Published on 29/01/2021

Friday, 29 January 2021 – 4.00pm.

To members of the NSW surfing community,

See this as an update for our Surfing NSW position which relates to COVID-19 as of today.

As you are all aware the COVID-19 information (not only from a state and national perspective but also a global scale) is evolving constantly.  The health and safety of our Surfing NSW team and your environment is paramount; therefore we will endeavour to keep abreast of updated information and act accordingly in compliance with State and Federal Government advice as it happens.

A lot of Surfing NSW staff are working remotely. Surfing NSW’s working days are Monday – Friday and the office phone (02) 9093 6035 will be attended 9 am – 5 pm on these days.

If you physically need to visit the office please call (02) 9093 6035 to arrange an appointment.

As at today information on public gathering indoors and outdoors can be found HERE

The medical advice is that we should all do everything we can to implement what is called “social distancing”.

Surfing Competitions: Surfing NSW is currently running a range of state-based events that comply with all Government protocols. Please refer to our Covid event plan here.


From 12:01am Friday, 29 January for the Greater Sydney region (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains):

  • Visitors to households will be increased to 30 guests – including children.
  • Outdoor gatherings will be increased to 50 people in total.
  • All other venues including hospitality venues, places of worship and corporate event venues (fully seated with no singing or dancing) will be subject to the 1 person per 4sqm rule.
  • Smaller hospitality venues will be allowed at least 25 people.

It is anticipated that all settings requiring the 4sqm rule will revert to the 1 person per 2sqm rule in two weeks’ time if current trends continue, subject to expert health advice. 

Once the 1 person per 2sqm rule applies, it is anticipated fines will increase to reduce the risk of super spreading events.

Our Surfing NSW boardriders club manager is here for more detailed help on the above.

Matt Lawson 0402 830 767

Otherwise please call our Surfing NSW office on 02 9093 6035 or

Surf Schools:

Based on the current advice from the Australian Government in relation to group gatherings (stated below) Surf Schools can proceed until further notice – our recommendation though is to contact your local council as every council in NSW is faced with different challenges based on their region.

A full Surfing NSW statement on Surf Schools can be found here.

If Surf School lessons do run we strongly encourage that strict hygiene protocols are followed as outlined below by the State Government. 

We have liaised with a few surf schools and have come up with some examples of operational procedures to help with best practice in regards to health and hygiene in the current situation;

  • Staff adopting good hand hygiene in the office/reception desk
  • Wiping down all phones and surfaces
  • Use gloved hands when they hand out the wetsuits
  • Participants to use hand sanitiser before and after lesson/session
  • Hanging wetsuits outdoors
  • Encouraging participants to arrive in their swimwear and limit the use of change rooms
  • Doing the pre-surf instructions outdoors adopting the 1.5 social distancing principles
  • Not using Zinc and using BYO or pump pack sunscreen
  • Not using rash shirts and encouraging BYO wetsuits.
  • Only one staff dispensing sunscreen and sanitiser to participants (limiting touching of the bottles)

At Surfing NSW internally we are dividing all major stakeholders communications to different departments. For Surf Schools please note your main point of contact is:

Mark (Winny) Windon (former email was

0427 378 077

Surfers Rescue 24/7 and Education Courses:

Surfing Australia and NSW will be running Foundation Coaching Courses (formerly known as Level One Coaching Courses) online through its digital platform, you can find out more about the courses here.

Surfers Rescue 24/7 courses are able to be run online with the CPR component running through Surf Life Saving NSW’s Living Room Life Saver program. More information can be found here or touch base with Matt Lawson

Recommended hygiene protocols

The protocols outlined below are essential to limit your exposure and prevent the spread of germs, in particular as they relate to COVID-19:

General hygiene

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol‐based hand sanitiser
  • Wash or sanitise your hands before eating
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home and seek medical treatment when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze

Surfing hygiene

  • COVID-19 or not, do not share wetsuits, drinks, towels, wax, sunscreen with others.
  • Place hand sanitisers around change rooms and encourage the use of them.
  • Ensure all member facilities are maintained and cleaned to a high standard with appropriate cleaning agents – consider more regular cleaning of facilities.
  • Limit physical contact such as avoiding shaking hands, pre or post-event
  • Work with other community clubs that share club facilities, if appropriate, to implement practices consistent with this communication

For any further information, the Surfing NSW office is contactable on (02) 9093 6035

We will continue to monitor medical advice and plan to provide an update as changes are announced.

John O’Neill, Chairman, and Luke Madden, CEO, Surfing NSW.

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