The recently announced amendments to the Queensland Government’s Easing of Restrictions Roadmap for Stage 3 allow for the resumption of competitions including contact activities, fixtures, open days and revenue raising activities which will be a significant step towards enabling the sport, recreation and fitness industries to reconnect with their members and the broader community.
Industry COVID Safe Plans played an integral role in order for tennis to resume under Stage 2 easing of restrictions. Under Stage 3, these Plans continue to be critical, alongside the Tennis Queensland Return to Play Roadmap.
As detailed in the principles below, where an Industry COVID Safe Plan exists for an activity, it must be followed in order for that activity to be conducted.
The six principles guiding the Stage 3 Return to Play are:
- Contact – full contact is permitted on the field of play in line with pre-COVID contact activities. At all other times, participants, coaches, officials, trainers and spectators are to observe physical distancing requirements and undertake sound hygiene practices as detailed in the relevant approved Industry COVID Safe Plan.
- Facility capacity – the total number of people to attend an activity, training and competition at indoor venues is to be based on occupant density of one person per two square metres for venues of 200 square metres or less (up to a total of 50 people) and one person per four square metres for venues of 200 square metres or more. For outdoor venues, physical distancing off the field of play is required. Risks will be managed through mandatory record keeping, through group segmentation and buffer zones as appropriate. Individual organisations and facility managers will be responsible for implementing these requirements in line with the relevant approved Industry COVID Safe Plan.
- Facility usage – all elements of community sport, recreation and fitness facilities are accessible in line with relevant health guidelines and directives. This means facilities such as canteens, change rooms, bathrooms, storage rooms, bars will reopen and operating hours can also be amended. Industry Plans will detail how organisations will manage the use of ancillary facilities in relation to cleaning/sanitisation and flow of people within venues. All facility components will be operated in accordance with the relevant approved Industry COVID Safe Plan.
- Events – such as championships, markets, carnivals and gala days can recommence. Organisations must ensure the relevant approvals are in place based on the number of people attending as seen in the Roadmap.
- Stadia – strict social distancing measures and hygiene practices will remain central to COVID Safe Plans for stadia, in line with Public Health Directives. Crowd capacity will be up to 25,000 spectators or 50% of capacity (whichever is the lesser). Group segmentation and buffering measures will be used to reduce co-mingling. Public messaging will ensure that patrons are aware of all requirements during sporting events and concerts. COVID Safe Plans for stadia will address transport management for patrons travelling to and from venues, including alternatives to public transport.
- Compliance with industry and stadia COVID Safe Plans – all activity is to be conducted in accordance with relevant Industry and Stadia COVID Safe Plans and Public Health Directives. This includes organisations detailing how all persons at the activity/facility will be tracked, and traced, including spectators