Community sport and swimming pools

Factsheet – Community sport and swimming pools

Current restrictions in force are part of Step 3.2 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan are outlined in the page below.

Changes to restrictions are scheduled to come into effect at 9am Wednesday 2 December 2020. To find out more check the Changes to Restrictions page.

Capacity of venue

This information covers organised sporting activities and swimming pools.

All sporting activities can have:

  • Indoor: One person per four square metres of usable space for each indoor space (including participants and spectators but excluding staff and officials) to a maximum of 500 people per space.
  • Outdoor: One person per two square metres of usable space for each outdoor space (including participants and spectators but excluding staff and officials) to a maximum of 500 people per space.
  • Note:
    • Enclosed outdoor venues with permanent tiered seating and grandstands can have up to 50% capacity, up to 1000 people (excluding staff and participants). These events must be ticketed and spectators must remain seated wherever possible. Each event must have a COVID Safe Plan.
    • GIO Stadium and Manuka Oval can have crowds up to 50% capacity with an appropriate COVID Safe Plan in place. These events must be ticketed and spectators must remain seated wherever possible.

Notes on options above

  • This capacity excludes staff and officials but includes participants and spectators.
  • Do not exceed the capacity limit that applies under standard liquor or fire occupancy loading and regulatory conditions of the venue.
  • Do not temporarily divide any usable indoor space or usable outdoor space for the purposes of calculating usable space.
  • Usable space is defined as the space people can freely move around in; it does not include:
    • restrooms, changerooms and similar areas
    • areas occupied by fixtures, fittings, and displays
    • stages and similar areas
    • staff-only areas and areas that are closed off or not being used.
  • An indoor space means an area, room or premises that is, or are, substantially enclosed by a roof and have floor to ceiling walls of solid construction.

Events

  • Please see the COVID Safe Event Protocol.
    • Event organisers for events for between 201 and 500 people are required to notify ACT Health and submit their COVID Safe plan (via the online form).
    • Events over 500 people require an exemption in accordance with the COVID Safe Event Protocol.
What sporting and swimming facilities need to do
  • Have a COVID Safety Plan
  • Collect contact details
  • Put up signs
    • Display a sign at the entrance of the venue saying how many people can be at the venue.
    • Place signs at the entry to each usable space within the venue saying how many people can be in that space.
    • Display messaging for players, officials and spectators to stay home if unwell.
    • Find the signage that best suits your venue/event at our Business resources page.
  • Manage the crowd
    • Manage the flow of people to promote physical distancing, particularly where people enter and leave the venue.
    • Encourage spectators to keep 1.5 metres away from other people/groups they do not know.
    • Encourage players and spectators to leave the ground/venue quickly after their session finishes.
    • Discourage gatherings in communal areas.
  • Keep activities COVID safe
    • Limit the sharing of equipment as much as possible.
    • Clean equipment between each use.
    • Consider cleaning footballs before the game, at half time and after the game.
    • Don’t let children share drink bottles or snacks.
    • Open communal facilities (such as changerooms) after doing a risk assessment and implementing a strict cleaning regimen.
    • Open canteens only when appropriate physical distancing and cleaning procedures are in place.
    • If appropriate, place markers on the floor where people can queue.
    • In swimming pools, manage the number of people in the pool at any one time as per the allowed indoor and outdoor capacity. Although no limits apply on the number of swimmers per lane, advise swimmers to minimise contact with other swimmers, particularly at the end of each lane.
    • Allow competition and squad swimming within the allowed venue occupancy. Request only one parent/spectator per swimmer attend.
    • For large team sports, consider maintaining smaller, separate groups at training and keep coaches and officials to a minimum on site.
  • Keep COVID safe
    • Follow your Return to Play in a COVID Safe Environment or COVID Safety Plan.
    • Clean high-touch areas and objects frequently - see the WorkSafe cleaning checklist for more information.
    • Encourage physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people and groups that don’t know each other.
    • Encourage staff, officials, players and spectators to stay home if they are not feeling well.
What the public need to do
  • Take personal responsibility for your own safety.
  • Follow the ‘Get in, train/play, get out’ principal.
  • Don’t gather in communal areas before or after your session.
  • If you are a spectator, keep 1.5 metres away from people or groups you don’t know.
  • When swimming, minimise contact with other swimmers, particularly if you are sharing a lane.
  • Clean any equipment you use both before and after use.
  • Maintain personal hygiene, including regular hand washing or sanitising.
  • Stay home if you’re unwell and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Provide your name and contact number for contact tracing purposes.
  • Download the Check In CBR app so it’s easy to sign into participating Canberra venues when you visit.
Case study: Indoor sporting facility

A local indoor sporting facility has different spaces for training and a large shed with three basketball courts.

The facility developed a Return to Play in a COVID Safe Environment Plan that sets out how it will manage basketball competitions. The facility shared the plan with its teams. It helped develop a match roster to manage the number of people in the facility and meet the one person per four square metre rule.

Signs clearly specify the maximum occupancy of each individual usable space.

Each Thursday night, two basketball games are held, with the middle court kept free during the games. Spectators are seated. People from the same household can be seated together and keep 1.5 metres apart from people not from the same household or other groups.

Clubs clean the balls and other sporting equipment at half time and the end of the game.

Canteen facilities are open and managed in accordance with food safety requirements. Signs around the canteen ask people not to gather in the canteen and foyer area.

Case study: Outdoor sporting facility

A local football league has decided to restart junior soccer for a small number of teams at a sporting field in northern Canberra.

The football league has developed a Return to Play in a COVID Safe Environment Plan which clearly sets out how it will manage competitions in coming weeks. It has shared the Plan with all the families of participants and talked to kids about how their sport will operate in accordance with the plan.

Each Saturday the league has booked a field measuring 20 metres x 30 metres for training. Although one person per two square metres allows 300 people, there is a cap of 200 people (excluding officials), so team managers only allow 200 participants and spectators to attend. Children are asked to bring their own water bottles and snacks are not to be shared.

The football league ensures cleaning of the equipment at half time and at the end of the game. Kiosk and canteen facilities are open and managed in accordance with food safety requirements. There are clear signs around the kiosk asking people not to gather in the canteen and foyer area.

Follow Public Health Directions
  • The Public Health Directions legislate how businesses can operate during the Public Health Emergency. Please keep up to date with the latest Public Health Directions because you may be fined if you don’t comply with them.
Other advice and tools
Contacts
Recovery support

The ACT Government is continuing to support the ACT community as we begin to cautiously re-open our society and economy and learn to interact as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Visit the Supporting local businesses page for the full detail of the support available for businesses and eligibility requirements.

Businesses in this sector may be eligible to receive:

Find out what else the ACT Government is doing to support Canberrans on the Economic Survival Package page.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus on the Treasury website.

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: November 13 2020