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This article was written during the Queensland response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the information available at the date of publication. Please check the Queensland Government COVID-19 webpage for updated information and current health advice regarding COVID-19 in Queensland.

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of Queenslanders’ lives – such as jobs, education, sports, recreation and mental health and wellbeing. The restrictions have been necessary to limit the spread of this virus and save people’s lives.

The good news is that as case numbers remain low and restrictions ease, we have been able to kickstart community sport again – while balancing the need to keep Queenslanders healthy and safe.

Playing sport is a great way to get active, offers a way to socialise, and can have long-term health benefits by reducing your risk of certain diseases. We know that exercising regularly is important for both our physical and mental wellbeing. It can also help to relieve stress and tension, make you feel more relaxed, help you sleep better and can be a great mood booster.

We’re taking safe steps to ease restrictions – but we have to continue to be careful. While community sport offers many benefits, we must balance this with ensuring players, coaches and spectators are not put at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.

This means that we have to change the way we would normally interact in a sports setting. As you or your family get back into community sport competitions and activities, we all must continue to listen to the health advice, maintain social distancing and keep up good hygiene to limit any potential spread and protect our communities.

 

Here are some practical tips to help your family enjoy a return to sport safely:
  • bring your own towel and drink bottle
  • don’t share your drink bottle or towel with anyone else
  • don’t shake hands, give high fives or hug anyone
  • be creative to limit close contact when celebrating a goal or a victory – swap your high five celebrations for an air high five, a team chant or a fun dance move
  • wash your hands properly and regularly
  • stay home if you’re not feeling well
  • ensure that used and sanitised equipment are placed in separate areas
And here are some practical tips for spectators:
  • wash your hands properly and regularly
  • keep 1.5m from other spectators
  • take a hygiene pack with you that includes hand sanitiser and tissues
  • use designated spectator seating and/or waiting areas
  • use separate entry and exit points
  • register your attendance on activity sign on sheet
  • stay home if you’re unwell

Coaches and sporting organisations are operating under approved COVID Safe Plans, which include checklists and best practice guidelines around hygiene and social distancing. As community sport restarts across Queensland, you will see hand washing or hygiene stations, as well as coaches and officials regularly cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment. They will be recording the details of everyone in attendance and there will also be separate areas for used and sanitised equipment. Have a chat to your coach about the processes being implemented for your sport and let them know if you have any questions or concerns.

Remember, it’s up to everyone to limit the spread by:
  • staying home if you’re sick, even if your symptoms are mild
  • getting tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild
  • staying 1.5m away from people who aren’t from your household
  • sneezing or coughing into your arm or a tissue and putting the tissue in the bin
  • practising good hygiene, like washing your hands often and properly

 

The current stage 3 measures, which were introduced on 3 July 2020, provide guidelines for community sport, including:

  • The total number of people to attend the activity, training and competition at indoor venues is to be based on occupant density of:
    • 1 person per 2 square metres for venues 200 square metres or less (up to a total of 50), and
    • 1 person per 4 square metres for venues of 200 square metres or more.
  • For outdoor venues, physical distancing off the field of play is required.
  • Resumption of activity including competition and physical contact which is permitted on the field of play only.
  • At all other times, participants, coaches, officials, trainers and spectators are to observe physical distancing requirements.
  • Mandatory record keeping requirements for contact tracing purposes.
  • Dining in (including canteens set up with tables and chairs) is permitted with an approved Industry COVID Safe Plan.
  • Occupant density requirements for gyms, health clubs and yoga studios based on the venue’s size.

It’s time for us to return to sport – so get back on the field, have fun, get active and stay COVID Safe Queensland!

Further information about going out, travel, recreation and gathering in Queensland is available on the Queensland Government website.