Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, Tasmania
Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Minister for Youth and Sport
18 March 2020
COVID-19 community sport guidelines issued to national sporting organisations
The Australian Government has announced new community sport guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19.
This follows ongoing consultation with sporting organisations and is focused on providing relevant advice on change room access, physical contact, travel, and social distancing and hygiene practices.
These guidelines were developed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), comprising all state and territory Chief Health Officers and is chaired by the Australian Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy.
The guidelines were subsequently endorsed by the newly formed National Cabinet which is made up of all Premiers, First Ministers and the Prime Minister.
AHPPC COVID-19 Community Sport Guidelines
All community sport participants must play a role to help reduce the transmission of COVID 19, including those organising, attending or supporting attendance at these activities.
Participants should not attend and participate in Community Sport if they:
• Have travelled internationally or been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days; or
• Are at a high risk including the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Attendance at Community Sport activities
Only essential participants should attend activities, i.e. players, coaches, match officials, staff and volunteers involved in operations and parents/guardians of participants;
All players, visitors should practise the following social distancing measures at Community Sporting activities:
• Players, visitors and officials should minimise physical contact as much as is practicable, for example no shaking hands, no walking out with player mascots, no pre- or post-match celebrations and no celebrating between players during the match.
• When spectating or attending a game or training session, ensure a distance of 1.5 metres is kept between yourself and others;
• Access to change rooms should be restricted solely to players, officials and essential staff;
• If spectating, try to maintain 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
Media inquiries: Aaron Langmaid 0456 889 018
Authorised by Senator Richard Colbeck, Tasmania
• It is recommended that sporting teams, including school sporting teams, maintain local competitions only, with no inter-district, or inter-club travel. As with all gatherings, basic protective measures should be observed, such as regular hand hygiene practices before, during and after the match, do not share drink bottles, and avoid touching your face.
It is acknowledged that contact sports have a greater risk of transmission than other sports, and as such, should be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, other mitigation strategies for match socialisation and contact must be employed to reduce the risk to players, visitors, and officials more broadly.
General hygiene measures at facilities
Facilities should ensure that:
• Spaces at each facility, surfaces and objects are regularly cleaned with disinfectant;
• Provide hand washing guidance (www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/);
• Promote regular and thorough hand washing by staff and participants;
• Provide sanitising hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the event (particularly entry or high use areas such as a registration desk, change rooms, toilets or kiosk);
• Make sure dispensers are regularly refilled; and
• Promote exclusion of ill persons.
Gyms, indoor fitness centres and swimming pools
Settings like gyms, indoor fitness centres and swimming pools are not required to close at this time providing they meet these requirements for social distancing and hand hygiene. Such venues should take actions to ensure regular high standards of environmental cleaning take place.
The Prime Minister’s media statement can be found at https://www.pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures
The most recent advice released by the AHPPC can be found at https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-coronavirus-covid-19-statement-on-17-march-2020
Additional information relating to the Government’s response to COVID-19 can be found at www.health.gov.au
Statement on Coronavirus COVID-19,
Tuesday 17 March 2020
On Tuesday morning, March 17, the Tasmanian Government declared a public health emergency for the State. As a result, Hockey Tasmania has taken the decision to temporarily close its grounds in Hobart and Launceston and suspend all hockey competitions and activities state-wide until further notice.
This decision is taken in response to the declaration of a public health emergency and to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community, to protect those who are likely to experience more severe symptoms, or are at greater risk such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. These steps are essential to reduce the demands on our health system so that it can function effectively.
Furthermore, the Under 15 National Championships to be held in NSW, and the Under 18 National Championships to be held in Launceston, both in April, have been cancelled. This was in consultation with Hockey Australia and other member states. These tournaments will not be rescheduled.
The only consideration for these decisions was the health and well-being of our members and the broader Tasmanian community.
Suspension of competitions will have financial implications on HT and the clubs. The financial impact is under review and members will be informed of the financial implications once it has been determined and are working closely with the clubs and key stakeholders in relation to this matter.
Hockey Tasmania will continue to monitor the situation closely and review all decisions as things change. This is a rapidly changing public health emergency and we will respond appropriately based on the advice from the Health Department.
At this moment the 2020 season has not been cancelled. The review process is ongoing and constant and will be conducted in association with the clubs, stakeholders, and relevant agencies. We will have a clearer picture of the situation in Tasmania by the start of April and we will be able to then begin to assess issues such as the potential date for resumption of season 2020 competitions, registration, and subscription fees.
We would like to thank our hockey community for their patience and understanding in this matter and encourage all members to treat each other with compassion and respect. It is in these unprecedented times like these that we need to pull together and support one another.
CEO Hockey Tasmania
Hockey Tasmania Chair
And the entire Hockey Tasmania Board.
The ongoing Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic affecting our community is a fast-changing situation that Hockey Tasmania is monitoring closely. We will continue to update members daily with any changes to the current approach to scheduled 2020 activities. As of Monday evening, 16 March 2020, all currently scheduled events will continue until notified otherwise.
Decisions will be based on the most up-to-date advice from the Health Department and in line with any State and Federal Government directives. Please check with your clubs first as to the status of any club activities, including social gatherings, trainings, junior programs etc.
We reiterate that everyone should observe the recommended behaviours outlined previously and available on the Hockey Tasmania website.
Please DO NOT ATTEND if you have any symptoms and if you have been overseas recently.
Hockey Tasmania Board
Monday March 16, 2020
The following outlines the Hockey Tasmania Boards approach and position in respect of the challenge facing us, there are two principle considerations here:
1. Health. This must be the primary and initially only focus. Health has two aspects, private and public:
a. Private health. This is a matter for each individual. Nobody is forced to attend hockey (or to go out in public at all). We must respect the decision of any individual who makes the decision not to attend.
b. Public Health. HT has a clear responsibility to the public (not only our own public but also the wider Tasmanian public). The Government are the experts in this: not us. We MUST follow the advice of the Dept of Health. I suspect that even as I am writing this the Dept’s position will change. Damian and the Executive is keeping a constant eye on the advice issued.
2. Economic. Any shut down will have economic consequences for HT and its member clubs. But we must not let this influence our health decisions. The health decision must be taken in isolation and only then we will look at the economic fall-out.
The above has also been disseminated to all club presidents. If any of you have further concerns or comments please raise them through your clubs and they will be forwarded onto either Damian or myself.
Chair – Hockey Tasmania
Coronavirus COVID-19 Update
Friday March 13, 2020
Hockey Tasmania advises all members that activities, including the start of the 2020 senior hockey season this weekend, will continue as planned.
Hockey Tasmania is working closely with, and will act on advice from, the local Department of Health to ensure that our response to this ongoing and developing pandemic is appropriate and in line with the most up-to-date advice and guidelines.
The health and safety of our members is our number 1 priority and we will act on advice and directions from the Health Department if and when they change.
For now we urge our community to adopt the following recommendations for all related activities:
1. Replace handshaking at the start and conclusion of games with (for example) simply tapping sticks on the ground or a thumbs up;
2. Use labelled water bottles. These must be strictly single person use. Avoid use of communal water bottles;
3. Take care with food handling at games, for example: oranges or lollies at half-time or full-time. Use tongs to serve or reconsider shared food;
4. Mouth-guards should be washed after each game, followed by cleaning of hands;
5. Continue to cover nose and mouth with tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing;
6. Keep 1.5m distance from anyone that is coughing or sneezing;
7. Use alcohol-based hand wash available at the canteen counter, dugouts, and seat stands outside the change room;
8. All players and officials should wash their hands with soap and water and dry with paper towel prior to and after games;
9. Gloves should be worn when attending to players with injuries – especially against blood exposure but also to prevent contact with mouth-guards.
Hockey Tasmania is attempting to source hand sanitiser for every bench and will encourage its use before and after games. However, due to current supply shortages of sanitiser products we encourage teams and players to attempt to supply their own in case.
Teams should continue to wear protective face masks during penalty corner situations in line with existing safety protocols. We urge clubs and teams to be extra vigilant with the hygiene of these masks and enact their own precautions for any shared equipment.
Any member with flu-like symptoms should self-exclude from playing, training and spectating at the first sign of the symptoms and seek medical advice.
The Under 15 and Under 18 National Championships scheduled for April will go ahead as planned at this stage. Hockey Tasmania is liaising closely with Hockey Australia and if any changes are made regarding these two tournaments we will advise accordingly.
All members of the Tasmanian hockey community should note that this is an evolving situation and advice could change at any time. Hockey Tasmania will endeavour to update the hockey community as it is relevant.
Please be safe and sensible, follow the precautions, keep an eye out for any updates and ensure you share on any new information with your clubs and team-mates.
Damian Smith, CEO Hockey Tasmania, and the Hockey Tasmania Board.