SURFING NSW COVID POSITION STATEMENT – FRIDAY 6TH, AUGUST 2021
Published on 06/08/2021

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 on a global scale – is evolving constantly. The health and safety of our members, the wider surfing community, the Surfing NSW team and your environment are 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.

As you may have seen the NSW Government and NSW Health have introduced new updated COVID-19 restrictions in certain areas across NSW to protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. Current stay-at-home orders will be extended across all of Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong, Shellharbour until 11:59 pm on Saturday 28th August.

On Thursday, 5 August 2021, stay at home restrictions were implemented across Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock until 12.01am Friday 13 August. 

Please see below link to the latest COVID-19 update: Wednesday 28th July 2021 https://www.sport.nsw.gov.au/covid-19-information

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

For the entire lockdown period, between now and the 28th of August, no one will be able to physically visit the office aligned to the Public Health Order.  Please call the Surfing NSW office on (02) 9093 6035 for all information.

Events (August)

As it stands, the below events have been postponed until later in 2021. Further information will be sent to competitors in these events. 

  • Australian Boardriders Battle (North Clubs Qualifier) – New date to be determined on Monday 2nd August 
  • Woolworths NSW Junior State Titles pres. By Ocean and Earth (Illawarra Region) New date: 12 – 19 October, 2021
  • Havaianas NSW Grommet Titles – New date Friday 22nd – Monday 25th October 2021 at Maroubra. 

For further enquiries please contact events@surfingnsw.com.au

Surf Schools

Please see this email as an update for surf schools in Greater Sydney and in Regional NSW. 

In light of the latest COVID-19 update (28/7/21), aside from the extension to the lockdown, which will remain in place until Saturday 28th August, there has been no significant changes to the current restrictions, rules and regulations listed below. 

Under the Public Health Orders, in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour (and until 12.01am Friday 13 August, the Hunter region) there are only four reasonable excuses to leave home.

A reasonable excuse is if you need to:

  • obtain food or other goods and services (within your LGA and no further than 10kms from your home).
  • travel for work or education if it is not possible to do it at home
  • exercise and outdoor recreation in Greater Sydney (including surfing) (within your LGA and no further than 10kms from your home).
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.

NSW Office Of Sport is keeping this page below updated with information for all sports in NSW in and out of Greater Sydney.  See here: https://www.sport.nsw.gov.au/covid-19-information

Our Surfing NSW team will keep you abreast of updates and changes as they come to hand.

Greater Sydney Update for Surf Schools

On Wednesday 28th July the NSW public health order was updated. Please see here and here.

Our understanding of the current public health order and current restrictions is that the “intent” across all messaging is for all to stay at home. 

In regards to Surf School learn to surf lessons NSW Health advice is that no formal competitions or training sessions are to take place and no community sport (whether training or a match) in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour (and until 12.01am Friday 13 August, the Hunter region) should proceed. This includes coaching or tuition programs.

Our team has been involved in a range of meetings with Sport NSW, Office of Sport and have listened to the daily NSW Government updates and our understanding at present is that learn to surf lessons can not take place at present with the current restrictions in place.  

The only coaching which is approved at present is that if you are coaching a professional athlete and it’s classed as that surfers/athletes work, under our interpretation this is the only coaching that could be considered reasonable at present. However, even on this professional level of coaching and/or private tuition, it is NSW Health’s strong recommendation that people remain at home. People must stay in their Local Government Area or within 10km of home for exercise and outdoor recreation. 

Surfboard Rental Information:

The rental of surfboards or other equipment throughout this time may differ between organisations and locations. These decisions are the responsibility of the facility owners and operators, and activity providers, in line with their risk management and operating policies and ensuring Public Health Orders are complied with.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and people will need to make their own decisions to determine if the activity is within restrictions

Surf Schools may wish to obtain independent legal advice on whether your activity can proceed in line with meeting the requirements under the Public Health Order. 

Stating this please check in with your local council on your local rules and regulations. 

Regional NSW update for Surf Schools

Restrictions in Regional NSW remain unchanged.

All businesses must have a COVID safe plan and NSW Government QR codes in place.

All indoor facilities such as change rooms, canteens, clubhouses are to adhere to the 1 person per 4 square metre rule.

Club BBQs and canteens can still take place in line with COVID Safety Plan requirements.  face masks must be worn at all times by staff and volunteers.

Face Masks

If the surf lesson requires your participants to sign in, get ready or enter an indoor area they must wear a mask while inside. 

For further information regarding regional sports and face masks please see the link below https://www.sport.nsw.gov.au/covid-19-information#advice-regional

Surfing NSW does not administer the Public Health Act or have enforcement powers under the Public Health Order and, consequently, we are not able to comment as to its interpretation or application.

Boardriders Clubs

The same restrictions that are currently in place across both Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour, and regional NSW will remain in place until this time.

Please see the Media Release and Office of Sport update

Boardriding Clubs are always encouraged to stay up to date with COVID-19 information on the NSW Government’s COVID-19 website.

Please see below the information previously distributed to our Boardrider Clubs.

Boardriders Clubs

We have broken NSW Boardriders clubs into two areas based on the COVID-19 updated Public Health Orders. 

Area 1) Greater Sydney, including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour (and until 12.01am Friday 13 August, the Hunter region). 

Area 2) Regional NSW (outside of Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour)

Area 1: Greater Sydney

No surfing competitions or club rounds can be held until at least Sunday 29th August as the NSW Government has stated residents of Greater Sydney must stay at home unless it is for essential reasons. There can be no community sport (whether training or a match) in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour (and until 12.01am Friday 13 August, the Hunter region).

Area 2:  Regional NSW (outside Greater Sydney)

These clubs can run club rounds but must adhere to the current public health orders. These events cannot have any members participate or attend that work or live in Greater Sydney. 

Club rounds and surfing events can happen but with the following COVID safety plan and restrictions in place. 

Minimum Recommendations for clubs are:

  • Local council approval and communication that you are running
  • Have a COVID-19 safety plan – You can easily create one here 
  • Wear a mask 
  • Ensure one person per four square meters 1.5-meter physical distancing
  • Canteens and barbecues can operate with physical distancing in queues
  • Participants contact details are documented and recorded
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Use contactless payment where possible
  • Use gloves when serving customers
  • Provide hand sanitiser in high traffic areas
  • Clean and wipe down all communal equipment
  • Rash shirts are disinfected between users

Participants and Spectators

  • Download the COVIDsafe app
  • Communicate an “Arrive, Surf, Leave” message and schedule your competition to reduce crowds
  • Do not attend if you are sick or have flu-like symptoms
  • Spectators to maintain 1.5m physical distance
  • Avoid touching your eyes mouth and nose
  • Do not share equipment drink bottles or food
  • Exit the facility promptly once finished

In addition to the above requirements, the below are major additional requirements that are set in place until midnight on the 28th of August. 

Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events; this does mean all surfers, spectators and club organisers need to wear face masks on the beach at all times other than when you are surfing. 

If you live or work in Greater Sydney (and until 12.01am Friday 13 August, the Hunter region) you have stay-at-home orders. Unfortunately, this means that any club members that live or work in Greater Sydney will not be able to attend or participate in the event in this timeframe. 

Hopefully, restrictions will ease at the end of the month and we can all get back out there doing what we love. 

Programs 

Her Wave: Her Wellness Experiences (Surf and Group Mindset Coaching)All Her Wellness events have been cancelled and postponed until further notice.

Surfers Rescue 24/7 – Based on the current Public Health Order, no Surfers Rescue 24/7 courses will take place until further notice

Financial assistance 

Financial assistance is available from the NSW Government and Federal Government for individuals and organisations. For more information visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/financial-support

For further information: 

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