COVID-19 Advice Update From Department of Education 24/09/2020
Practical guide for sport and physical activity
Updated 24 September 2020
From Term 4, updated health advice on minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission in NSW School communities and during community sports activities come into effect.
The following now applies for Term 4:
- Interschool sport and physical activity can recommence. This means that schools and students may now travel outside their local community.
- Zone carnivals (swimming, cross country, athletics), round robins and gala days involving more than one school, can also recommence.
- The number of participants involved in interschool sport and physical activities in a facility must be limited to ensure compliance with external venue restrictions (one person per 4 square metres of space to a maximum of 500 people, including staff).
- Students from different schools are permitted to mix while participating, but mixing of students should be limited when not participating.
- Students participating in weekly sport and physical activities, including recreational activities, where possible, are to remain within their regular cohort to limit the mixing of students between cohort groups.
- Selection trials for representative pathway events or school placement in 2021 (e.g. sport high school enrolment) may now recommence.
- No parents or other spectators are permitted to attend activities held on school sites during the school day.
- External providers can be used for sport and physical activity programs where they are essential for curriculum delivery.
The following remains unchanged
Contact sports, semi-contact and non-contact sports can continue within the school sport program.
The representative school sport pathway remains cancelled for 2020.
Whole school carnivals (swimming, cross country, athletics) are permitted.
Schools can continue to use local external sporting grounds, swimming pools (including hydrotherapy pools), recreational facilities and community facilities where schools have exclusive use of the facilities or a designated area. Avoid contact with the general public. Schools will need to negotiate with these venues regarding any external venue restrictions - for example, there may be a maximum number of people permitted to use a facility or join a class.
When using any external facility or venue, schools must consider whether hygiene requirements are being practised. If there are any concerns that hygiene and safety requirements are not being met or adhered to at the location or venue, schools should choose an alternative location or venue.
Bus or school transport to and from activities is permitted. Students should sanitise their hands before and after travelling on the bus. Where practical, schools are advised to negotiate with the bus company to implement cleaning protocols prior to student travel.
Spectators, including parents and carers, are not permitted within school grounds for events or activities held during school hours. Sporting events and activities held outside of the school site during school hours will need to follow the COVID-19 Safety Plan of the venue or organiser.
Staff supervising sport and physical activities should continue to practise physical distancing between staff and other adults.
Sharing of sporting and physical activity equipment, such as fitness equipment and weights, is permitted. Schools should follow safe health practice guidelines including cleaning of equipment at the end of each session.
The use of public change rooms should be avoided wherever possible. On sports days, students should come to school wearing their sport uniform and appropriate footwear where possible.
External providers can be used for the delivery of sport and physical activity programs where they are essential for curriculum delivery. These providers must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan Where schools are engaging external providers, the school must obtain a signed copy of the external visitors form upon arrival.
All sports or physical activities conducted must meet all recommendations listed in the Sport Safety Guidelines including teacher/student ratios. All activities should follow safe health practice guidelines (PDF 157KB).
Schools that have gyms and fitness/dance studios
Schools must ensure that a member of staff is available to supervise sessions so that the Department’s safe health practice guidelines (PDF 157KB)are implemented at all times. Where practical, schools should also consider implementation of measures that reduce crowding and maximise the available space, particularly high-intensity fitness classes.
This is to be taken in conjunction with the Health Department - Kerry Chant update (24/09/2020)