouses - please note an unvaccinated person is permitted to enter to purchase takeaway and utilise amenities if they are a patron at the facility. Private hire is permitted however occupant density limits apply. Paid staff and volunteers working in this area are required to be vaccinated.

Sport and Recreation are seeking further clarification around the multi-purpose use of Showgrounds, which are currently impacted by the restrictions.

Other restrictions impacting sport, recreation and fitness

From 1 January 2022 there are updated definitions and requirements for confirmed cases and close contacts.

  • You are considered a close contact if you are a household member or a household-like contact of a diagnosed person.
  • The definition of a household-like contact is a person who has spent more than four hours with the diagnosed person in a house or other place of accommodation, care facility or similar. The quarantine period is 7 days from the date the diagnosed person took the initial test that returned a positive result.

From 9 January 2022, a close contact who is a critically essential worker can leave quarantine to their workplace provided the critically essential worker and their employer meet the requirements. Our current advice is that anyone involved in the delivery of sport, recreation and fitness does not meet the definition of a critically essential worker.

From 31 December 2021, Queensland will no longer routinely list exposure sites in Queensland due to the widespread transmission we are currently experiencing. Queensland will only notify of major outbreak venues or super-spreader events.

From 23 January 2022, mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all people working or delivering a service at a school or early childhood education and care setting. This includes contractors, volunteers, regulators and auditors. Learn more about the vaccination requirements for workers in high risk settings.

  • Activity Providers/Organisers who wish to attend schools to provide extra-curricular activities (e.g. community use of school facilities), within or outside hours, will be required to be fully vaccinated due to providing a service to or at a school.
  • However, the participants in extra-curricular activities at schools can be regarded as visitors to the schools and therefore are not required to be vaccinated.

Key messages

Organisations should be familiar with current restrictions and potential implications for particular activities and be prepared to manage risks.

It's important to develop communication to members highlighting key messages and practical steps being implemented to keep the community safe during this time. A key message we would like to highlight in communications to your affiliated clubs and members is that a condition of entry is to not have any COVID symptoms. Given the large spread of cases in the community at the moment, it needs to be clear to patrons that anyone with symptoms is not permitted to attend and will be refused entry. It's vital for our health response to ensure resources are available to those who need them most as we head towards the peak over the coming weeks.

It's more important than ever to continue to promote the key COVID Safe measures - promotion of social distancing, wearing of face masks when required, maintaining good hand hygiene, staying home when you are sick, use of the Check In Qld app, vaccinations and boosters when eligible and COVID-19 testing if you have developed symptoms.

Continued compliance is critical during this time. Restrictions under the Health Directions are enforceable; if a person is refusing to comply, you can call the police for assistance. A person who does not comply could receive a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,785 or 6 months' imprisonment.

As Queensland is no longer listing exposure sites, you may not be aware of a positive case at an event or community organisation. It important you prepare/distribute communiques to members asking that they notify the clubs or association of a positive test result to ensure the facility can be appropriately cleaned.

If your organisation has developed sport specific COVID safe material or Risk Management Plan, it is important you dedicate resources to update the guidance material to reflect the current situation.

Whilst not imposed through restrictions, it may be beneficial to reconsider some common practices during this time to help slow the spread of COVID-19. For example:

  • Online sign-on/registration or smaller groups numbers of pre-season training
  • Limiting use of changerooms or interaction with parents
  • Delaying school holiday camps or come n try days
  • Implement strategies to reduce time people are present at the facility
  • Live streaming of events to limit the number of spectators

Helpful resources and website links

The following websites include information regarding COVID-19 risk management strategies and plans, communication material, cleaning, and advice on responding to a positive COVID-19 case. Information contained at the links will provide valuable advice to support you during this time.