Dear NSW tennis community,
We are sure that our tennis family are all watching the NSW Government’s announcements regarding the road map to easing restrictions over the remainder of 2021. The NSW Government’s Fact Sheet to reopening at 80% and 90% is now available here, Tennis NSW is currently assessing the recent Public Health Order and will provide further advice later this week. The current guidance from Tennis NSW remains as was published on 20 September 2021, including our Return to Tennis Guide.
However, looking at the road map we anticipate that the restrictions in Greater Sydney will ease to fall in line with the current ‘general area’ that applies to much of regional NSW. On this basis, we understand that:
- Outdoor gathering restrictions will represent the ‘general area’ and our guidance in our Return to Tennis Guide will apply to all of Greater Sydney. This includes the resumption of local competition, school camps and coaching groups; and
- Mask wearing will no longer be mandatory when outdoors, but will remain when indoors.
We will be waiting for the new Public Health Order to be released before we update our Return to Tennis Guide and FAQs. We are watching for some of those matters that have been raised in the media but are not yet clear, such as whether it will be compulsory to be fully vaccinated on entry to premises. Until our updated guidance is available, in preparation for reopening you may wish to review the ‘general area’ guidance in our Return to Tennis Guide.
Tennis NSW has continued its lobbying efforts on the NSW Government to push for the return of community sport as soon as possible and to obtain clarity in relation to the issue of responsibility on sporting clubs to ensure groups of 5 people over the age of 16 years are fully vaccinated. To that end, we wanted to share with our membership the joint letter sent to the Hon. Natalie Ward, Minister for Sport co-signed by Lawrence Robertson on behalf of Tennis NSW, please click here to view the letter.
We also share the response received from the NSW Office of Sport in relation to our requests for clarification on certain aspects of the Public Health Order, please click here. This letter confirms that the onus of providing proof of vaccination status rests with the individual. However, it is also clear that clubs have a responsibility to provide a safe venue for patrons and to that end, we continue to encourage our clubs and operators to:
- Only permit doubles play at a venue in a stay at home area or an area of concern if the Club / Venue Operator has means by which they can verify the vaccination status of anyone wishing to play;
- Implement all relevant COVID-19 protocols including having a COVID-19 Safety Plan, COVID-19 check-in stations and all other necessary protocols to effectively implement the 1 person per 4sqm rule (outdoor courts only);
- Ensure all play at the venue should be on a ‘Play and Go’ basis and not permit any gatherings at the venue.
We are looking forward to further clarity from the NSW Government through the Public Health Order and will provide further advice in the lead up to the ‘reopening’ on 11 October 2021 and we will update our guidance as soon as possible.