September 25, 2021

COVID-19: NSW Latest Advice & FAQ’s

GENERAL AREAS

Parts of Regional NSW now deemed low risk are referred to as ‘General Areas’

Some of these details, including a map of the areas, are foreshadowed HERE (CLICK TO VIEW NSW HEALTH MAP)  

 

STAY AT HOME AREA

Areas of Greater Sydney not in an Area of Concern, and Regional Areas of NSW not listed as Low Risk General Areas are currently classified as a ‘stay at home’ area.

People will only be able to leave home for one of the following four reasons:

    • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
    • Medical care or compassionate needs
    • Exercise outdoors within your own Local Government Area (LGA) OR if outside your LGA it must be within 5km of where you live.
    • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home

 

AREAS OF CONCERN

Addition restrictions apply to residents various LGA’s and some suburbs of Penrith, see areas of concern and have additional restrictions.

People will only be able to leave home for one of the following four reasons:

    • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
    • Medical care or compassionate needs
    • Exercise outdoors within your own Local Government Area (LGA) OR if outside your LGA it must be within 5km of where you live.
    • leave home to go to work if you:
      • cannot reasonably work from home and your workplace is in the same local government area or the 12 suburbs of the Penrith local government area you are living in or staying in or
      • are an authorised worker and you need to travel outside your local government area to go to work, provided that from 28 August 2021 you are registered to travel (unless you provide an emergency service)


CLUB OPERATIONS

Whilst clubhouse operations in ‘stay at home’ areas and ‘areas of concern’ must be closed for normal business (except takeaway, home delivery or ‘click and collect’), Golf can continue if your Club has and complies with its COVID-19 Safety Plan. 

Golf Shops may provide services to enable the play of golf for exercise, but must cease other retail functions (unless click and collect, take away or home delivery).

Golfers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene and adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times.

Clubhouse operations in ‘Low Risk’ areas may resume:

  • Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
  • Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule.

Frequently Asked Questions:

In areas with stay at home rules in place and Areas of Concern, Golf NSW advises clubs to ensure competitions are conducted only under the club’s  COVID-safe plan. You must remain within your own Local Government Area (LGA) OR if you are travelling outside your LGA it must be within 5km of where you live. 

Under the Public Health order (PHO), undertaking exercise, including golf, is considered a reasonable excuse to leave your home.  

On July 1st, the NSW Health Minister Mr Brad Hazzard MP signed an exemption to the PHO allowing clubs to run their regular competitions under strictly controlled guidelines.

A signed copy of the exemption granted and guidelines is available HERE:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Documents/exemption-outdoor-golfing.pdf

You may travel anywhere within your LGA, or into another LGA (even if it is an ‘area of concern’) and you should also remain 5kms from your home.

If you are in a ‘Low Risk’ Area you may travel into other ‘Low Risk’ areas.

GENERAL AREAS

In ‘Low Risk’ Areas golf may now be played in fours.

STAY AT HOME AREAS

From Monday September 13, outdoor gathering numbers for fully vaccinated adults will be increased to five.

Clubs who can comply with the conditions can revert to golf in groups of Four (4) as ‘exercise’ can occur in accordance with the updated gathering rules.  All those in the group who are over 16 years of age must be fully vaccinated.

Travel limits in regards to exercise, within your LGA or within 5km’s from home,  remain unchanged.

AREAS OF CONCERN

From Monday September 20, outdoor gathering numbers for fully vaccinated adults will be increased to five.

Clubs who can comply with the conditions can revert to golf in groups of Four (4) as ‘exercise’ can occur in accordance with the updated gathering rules.  All those in the group who are over 16 years of age must be fully vaccinated.

Travel must be limited to within your LGA or within 5km’s from home.

This is strictly a matter between an individual and their Club.  Golf NSW has received legal advice on this topic and will provide the advice to Clubs, on request to Graeme Phillipson or Stuart Fraser.

FOR AREAS OF CONCERN and FOR STAY AT HOME AREAS
Persons may exercise within their local government area or, if they need to cross into another local government area, they must stay within 5km of their home. Persons playing golf at courses that partly fall within their exercise limit may only play those holes that are within their exercise limit.

FOR GENERAL AREAS
The 5Km limit no longer applies and residents in low-risk areas may travel to other low-risk areas for exercise.

In ‘Stay at Home’ areas and ‘Areas of Concern’, masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events.

This includes Pro Shops and Take Away food areas at Clubs.

Persons must carry a face mask with them at all times, in these as per  https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydneyor the listed regional areas as per https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/affected-regions.  Persons must wear a mask when outside in a public area in the LGA’s of concern as per https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/affected-area.

In ‘Stay at Home’ areas, the term ‘strenuous exercise’ has been amended in the Public Health Order (p.3) to ‘exercise’ in relation to when masks can be removed.   In ‘Areas of Concern’ masks must be worn when exercising unless it is considered strenous.

IN GENERAL AREAS:

  • Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports. 
  • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors

Within the current Public Health Order (and considering that golfing is considered exercise) there is no further information specifying PGA Professionals cannot coach, however individuals need to make their own determination as to the appropriateness of offering these services.   

Any PGA members offering these services must adhere to the Public Health Order in relation to gathering and geographic limits for exercise and have a COVID-safe plan in place.

A Club may invoke its own visitor restrictions in line with its bylaws and the Registered Clubs Act, however, Clubs are permitted to allow visitors in line with the Club’s COVID Safe Plan.

In ‘Areas of Concern’ and ‘Stay at Home‘ areas, persons may only play golf within their exercise limits.

Clubs should not hold Vardon, Jean Derrin or similar events which encourage travel from outside their local area.

Clubs in ‘Stay at home’ or ‘Areas of Concern’  must not hold presentations. 

Clubs in ‘Low Risk’ Areas should consider taking a pro-active stance on minimising the risk of community transmitted COVID-19, and therefore question the need to have presentations at all.

Yes.  As of January 1, the NSW Government requires that all hospitality venues use the NSW Government QR Code system:

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/customer-record-keeping/qr-codes#covid-safe-check-in-with-the-service-nsw-app.

It is recommended that registration be required on entry to the clubhouse, and other areas such as the Pro Shop.

 STAY AT HOME & AREAS OF CONCERN:
Golf NSW advises that clubs should adopt a one player per cart rule until further notice.

Clubs may allow two persons from the same household to share a cart, if they wish to allow this.

GENERAL AREAS:
Within general areas, two persons may share a cart.

Golf NSW recommends the use of modified local rules in NSW.

This applies across Greater Sydney and regional NSW until further notice.

The use of the modified playing conditions should be included as a part of a Club’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, e.g., flags left in, no rakes in bunkers, no swapping of scorecards etc.

Please click here for a full list of those modifications.

Whilst ‘Low Risk’ areas may consider relaxing some of the rules, it is recommended that they remain in place at this time.

In ‘Stay at home’ areas and ‘Areas of Concern’, Clubs may only offer takeaway food and beverage.

Once served, patrons must leave the clubhouse area and car park.

 

GENERAL AREAS

In aN area where stay at home orders have been lifted, from September 11:

  • Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing whilst drinking permitted outside.
  • Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule

Golf NSW recommends not allowing gatherings of any kind until the current COVID crisis eases.

GENERAL AREAS

In ‘GENERAL areas, where restrictions have been lifted, clubs should still consider the need for a shotgun start and note that gathering numbers are still capped at 20 persons.  If a small shotgun start was to be held, then appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure adherence to the Club’s COVID Safe Plan.

With the introduction of the two-person per group rule, Caddies can no longer be used in ‘Stay at Home’ areas or ‘Areas of Concern’.

STAY AT HOME & AREAS OF CONCERN:

In ‘Stay at Home’ areas and ‘Areas of Concern’, Golf NSW recommends clubs remove or restrict access to these types of club amenities until the current COVID situation eases.

Clubs should remove access to ball washers, showers and bubblers during the lockdown period.

In addition to the other Temporary Modifications to the Rules of Golf, it is permissible to introduce a local rule that allows players to substitute the golf ball during the play of a hole, so that players are not touching each other’s golf ball. For example, during Foursomes:

  • When taking a preferred lie
  • When putting

If this local rule is introduced, Clubs must not introduce a penalty for a player hitting their partner’s golf ball.

Any local rules that are introduced should not be to the detriment of pace of play.

Yes. Provided gathering and social distancing measures are in line with regulations, and the NSW Public Health Order is implemented and enforced.

Players must avoid gathering in any area and must leave the premises immediately after playing.

Yes.  In addition to Liquor & Gaming NSW, officers from the NSW Food Authority, NSW Fair Trading, SafeWork NSW, local councils and the NSW Police Force may now inspect Clubs’ compliance with the Public Health Orders.

Upon the request of an inspector, Clubs must make available their COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Member Clubs are encouraged to proactively engage with their inspectors, and local police, to ensure that arrangements inside the Club are compliant with the Public Health Orders.

All Registered Clubs must register as a COVID Safe Business, and Clubs are required to resubmit their COVID-19 Safety Plan each time there is a change/amendment to the Public Health Order.

https://www.nsw.gov.au/register-your-business-as-covid-safe

Clubs may ask members/golfers to voluntarily provide proof of vaccination information, however under current privacy laws there is no obligation for a member/golfer to provide such information.  Until such time that a person is required by law to provide this information, clubs should ensure they obtain express consent from the member/golfer when collecting this information.  Clubs that are subject to the Privacy Act should ensure they are handling any such information in accordance with a compliant privacy policy.

Clubs should not make public, information pertaining to a person’s vaccination status.

If a member/golfer declines to provide proof of vaccination, the club would be in its rights to only allow that member/golfer to play in gathering numbers associated with non vaccination (currently a group of 2 under Public Health Orders), as the club has an obligation to operate under the Public Health Order i.e. proof of vaccination being required for gatherings of up to 5 persons.

Under a club’s constitution there may be provisions to enforce a policy of only permitting vaccinated persons to enter or use their facilities. However, clubs should take care when relying on such provisions under their constitution.  In the near future, Public Health Orders may prescribe the mandating of vaccination in relation to clubs.

Public Health Orders concerning vaccination requirements of staff have not yet been released. Further advice will be provided to clubs when a Public Health Order in reference to this matter is released.

Based on Government announcements to date, clubs should have good reason to assume that vaccination of staff will form some part of a ‘reopening’ plan and future Public Health Orders, and as such should make plans accordingly.

Info on general restrictions can be found at the following link:

Current info on the exemption to the Public Health Order allowing competition golf in Greater Sydney

Click on the link below for more information from the Office of Sport:

A copy of the NSW Department of Health Public Health Order (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) is HERE:

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