The health and safety of our players, coaches, umpires and volunteers continues to be of utmost importance to AFL NSW/ACT. As part of this, COVID-19 compliance remains a critical priority for our code and we are here to support and guide our clubs through their obligations and adherence to the NSW Public Health Orders or ACT Public Health Directions.
Update 28 July 2021
The NSW Government today announced a further four-week extension to the current stay at home orders until 12:01am Saturday, 28 August across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
Unfortunately, today’s announcement is a further set-back in our collective ambition to return to community football competition in a safe and meaningful manner for the 2021 season in COVID-affected regions.
We appreciate that for many across our network of clubs in affected leagues, the length of the current extension means a return to competition play (home and away, and finals) looks incredibly challenging given the circumstances.
Despite this, we are committed to working through a thorough process with each affected league to determine the best and most appropriate way forward considering the circumstances.
Our stakeholder engagement to date has revealed that each league, and the subsequent age-group competitions, have slightly different considerations and club appetite to continue to focus on opportunities to play footy in September or via extended seasons where possible.
As such, AFL NSW/ACT will work through a league-by-league process to provide clarity to our stakeholders on each competition’s status, financial impacts, the ability and willingness to explore an extended season, appetite to participate in gala days or similar events in September to round out the season if current restrictions permit community sport.
Today was tough news to take as we know what an important role playing footy has for our communities across Greater Sydney. As always, we appreciate the patience, support and understanding shown by the entire community football network to-date through this extremely challenging period.
– End 28 July update –
Update 14 July 2021
The NSW Government today announced a further two-week extension to the stay-at-home order up until 11:59pm on 30 July. As a result, there will continue to be no community football matches, training, Auskick or events in the Greater Sydney region while these restrictions remain in place. Existing restrictions for regional NSW will remain until that date.
AFL NSW/ACT and our competition managers remain committed to recommencing the season as soon as it is safe to do so. And whilst today’s announcement sees the cumulative impact on our competitions in the Greater Sydney Region extend to five weeks, we continue to be agile and flexible in our approach to managing these impacts and planning the remainder of the season.
To assist AFL Sydney scenario planning over the coming weeks, league managers will consult clubs to understand feasibility and preferences related to a number of factors to ensure we have all relevant information to inform decision-making. These include fixturing, athlete preparation and minimum training requirements, venue availability for training and playing and competition integrity factors. Further information will be provided in the coming days.
We understand this is a difficult time for all those in the Greater Sydney region and would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your patience, support and input during this challenging time for us all.
AFL NSW/ACT passes on our best to our footy community and hope everyone is doing well.
– End 14 July update –
Update 7 July 2021
Today the NSW Government announced the stay-at-home orders for Greater Sydney (including Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour) have been extended until 11.59pm on Friday, 16 July. Existing restrictions for regional NSW will remain until that date.
As a result, there will continue to be no community football matches, training, Auskick or events in the Greater Sydney region while these restrictions remain in place.
The NSW Government is expected to provide further clarity on the planned exit from the current stay-at-home orders in the coming days. AFL NSW/ACT will await the details of this ‘exit plan’ before determining when training and fixtures can resume in affected regions.
Regarding the season’s schedule, we will continue to work through a number of factors including total fixturing impacts, athlete and venue preparation, competition integrity and the restrictions (yet to be announced), and update clubs accordingly.
We appreciate the football community’s patience, cooperation and understanding at this time and we encourage our community to exercise and engage in outdoor recreation in COVID safe settings. Please continue to adhere to the NSW Government’s health advice and guidelines to ensure we curb the spread of the current outbreak.
– End 7 July update –
Update 26 June 2021
Community football outside Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Central Coast
To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, the NSW Government has advised the current stay-at-home orders will be extended across all of Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong from 6pm today until 11.59pm Friday, 9 July.
Everyone in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason. Consequently, community sport will not be permitted (including club/team training) during this period.
In all other parts of NSW the following restrictions will apply to community football:
- – People who have been in the Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong) on or after June 21 should follow the stay-at-home orders for a period of 14 days after they left Greater Sydney.
- – Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events. This includes community football. See a list of FAQs below relating to mask wearing.
- – The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals.
- – Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed
- – People across NSW should only enter Greater Sydney for essential purposes.
A detailed account of the new restrictions can be found on the NSW Government website.
The AFL will continue to work closely with the NSW Office of Sport to ensure that any updates remain timely. Further to this, individual leagues will measure the impacts to fixturing and update you all on the next steps accordingly.
Thank you for following your COVID-19 Safety Plans and maintaining the highest safety standards during this difficult time.
– End 26 June update –
Update 25 June 2021
Today, the NSW Government extended the Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, about the growing risk to the community.
In addition to the restrictions announced yesterday, stay-at-home orders are being introduced for at least one week for those who live in, or whose usual place of work is in, Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and City of Sydney Councils.
Due to the impact of the extended restrictions on our community football competitions and NAB AFL Auskick across metropolitan Sydney, there will be no matches played in the following competitions this weekend, 26-27 June:
- – AFL Sydney Seniors
- – AFL Sydney Harbour Juniors (currently on a scheduled winter break)
- – AFL Western Sydney Juniors
There will be no Auskick in metropolitan Sydney.
AFL Sydney will update clubs on fixturing implications when more is known about the duration of current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.
AFL NSW/ACT encourages all clubs and participants to familiarise themselves with how they are impacted by latest health advice and Public Health Orders. Updates can be found here.
Given the evolving situation, AFL NSW/ACT will continue to monitor communication issued by government and provide updates on matches and training when available.
We understand this is a difficult time for everyone and we thank our Sydney football community for your ongoing support and leadership.
For those community football leagues and Auskick centres continuing across the Greater Sydney region, which includes Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government area, the below are guidelines on how the current COVID-19 restrictions practically apply to the community football setting.
Please note these are guidelines only and are subject to change.
– End 25 June update –
Update 24 June 2021
The NSW Government has recently announced new restrictions to protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The new restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney from 4pm on 23 June 2021 for one week. These new restrictions apply to the Greater Sydney region, which includes the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.
The key message is that clubs can continue to conduct football activities but that existing COVID-19 Safety Plans be reviewed and that steps be taken to ensure compliance with rules around masks, movement and social distancing.
All clubs must review the relevant Public Health Orders and ensure compliance.
AFL NSW/ACT continues to monitor communication issued by government and provide updates as they come to hand.
– End 24 June update –
COVID Workbook NSW and ACT
AFL NSW/ACT has developed a number of resources to support our community football clubs to complete their COVID-19 Safety Plans for the 2021 season.
The NSW workbook contains all the relevant information your Club needs:
- – Recommended hygiene practices
- – Participant limits
- – COVID Safety Plan requirements
- – Frequently Asked Questions