October 28, 2021

COVID-19: NSW Latest Advice & FAQ’s

GENERAL AREAS

The NSW Government has published the Public Health Order which outlines restrictions in place from the Monday after the state reaches the 70 per cent double vaccination milestone.

From this date, all areas of NSW are referred to as ‘General Areas’ in the Public Health Order.   The Public Health Order refers to Stay at Home Areas, however, these are not currently relevant.

The Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 is available for download HERE.

CLUB OPERATIONS

Hospitality areas have been listed in the Public Health Order as a ‘higher risk premise’ from October 11.

  • Any person entering a club premise (clubhouse), including the pro shop, must be fully vaccinated
  • Those not fully vaccinated can only enter a club premise for takeaway purposes (food and drink), and click and collect retail, or to ‘check in’ for golf.  They may not browse the retail spaces.
  • A club must take reasonable steps to ensure a person complies with the Public Health Order when entering premises
  • The golf course and clubhouse surrounds, if club rules permit, can be accessed/utilised by unvaccinated patrons in line with outdoor gathering restrictions
  • Club staff must wear a face mask when dealing directly with members of the public, unless they have an exception to do so under the Public Health Order or they are outside of Greater Sydney and have had one vaccine dose (and are booked in prior to November 1 for their second dose)
  • Organisations are expected to have an up-to-date COVID-19 Safety Plan in place

Frequently Asked Questions:

Fully vaccinated persons may play in a group of four.

Persons not fully vaccinated may play in groups of two (and can play with either a fully vaccainted or an unvaccinated person).

The maximum gathering size is 50 persons, for fully vaccinated persons.

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

Clubs should adopt a one player per cart rule for those who are not fully vaccinated.

 

The use of the modified playing conditions MAY 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.

If Clubs relax these rules, they should consider requesting that players use a towelled hand when touching rakes or flagsticks.

Please click here for a full list of those modifications.

For fully vaccinated persons:

  • Hospitality venues can re-open subject to one person per 4sq/m inside and one person per 2 sqm outside, with standing whilst drinking permitted outside.
  • Retail stores can re-open under the one person per 4sqm rule

 

For persons who are not fully vaccinated:

  • Clubs may only offer takeaway food and beverage for consumption off-premises. 
  • May enter a Pro Shop for the purpose of purchasing take away food and drink, or for click and collect services.  As with the servicing of unvaccinated people for payments for green/comp/cart fees this should be undertaken within a clearly designated ‘non retail’ area within the pro shop or via and outside facing window. 

Golf NSW advises clubs to ensure competitions are conducted only under the club’s  COVID-safe plan.

Until November 1, there is no travel permitted into or out of Greater Sydney, whether fully vaccinated or not.

For the unvaccainted, Clause 6.6 (1) only refers to holiday or undertaking recreation; exercise is not listed as one of the reasons for someone who is not vaccinated to remain in their Local Government Area.

 

 

Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces.  This includes Pro Shops and take away food areas at Clubs.

  • 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. 
  • Hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors

Fully vaccinated persons are not required to wear masks outdoors.

Persons not fully vaccinated must wear a mask indoors and outdoors, unless exercising.

Clubs should still consider the need for a shotgun start and note that gathering numbers are capped at 50 persons. 

If a shotgun start was to be held for fully vaccinated persons only, then appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure adherence to the Club’s COVID Safe Plan.

Such measures include allowing players to practice putting on the green adjacent to their starting tee and having multiple registration points.

Any person working within a Pro Shop or indoor facility must be fully vaccinated and adhere to the Public Health Order in relation to gathering and geographic limits for exercise and have a COVID-safe plan in place.

Persons giving lessons outdoors are not required to be fully vaccinated.  However, they must also adhere to the gathering limits for unvaccinated persons.

Group lessons and approved programs may also occur, noting that different requirements are in place for vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons.

 

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 to play in groups of greater than two persons.

Club hospitality and pro shop staff in regional areas have a short term exemption from the requirement to be fully vaccinated (however they must have received at least one dose and be booked in for a second dose prior to November 1).  The Public Health Order will be updaed to reflect this.

Course staff who do not come into contact with the general public are exempt from the requirement also, but are required to abide by the regulations for mask wearing etc in accordance with the Club’s COVID Safe Plan.

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.

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.

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.

Persons may only play golf within their exercise limits and in line with the Public Health Order.

Clubs may hold presentations in line with their Covid Safe Plan.

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.

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

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

Caddies may be allowed, provided the allowable groups sizes are not exceeded, noting that these are different for vaccinated and non-vaccainted persons.

Golf NSW recommends clubs restrict access to these types of club amenities until the current COVID situation eases.

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.

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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