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National Principles for Sport and Recreational Activities

National Principles for Sport and Recreational Activities

National Cabinet met on Friday, 1 May 2020 and agreed that sport and recreation will play a significant role as Australia emerges from the COVID-19 environment due to the associated health, economic, social and cultural benefits it brings.

National Cabinet also agreed that the resumption of sport and recreation activity at any level must not compromise the health of individuals or the community; must be based on objective health information to ensure potential transmission rates are conducive to the safe conduct of sport and recreation; and should only occur where activity-specific, stringent, public and personal health measures are observed, and meeting minimum standards.

National Cabinet considered and endorsed ‘National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities [PDF 350 KB]’ developed by the AHPPC in consultation with sporting bodies across Australia.

The Principles will help provide a pathway for a staged return of community and professional sport, as well as recreational activities, without compromising the health of individuals or the community.

It was noted that evidence to date suggests that even with similar mitigation steps, outdoor activities are a lower risk setting for COVID-19 transmission.

The staged return will commence an initial phase of small group (<10) activities in a non-contact fashion, prior to moving on to a subsequent phase of large group (>10) activities including full contact training and competition in sport.

The initial phase accommodates, where possible, for the resumption of children’s outdoor sport with strict physical distancing measures for non-sporting attendees such as parents, and outdoor recreational activities including but not limited to outdoor-based personal training and boot camps, golf, fishing, bush-walking, and swimming.

The states and territories will be responsible for sport and recreation resumption decisions, both at the professional and community level and will determine progression through the phases, taking account of local epidemiology, risk mitigation strategies and public health capability.

National Cabinet agreed that the ‘Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment [PDF 506 KB]’ developed by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) provides a guide to the staged resumption of sport and recreation in Australia.

For high performance and professional sporting organisations, the regime underpinned in the Framework is considered a minimum baseline standard required to be met before the resumption of training and match play.

National Cabinet also endorsed the AHPPC’s proposal to form a COVID-19 Sports and Health Committee comprising the Commonwealth Deputy CMO, Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Medical Director, an infection control expert, representatives of Federal, State and Territory Departments of Health, Sport and Recreation and relevant sports medical officers from the National Sporting Organisations, to closely monitor and report on any COVID-19 related issues or manifestations in the sector during the resumption phase, as well as any further and specific decisions about the resumption of sport – for a minimum of three months from commencement.