COVID-19 School Sport Update: 26th October

  School sport activities

Changes to school sport settings to align with community settings will apply to all NSW school settings from 1 November 2021 for the remainder of Term 4 2021.

Published 25 October 2021

School sport activities are allowed to proceed from 1 November 2021 for the rest of Term 4 with specific restrictions to align with NSW Public Health Orders and the Reopening NSW roadmap.

Schools should take into account their local context and follow principles for COVID-safe practices.

Schools are encouraged to enable participation in school sports within defined cohorts as part of re-establishing regular school timetabling and routines, and for the wellbeing of all students.

Schools are discouraged from enabling students to participate in sports across different school cohorts, and are not permitted to enter into inter-school competitions during school hours until 2022. Wherever possible, the remainder of Term 4 should be focused on re-establishing face-to-face teaching and learning with our students.

 

Sport within an individual school

School sport activities

School sport activities (such as activities to achieve the minimum 150 minutes per week) are allowed in line with community settings.

School sport may proceed by cohort in outdoor settings as follows:

  • No more than 50 people, including participants and organisers.

  • Organisers must have a COVID-19 safety plan in place including plans to minimise mingling and mixing between cohorts entering and exiting the location where the sport is taking place.

  • Schools can make use of school facilities or local outdoor facilities (e.g. parks, ovals) but must minimise contact with those outside of the school cohort.

  • The school must maintain a list of all students and staff that participate and attend each session for contact tracing purposes.

  • Third party providers are allowed to support school sport if they are fully vaccinated and must check in and check out using the school’s QR Code.

  • If transport is required, schools should ensure that transport arrangements minimise mixing and mingling between cohorts. For example, schools may support students to walk or to take a bus if the cohort has sole use. Masks are required on buses for staff and students in Year 7 and above and are strongly encouraged for primary students.

School sport activities may proceed in indoor settings as follows:

  • Organisers must have a COVID-19 safety plan in place including plans to minimise mingling and mixing between cohorts entering and exiting the location where the sport is taking place.

  • Maximum capacity limit of no more than 1 person per 4 square metres when using indoor spaces for sport or exercise.

  • Schools may use indoor facilities on school sites or make use of public indoor recreation facilities in line with community settings.

  • Students aged 16 and older (and staff) must be fully vaccinated to enter public indoor recreation facilities until 1 December and will be required to show proof of vaccination status to facility staff on arrival.

  • Students in Year 7 and above (and staff) must wear masks indoors at all times when not exercising, including in change room and bathroom facilities.

  • As much as possible, schools should negotiate to have sole use of the recreation space for the time required and minimise use of shared spaces including change room facilities.

  • The school must maintain a list of all students and staff that participate and attend each session for contact tracing purposes.

  • Third party providers are allowed to support school sport if they are fully vaccinated and must check in and check out using the school’s QR Code.

  • If transport is required, schools should ensure that transport arrangements minimise mixing and mingling between cohorts. For example, schools may support students to walk or to take a bus if the cohort has sole use. Masks are required on buses for staff and students in Year 7 and above and are strongly encouraged for primary students.

 

Use of indoor pools

Schools may use indoor pools for specified activities only, including school swimming and water safety lessons, swimming squads, lap swimming and rehabilitation. Schools will need to ensure they meet the following requirements:

  • Have a COVID-19 safety plan in place including plans to minimise mingling and mixing between cohorts.

  • Schools can make use of public pool facilities or pools on school sites.

  • Students aged 16 and older (and staff) must be fully vaccinated to enter public indoor pool facilities until 1 December and will be required to show proof of vaccination status to facility staff on arrival.

  • Students in Year 7 and above (and staff) must wear masks indoors at all times when not exercising, including in change room and bathroom facilities.

  • As much as possible, schools should negotiate to have sole use of the venue for the time required and minimise use of shared spaces including change room facilities.

  • The school must maintain a list of all students and staff that participate and attend each session for contact tracing purposes.

  • Third party providers are allowed to support swimming activities if they are fully vaccinated and must check in and check out using the school’s QR Code if held on a school site or the venue’s QR code if held outside of the school.

  • If transport is required, schools should ensure that transport arrangements minimise mixing and mingling between cohorts. For example, schools may support students to walk or to take a bus if the cohort has sole use. Masks are required on buses for staff and students in Year 7 and above and are strongly encouraged for students under 12 years of age.

 

Use of outdoor pools

Schools may make use of outdoor pools for swimming lessons and recreational purposes. Schools will need to ensure they meet the following requirements:

  • School must have a COVID-19 safety plan in place including plans to minimise mingling and mixing between cohorts.

  • Schools can make use of public pool facilities or pools on school sites.

  • Students aged 16 and older (and staff) are not required to be fully vaccinated to enter public outdoor pool facilities.

  • As much as possible, schools should negotiate to have sole use of the venue for the time required and minimise use of shared spaces including change room facilities.

  • The school must maintain a list of all students and staff that participate and attend each session for contact tracing purposes.

  • Third party providers are allowed to support swimming activities if they are fully vaccinated.

  • If transport is required, schools should ensure that transport arrangements minimise mixing and mingling between cohorts. For example, schools may support students to walk or to take a bus if the cohort has sole use. Masks are required on buses for staff and students in Year 7 and above and are strongly encouraged for primary students.

 

School and inter-school swimming carnivals

Government schools will not hold or participate in swimming carnivals in Term 4, 2021 and should plan for swimming carnivals in 2022.

Non-government schools that delayed swimming carnivals earlier in 2021 may participate in swimming carnivals in Term 4 in line with community settings for use of indoor pool facilities and outdoor pool facilities.

 

School and inter-school cross-country and athletics carnivals

Government schools will not hold cross-country or athletics carnivals in Term 4, 2021 and should plan for cross-country and athletics carnivals in 2022.

 

Inter-school sport activities

Schools and organisers should refer to the Office of Sport advice in addition to the guidelines below.

Inter-school sport training and competitions

Inter-school representative sport and grade sport training and competitions will not proceed during school hours in Term 4, 2021 so schools can focus on learning during the school day.

For inter-school representative sport and grade sport outside of school hours, organisers must ensure the following safety measures are in place, in line with settings for community sport:

  • The organiser must prepare a ‘community sport’ COVID-19 safety plan if there will be more than 50 people on-site.

  • Students aged 16 and older (and staff) must be fully vaccinated to participate in inter-school sport until 1 December and will be required to show proof of vaccination status to the organiser on arrival.

  • Anyone aged 16 and over must check-in and check-out using the event’s QR Code. The school must maintain a list of all students and staff that participate and attend each event for contact tracing purposes.

  • The number of people allowed on-site is limited to 1 person per 2 square metres for outdoor events and subject to the capacity limit of the venue (including all staff and volunteers required to run the competition) if held in an indoor venue.

Boarding schools

Boarding school students are allowed to participate in community sport outside of school hours with the permission of their parent or carer. Students aged 16 and older must be fully vaccinated to participate, in line with community settings.