Stakeholder Update – Sport, Rec & Racing – 19 March 2020

As the State of Emergency with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to develop, the Prime Minister and Premier have announced further restrictions that may affect the operations of your sporting club or recreation organisation.

New legal directions have been issued which confirm the ban on outdoor gatherings of 500 or more people, and introduces a new ban on indoor gatherings of 100 or more people, in Victoria.

An indoor gathering refers to a gathering within a single enclosed area (i.e. an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are permanent, temporary, open or closed).

Under the bans, people are prohibited from organising and attending mass gatherings. People are also banned from allowing mass gatherings to occur on premises they own, control or operate.

The bans have the force of law, and penalties apply if it is breached. The bans will operate from 5 pm on 18 March 2020 to midnight on 13 April 2020.

Certain gatherings are excluded from the operation of the ban. View the Victorian Government media release online.

Outside of these conditions, in all other respects, community and grassroots sport, active recreation and racing can continue under the declaration in Victoria where they do not constitute a mass gathering.

However, I acknowledge that many sporting clubs and active recreation organisations have already made decisions to continue, postpone or cancel events and competitions.

I recognise it is a challenging time for you and acknowledge your responsiveness to the interests of your members, participants and the broader community drawing on the latest social distancing advice from health officials.

The Australian Government has announced new community sport guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19. Please read these new guidelines, along with DHHS’ advice on social distancing, to understand how your club or venue can reduce the risk of infection and slow the spread of the virus in the Victorian community.

The DHHS website also has a range of resources that can be shared digitally or printed out to be displayed at your office and venues.

The situation continues to rapidly change and I urge you to regularly check the DHHS coronavirus website at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus for updates.

We are here to provide the sport, recreation and racing sectors with support during this challenging time and will continue to provide you with up-to-date industry advice as new information comes in.

Kind regards,

Peter Betson

Head | Sport, Recreation & Racing

Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions