Sport and Recreation Stakeholder Update – 31 March 2020

Sport and recreation organisations have an important role to play to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Victorian community.

The Premier has announced Stage Three of the shutdown of non-essential activities in Victoria to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Public gatherings are now restricted to a maximum of two people, except for members of your immediate household and for work or education.

Public playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms are now closed, effective midnight 30 March 2020. Outdoor bootcamps and personal training sessions are now restricted to two people and they must also adhere to the latest physical distancing restrictions.

The Premier has said there are only four reasons to leave your home: food and supplies, medical care, exercise, and work or education. If you can stay home, you must stay home.

On 28 March 2020, the Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services announced that Victoria Police now have the power to issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses who don’t follow the rules.

These directives build on the existing restrictions on non-essential activities, which include the closure of:

  • gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities
  • social sporting-based activities
  • swimming pools, both public and shared
  • saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres
  • community and recreation centres. These facilities may remain open for the purposes of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.

One of the key programs of the Victorian Government’s $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package, the $500 million Business Support Fund, has officially opened.

The Business Support Fund will help small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, including those in the sport and recreation sectors that have had to close or limit trading due to shutdown restrictions. Those businesses can apply for a $10,000 grant towards operational costs and to help keep people in work.

To be eligible, businesses must already employ staff, have payroll of less than $650,000 and a turnover of more than $75,000. Full details on eligibility and how to apply are set out on the Business Support Fund webpage.

The Prime Minister has also announced the new $130 billion JobKeeper to help employers retain their staff as some businesses move into hibernation. The payment will be open to eligible businesses that receive a significant financial hit caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will provide the equivalent of around 70 per cent of the national median wage.

We are also encouraging those who have lost their jobs as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) to register interest in the Working for Victoria Fund to help them find new job opportunities.

Please contact Business Victoria’s dedicated hotline on 13 22 15 or speak with your relevant association or peak body for advice for your sport or sector.

The situation continues to rapidly change. For the latest information and updates, visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website.

The following information is correct as of 31 March 2020.

Common Questions

Can our sporting and active recreation organisation still operate?

The Premier has announced that these Stage 3 restrictions come into effect from 11:59pm, Monday 20 March 2020 and will be reviewed after four weeks.

Under the Stage 3 restrictions, public gatherings will now be restricted to a maximum of two people, except for members of your immediate household and for work or education.

Under the Restricted Activity Directions, a person who owns, controls or operates a recreational facility in Victoria must not operate that facility between midnight on 30 March 2020 and midnight on 13 April 2020.

Boot camps and personal training services can continue only if they are outdoor with a maximum of two people at any one session. They must also adhere to the latest physical distancing restrictions.

If people breach these directions, they face on-the-spot fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses. Larger fines can also be issued through the courts.

For the latest information and guidelines visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au

How long will sport and recreation be impacted?

The new Stage 3 restrictions come into effect from 11:59pm, Monday 20 March 2020 and will be reviewed after four weeks.

Due to the evolving nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the restrictions could be extended. We are closely monitoring the DHHS coronavirus website for updates.

What financial support is available to my sport and recreation organisation?

The Victorian Government’s $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package provides a range of measures to help support businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The new Business Support Fund includes $10,000 grants for over 30,000 employers who don’t pay payroll tax through the new Business Support Fund.

To be eligible, businesses must already employ staff, have payroll of less than $650,000 and a turnover of more than $75,000. Full details on eligibility and how to apply are set out on the Business Support Fund webpage.

The Australian Government’s $189 billion package includes grants of up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not‑for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.

The Prime Minister has also announced the new $130 billion JobKeeper to help employers retain their staff as some businesses move into hibernation. The payment will be open to eligible businesses that receive a significant financial hit caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will provide the equivalent of around 70 per cent of the national median wage.

The Government is encouraging those who have lost their jobs as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) to register interest in the Working for Victoria Fund to help them find new job opportunities.

If you have queries about the support available, please contact Business Victoria’s dedicated hotline on 13 22 15 or speak with your relevant association or peak body for advice for your sport or sector.

I’m self-isolating or practising physical distancing – how can I still get active

If you are self-isolating and cannot take part in community sport, but you can and should still stay fit and active. For great ideas, check out the Premier’s Active April website.

What do I do if I or one of my patrons or workers feels sick?

If you feel sick, stay at home. Use the self-assessment for risk of coronavirus tool for guidance on what action you should take or phone the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice. If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance and tell the operator if you have recently returned from overseas.

Assessment centres have been established at 26 Victorian hospitals and patients who have symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19) may present to one of these centres. You do NOT need to phone ahead if you attend one of these clinics.

If you need to self-isolate, a Home Isolation Guide has been developed

The following information is correct as of 31 March 2020 and we’ll continue to update you as new information comes to hand.

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