Sport and recreation

Tasmania’s Plan for Returning to Sport and Recreation

On Friday 8 May 2020, Tasmania’s Plan to Rebuild a Stronger Tasmania was released. The Plan has three Stages to ease COVID-19 restrictions to support the health and safety of all Tasmanians.

The Plan refers to the Australian Institute of Sport Framework for Rebooting Sport (AIS Framework) as the guiding document for resuming sport and recreation in Tasmania, although there will be some instances where Tasmania’s approach varies from the AIS Framework.

The AIS Framework specifies activities for community and individual sports according to the level of restrictions currently in place. Tasmanian sporting organisations should familiarise themselves with the activities at the different levels.

Restrictions timeline for sport and recreation

Easing of restrictions will be assessed by Public Health Services throughout each stage. The following three stages apply to sport and recreation activities in Tasmania:

Stage One – from 18 May 2020

  • Outdoor park exercise equipment, skate parks and playgrounds may open for up to 10 people.
  • Outdoor boot camps may operate for groups of up to 10 attendees (excluding the trainer).
  • Indoor and outdoor pools may operate for up to 10 people per pool. This may include lane swimming and/or pool-based exercise, ensuring social distancing requirements are met (eg pools may open 3 lanes for 3 people to do lap swimming with 1 person per lane, and open the remainder of the pool for 7 participants in a group class).
  • Outdoor exercise may be undertaken in groups of up to 10 people.
  • Groups of up to 10 people can gather in large parks or reserves for recreational activities. Multiple groups of 10 people can use the same park or reserve so long as they are separate gatherings and allow 4 square metres of space available per attendee. Attendees must also maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from each other.
  • Sporting groups may undertake outdoor training with up to 10 attendees (excluding coaches/staff), and only where activity aligns with the specified activities in Level B of the AIS Framework.
  • Most sports are limited to training only (refer to specified activities in Level B, in the AIS Framework).
  • For all sports and activities, multiple groups of 10 people can use the same outdoor venue so long as they are in separate groups and allow 4 square metres of space per attendee. Attendees must also maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from each other.
  • Full training cannot resume for sports or activities that involve person-to-person contact (e.g. boxing, wrestling, holding, tackling, blocking). Modified, non-contact training (such as skills training) is permitted for these activities.

Stage Two – from 15 June 2020 (subject to advice from Public Health Services)

  • Gyms and boot camps can operate for up to 20 attendees (excluding coaches/staff).
  • Outdoor park exercise equipment, skate parks and playgrounds can open for up to 20 people.
  • Outdoor exercise and community sport and recreation activities will be expanded, with up to 20 attendees (excluding coaches/staff, and in alignment with Level B in the AIS Framework).
  • Indoor sport and recreation activities will commence for up to 20 attendees (excluding coaches/staff, in alignment with Level B, in the AIS Framework).
  • There are a few limited sports where full competition can resume. Most sports however, are limited to training (refer to specified activities in Level B, in the AIS Framework).
  • Indoor and outdoor pools may operate for up to 20 people per pool. This may include lane swimming and/or pool-based exercise, ensuring social distancing requirements are met.
  • For all sports and activities, multiple groups of 20 people can use the same venue so long as they are separate groups and allow 4 square metres of space available per attendee. Attendees must also maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from each other.
  • Full training cannot resume for sports or activities that involve person-to-person contact (e.g. boxing, wrestling, holding, tackling, blocking). Modified, non-contact training (such as skills training) is permitted for these activities.

Stage Three – from 13 July 2020 (subject to advice from Public Health Services)

A future return to full sporting activity (indoors and outdoors) in alignment with the AIS framework will be considered, based on advice from Public Health Services.

COVID-19 Safety Plan for workplaces

Under the Plan to Rebuild a Stronger Tasmania, all workplaces (including sporting organisations) will be required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that complies with COVID-19 minimum standards.

The WorkSafe Website outlines the minimum standards required of workplaces to manage the ongoing risk of COVID-19 transmission.  A set of guidelines is being developed to support the sport and recreation sector on how best to meet the minimum standards and are expected to be released in mid-June 2020.

In the meantime, sporting organisations in Tasmania should prepare COVID-19 Safety Plans to ensure they comply with the minimum standards in relation to physical distancing, cleaning, general hygiene practices and health of participants, and the activities outlined in Level B of the AIS Framework.

State Sporting Organisations (SSO) should submit their COVID-19 Safety Plans to Communities, Sport and Recreation (CSR) at sportrec@communities.tas.gov.au. CSR will not be providing endorsement of COVID-19 Safety Plans but will be able to check them for general compliance.

All sports clubs and associations should discuss their COVID-19 Safety Plans with their relevant SSO in the first instance.

Sport and recreation facilities

Under the Plan to Rebuild a Stronger Tasmania, local government outdoor facilities may open to sporting groups of up to 10 attendees (excluding coaches/staff) from 18 May. Indoor activities will commence, and outdoor activities will increase for up to 20 attendees (excluding coaches/staff) from 15 June, subject to advice at that time from Public Health Services.

Councils are encouraged, as part of their COVID-19 Safety Plan, to consider appropriate control measures when reopening facilities, including cleaning and general hygiene practices.

Under Level B of the AIS Framework, general hygiene measures ask that participants ‘Get in, train and get out’, including showering at home and avoiding communal meals and socialising, so that change rooms and other communal facility use is limited.

Under Stage 1, there are restrictions on indoor sports and certain sporting facilities, such as gymnasiums, health clubs, fitness centres, wellness centres, and indoor venues used for sport, fitness and recreation.

These facilities (including toilets and change rooms) are not to be made available to facilitate sports or activities occurring outdoors. For example, toilet/change room facilities in an indoor sporting complex cannot be made available if the outdoor surfaces/courts are being used for training or exercise. The only exception to this is swimming pools, where toilet facilities are permitted to be operate.

From Stage 2, toilets should be open for access, but there should be no obligation on councils to make change rooms and other facilities available for use at this stage.

For further information, Communities, Sport and Recreation can be contacted at sportrec@communities.tas.gov.au or on 1800 252 476.