12 Jun SLS NSW Covid-19 Update for Clubs and Members
New: COVID-19 Update for Clubs and Branches
Friday 12 June 2020
Dear Branch and Club Presidents, Branch and Club Administrators, Branch Secretaries and CEO’s, Branch Directors of Surf Sports, Branch Directors of Education, Branch Directors of Lifesaving, Branch Directors of Member Services, Branch Directors of Administration,
Surf Life Saving NSW continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic through official sources including the Australian Government Department of Health, NSW Health and NSW Sport.
With the continued relaxation of restrictions, we are seeing surf lifesaving activities resuming and clubs are encouraged to continue transitioning to usual operations and opening their facilities to ensure we retain rescue readiness.
We expect further information from Government next week relating to restrictions lifting and amended guidelines and Health Orders that we will interpret and share with our members.
The following summarises the latest changes and advice:
COVID-19 Safety Plans
There are three key steps for clubs wanting to resume regular activities:
Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan
Register as a COVID Safe organisation
Show that they are COVID Safe.
More information is available on the NSW Government website.
Clubs are now required to complete one or more COVID Safety plans. The below templates may be suitable for your club:
For Cafés (from 1 June)
For bars (from 1 June)
For Gyms (from June 13)
For Community Centres and Halls (from June 13)
For Community Sport (from July 1)
Once you have completed your COVIDsafe plans, you must print out copies and make them available if requested by an authorised person.
Please register your COVIDsafe plans here on the NSW Government Website and print out and display the signage indicating your club complies with the NSW Government’s requirements.
Training and Education
As outlined in last week’s communications (5 June), Surf Life Saving NSW has received advice that as a gazetted emergency service, we are exempt from many of the general restrictions. As stated in Item 4 of Schedule 2 of the current Public Health Order, “a gathering for the purposes of emergency services, including the provision of training by an emergency service,” provides an exemption and allows club members to train in groups of any size.
As most training and education activities can resume, clubs and branches should begin to look at their training schedules for Bronze Medallion and other aquatic rescue awards and skills maintenance.
Wherever possible, social distancing and hygiene practices should be observed when engaged in rescue ready training activities.
Where conditions allow, we strongly encourage clubs and branches to schedule assessments as soon as is reasonably practicable for those SRC, BM and IRB candidates who commenced their training earlier this season but could not complete their assessments due to the lockdown.
SLSNSW will be providing clubs with an information pack on how to minimise the specific risks associated with resuscitation training in the very near future, including reasonable adjustments that can be made in training and assessment. If you plan to deliver resuscitation training or assessment before the end of July, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Strict hygiene protocols apply for all shared equipment, including the disinfecting of equipment after each use.
The distribution of award certificates, medallions and powercraft licences will recommence from 1 July 2020.
The creation of a COVID-19 Safety Plan for training and education activities is required to be completed by all clubs and can be found on the NSW Government website.
The Branch Directors of Member Services are meeting next week to work with SLSNSW on the COVID19-related information that is needed to give some direction for junior activities in the short term. More information will follow.
The SLSNSW Return to Sport Plan has been updated. It is available here on our website.
Effective from 13 June – outdoor training groups increase from 10 to 20 people.
Effective from 1 July – junior and senior community sporting competitions, training and contact activities can resume. The creation of a COVID-19 Safety Plan for sporting competitions and training activities is required to be completed by all clubs and can be found here on the NSW Government website.
IRB training develops and maintains vital lifesaving skills required to maintain rescue readiness. As such, IRB training may now resume.
Until 1 July, live patient pick-ups should be kept to a minimum. During this time with recommendations to utilise alternative equipment where practical to resemble a patient pick-up.
Strict hygiene protocols apply for all shared equipment, including the disinfecting of equipment after each use (see Infection Control Guidelines for Sport)
Strict physical distancing measures remain in place while outside the IRB maintaining 1.5m distance apart with no more than 20 participants.
Please remember to gradually increase your training loads to reduce the risk of injury.
We are currently planning to run some IRB racing events and the following have been tentatively scheduled:
IRB Round: 29 and 30 August at Umina SLSC
IRB State Championships: 5 and 6 September at Fingal SLSC
At this stage, SLSA is still planning to hold the IRB Aussie Championships if possible.
It is important to note that these IRB dates and venues are tentative and are subject to change or cancellation.
Surf Boat Training
At this stage and based on current advice, Surf Boat training can commence from 1 July.
Note: SLSNSW considers that the maintenance of aquatic and water craft skills and general fitness is important to ensure the personal safety of volunteers who are likely to be engaged in rescue or response operations.
All Lifesaving associated training may now recommence after a COVID Safety Plan has been developed, printed and a copy is included within the facilitator’s training documents. All members are requested to pay close attention to the social distancing and hygiene guidelines as outlined in the COVID Safety Plan.
This includes but is not limited to:
Bronze Medallion and SRC
Club swims and swim training
IRB driver and crew rescue training
Radio usage training
First Aid training
Clubs should now consider re-engaging club members through a revised Club Training and Exercise Calendar.
Surf Club Operations
Most Surf Life Saving activities could be exempt from Clause 10 of the Public Health Order because members involved would either be engaged in work (this includes volunteers) or participating in a gathering referred to in Schedule 2 of the Order – “a gathering for the purposes of emergency services, including the provision of training by an emergency service.”
From 13 June, outdoor training in groups of up to 20 is allowed and indoor surf club gyms can operate with groups of up to 10 people.
Groups of no more than 10 people can participate in such activities in an area of the club where distancing and hygiene measures can be maintained.
Change rooms and Showers
Currently there is no specific information regarding the use of change rooms and shower facilities. NSW Health has advised it will be releasing more information soon.
Bars and Restaurants
The following advice assumes a surf club licenced area falls under the Category of Pubs, Clubs, Bars, Breweries:
A maximum of 50 patrons (subject to complying with the 4m square criteria) per food and drink area
Patrons must be seated to eat or drink
A COVID safety plan should be in place
Conditions of entry must be displayed
Patrons names and contact details must be recorded for contact tracing
Chairs and tables must be configured to support 1.5 metre distancing between groups
Individual groups of no more than 10 people
Sanitiser should be available on entry
No communal cutlery, salt and pepper shakers, menus (single use or laminated and cleaned)
Regular cleaning of all areas
Venue Hire and Functions
Unless a function is held in an area of the club which is considered a bar and complies with the above restrictions, the hire of club areas for private or commercial functions should be avoided as they may breach the current Health Order.
Below are links to the Safety Plan and checklist – and the Public Health Order – that may assist clubs.
Safety Plan and Checklist
Public Health Order
Member Safety and Hygiene
Australian Government Department of Health – Good hygiene for Coronavirus
Note: The advice contained in this Communications is purely an interpretation of information from a variety of sources. Ultimately it is the responsibility of clubs to ensure you are abiding by the current NSW restrictions and have the relevant plans in place.
For all other updates, guidance and advice, please refer to the SLSNSW Coronavirus webpage.
Visit the SLSNSW Coronavirus Webpage
Thank you for your ongoing support and please stay safe.
If you have any further questions, please contact us via the emails listed below
Training and Education – email@example.com
Membership – firstname.lastname@example.org
Surf Sport – email@example.com
Lifesaving – firstname.lastname@example.org
George Shales OAM
Surf Life Saving NSW
Steven Pearce AFSM
Chief Executive Officer
Surf Life Saving NSW