COVID-19 Updates

 

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 14 October 2021

Community football (including AFL 9s) and NSW roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions

AFL NSW/ACT is working closely with the NSW Government and the NSW Office of Sport regarding the NSW Government’s roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions and how this applies to AFL activity at the various ‘stages’ of the plan, and the settings where AFL activity is conducted.

Pleasingly, all of NSW is currently subject to the same COVID-safe settings from Monday, 11 October, as more than 70 per cent of the state’s population 16 years and over are fully vaccinated.

State sporting organisations continue to seek counsel and guidance from NSW Health and the NSW Office of Sport regarding the application of the Public Health Order(s) in the community sport setting. There are several new requirements related to vaccination that need further clarity and consultation to ensure an organisations compliance.  As the Public Health Order is set to change again shortly as the percentage of the NSW population vaccinated increases, AFL NSW/ACT’s focus remains on providing guidance to our stakeholders about recommending activity from 80 per cent double dose vaccination, when the NSW COVID-19 roadmap suggests community sport will be permitted.

We understand that the Public Health Order setting for 80 per cent double dose vaccination is imminent. Once released, the team at Office of Sport will provide further guidance and interpretations for the sport and active recreation sector. This guidance can be several days after the release of the Public Health Order.

Upon receiving the required interpretation, AFL NSW/ACT will provide guidance and direction to our stakeholders regarding AFL activity. Our priority remains a safe, compliant, and enjoyable return to activity for our football community.

In preparation for a return to community sport, we recommend our clubs revisit their COVID-19 Safety Plans and familiarise themselves with further information available through the NSW Office of Sport website: www.sport.nsw.gov.au/covid-19-information.

 

– End 14 October update –

 

Update 12 September 2021

AFL NSW/ACT can confirm that all community football leagues across the state and territory have now made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of their 2021 seasons based on the updated NSW Public Health order and associated advice from NSW Government officials regarding community sport.

AFL NSW/ACT was hopeful to be able to execute finals series in several regional NSW and ACT leagues to crown premiers in September. However, it is now clear that the return of community sport is not permissible for NSW and ACT locations where lockdown orders have eased.  AFL seasons have already been cancelled across Greater Sydney, Hunter, Central Coast, North Coast, Central West, South Coast, Sapphire Coast.

While it is disappointing for everyone in our football community to cut a season short, AFL NSW/ACT is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the community by following advice from health experts and government.

We would like to thank everyone for their passion and commitment to footy during a difficult year. It has been a memorable season getting all football leagues, clubs, players, coaches, umpires and volunteers back to footy post the disrupted 2020 season and we look forward to a productive off-season and getting the community football family back to the oval next year.

AFL NSW/ACT will continue to work with the government and health officials in the months ahead on a safe return to pre-season training and play for the 2022 season.

 

– End 12 September update –

 

Update 16 August 2021

This update summarises the situation of community football competitions and NAB AFL Auskick programs across NSW and the ACT.

Today, AFL NSW/ACT made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 AFL Sydney community football season due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 outbreak across greater Sydney. This decision extends to Auskick programs in the region.

Today’s cancelled competitions are:

AFL Sydney Seniors

AFL Sydney Harbour Juniors

AFL Sydney Western Sydney Juniors

All NAB AFL Auskick Centres

These join AFL South Coast Seniors and Illawarra Juniors’ cancelled 2021 season. (Shoalhaven Juniors’ season is still underway, although paused due to regional NSW’s lockdown.)

AFL Hunter Central Coast’s board is meeting this week and will come to a decision about the future of its 2021 competition in conjunction with AFL NSW/ACT. Updates will be provided when this decision is made.

While it has been disappointing to cancel seasons across greater Sydney and the South Coast, we remain hopeful to recommence AFL Canberra and all NSW regional competitions when stay-at-home orders ease.

 

– End 16 August update –

 

Update 14 August 2021

Today, the NSW Government announced that to protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in regional NSW from 5pm tonight until 12:01am Sunday, 22 August 2021.

This new order will replace any existing orders in regional NSW.

As a result, all community football matches, training, Auskick sessions and events scheduled for this time have been postponed.

Individual leagues will communicate with affected stakeholders with updates as soon as possible.

It is disappointing that this order has come at an exciting time of the season where finals are underway or due to start shortly. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through these challenging times.

 

– End 14 August update –

 

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.

The latest Public Health Order and subsequent restrictions can be found on the NSW Government website here. The map of Greater Sydney can be found here.

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

CLICK HERE to download the NSW Workbook

CLICK HERE to download the ACT Workbook

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