UPDATE: Tuesday 10th November, 2020.
Following the Premier’s recent update, we know everyone will be pleased that the 25km travel restriction has now been lifted. So with just a few weeks before Metro Pennant commences there will no doubt be lots of long overdue catch ups with family and friends taking place around the state.
With practice matches able to proceed in Metro Melbourne, we hope that members are now starting to get back on the greens, following the DHHS guidelines around the ‘number of people required to play the sport”. In Regional Victoria where competitions are in full swing in many areas, we hope that all necessary COVID-Safe practices are being carried out and that members and clubs are doing all that you can to stay safe.
Clubs should be pleased to see in this week’s update, that as well as social bowls, barefoot bowls can also now commence, with a cap of 10 per group, and groups separated by 10 metres.
Bowls Victoria is still liaising with Government about the use of masks in hot weather, for now they are still mandatory.
There have been some questions around spacing and partitions for hospitality areas, and according to current guidelines we can confirm the following:
- Temporary structures remain allowed to separate indoor spaces, otherwise 5m distance is required between clusters of up to 10 patrons.
- An indoor space may be split into indoor zones in which up to 10 members of the public (excluding infants under one year of age) may be seated, so long as each member of the public is seated at least 5 metres away from any member of the public seated in an adjacent indoor zone. The number of members of the public in each indoor zone may consist of multiple unrelated group bookings.
UPDATE: Friday 30th October, 2020.
Bowls Victoria today participated in a number of meetings with various agencies and the State Government, which have resulted in confirmation of a number of changes to our previous advice.
This advice is current as of today, 30th October 2020, and affects both Metro Melbourne and Regional Victoria.
There are 3 key areas of change:
Masks are now mandatory, and all conflicting information has been corrected. This is a Victorian Government directive. Further detail can be found in the Return to Play Guidelines below
ACCESS TO CLUBHOUSES
We have received clarification that access to clubhouses is permitted where there is a bar, café or restaurant. Clubs which only have a clubhouse, with no hospitality offering, are only permitted to open toilets and changerooms.
PLAYER NUMBERS & GREENS
Groups of up to 10 people are permitted outdoors on greens, but groups must now be 10m apart. This rule does not apply to pennant, pennant practice or other state events. Information on this change can be found in the sections titled “Number of players” and “Types of Competitions”.
We understand that the ongoing changes will be causing frustration, however be prepared that there will likely be more to come and quite likely prior to the next round of major changes due to be announced on the 8th of November.
Clubs located in Metropolitan Melbourne > STEP 3
Bowls Victoria is pleased to advise that from 11.59pm on 27th October restrictions have eased to allow outdoor non-contact sport to resume, limited to the minimum number of people required for the activity (e.g. players, necessary coaches and umpires). People must keep 1.5m apart at all times. This applies to outdoor greens only (covered greens with less than 50% walls are considered outdoor).
For example: This means that if your club has 2 x pennant teams of 16 players, then you can conduct bowls with 64 players at the venue (2 x 16 = 32 players from the Home team, and 32 from the Away team).
Clubs should consider how breaks will be managed given restrictions to clubhouse entry and may elect not to have a break. Additionally, staggered starting times should be considered to ease congestion of foot traffic.
There are no requirements on minimum space between rinks but clubs must set up their venue to ensure players can keep 1.5m apart at all times, the bank and surrounds can be used to assist this.
The 1.5m social distancing restriction must be adhered to between all patrons at all times.
Clubhouses can now also re-open under the following guidelines:
- Groups of customers are limited to 10 people.
- Businesses can serve customers outdoors. There is a cap of 50 people seated outdoors per venue, and the two square metre rule must be applied.
- Businesses can serve customers indoors. Venues can open with a cap of one person per four square metre rule for indoor spaces, up to 10 people per space, and up to 20 per venue. Business owners should refer to the Hospitality Guidelines.
- Groups must be spaced at least 1.5 metres apart, tables must be cleaned after every customer and the details of all customers must be kept.
- Cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.
- Each indoor dining area must be separated by a permanent structure, or be a discrete area of the premises. Walls used as structures to separate areas should either reach from floor to ceiling, or be at least 2.1 metres high for the space to be considered sufficiently separate.
General around-the-green hygiene:
- Refrain from shaking hands, high-fives or any contact with others, and keep 1.5 metres apart. Refrain from handling other people’s bowls.
- Mats and jacks should be handled by one person only.
- Please keep your hands clean by having sanitiser readily available at the club.
- Wash your hands before and after play.
- Wear a clean uniform.
- If you are feeling unwell then you should not attend the club under any circumstances.
- Members in a high-risk category should strongly consider whether they should or should not be playing as per their own circumstances and/or medical advice.
- If a member is sick or comes into contact with someone that may have tested positive to COVID-19, the club must let Bowls Victoria know immediately.
Under the new restrictions, greenkeepers can continue to carry out their work with a COVID-Safe plan.
State Government Requirements
Your club must provide both a COVID Safe Plan.
Please note: If you have a contracted greenkeeper who is self-employed they must have their own COVID Safe Plan.
If they are an employee of a company, that company must have a COVID Safe Plan.
If you employ a greenkeeper directly you are responsible for having a COVID Safe Plan.
Clubs are required to have their COVID Safe Plan if applicable in place from 11:59pm, 7th of August, 2020.
For the latest Premier’s COVID-19 Statements, please click here.
Links to the latest COVID-19 information and resources, including current restriction levels, are available from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) here.