Victoria eases COVID rules with riders



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Australia Victoria with easing restrictions for sports venues Image: ATP

With the COVID-19 situation getting better in Australia’s Southeastern State of Victoria, restrictions have been eased but physical distancing will have to be maintained, wearing of face covers has been made mandatory, and, of course, handwashing is a must. If people fail to comply with the same, hefty fines will be imposed and legal action will also be initiated.
 

Sport rules

  • Both adults and children can compete or train in contact or non-contact community sport;
  • Contact sport is allowed both indoors and outdoors;
  • Spectators are allowed as long as one follows the two square meter rule outside and the four square meter rule inside. Once again, numbers are defined by the size of the space. The face mask rule applies if one cannot keep a minimum of 1.5 meters distance from others while watching a game unless one has a lawful reason not to wear a face mask;
  • The square meter rule limits the number of people allowed in indoor spaces. The limit reduces the risk of transmission within a closed space;
  • The Victorian Government has a free QR code system that can be used by venues to record attendance. Electronic record keeping is recommended;
  • Trampolining centers, playgrounds, swimming pools, and gyms have reopened. There are no caps on the number of people except the two square meter rule applies which translates into number of people allowed being defined by the size of the space.

 

Outdoor sports facilities:

Outdoor sport facilities – such as golf courses, tennis courts and lawn bowl greens will open if:

  • The gear  is cleaned and disinfected between users; and
  • People can keep at least 1.5 meters distance between each other.

 

Pool rules:

  • The four square meter rule comes into play for indoor swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, spas and springs;
  • For outdoor swimming pools, it’s the two square meter rule;
  • For both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, there are no patron limits;
  • Schools using outdoor pools have an exception to this limit when they have exclusive use of the pool during their visit;
  • Swimming lessons to continue for learners; and
  • Changing rooms, showers and toilets are open.

 

Tee-off rules

  • Golf courses and outdoor driving ranges in Victoria are now open to the delight of golfers who have for so long missed their daily tee-off routine;
  • The number of people one can play with depends on the size of the golf course. The two square meter rule applies;
  • Course operators are required to meticulously clean the carts in between each use. Golfers can use a golf cart with the people they are playing with but wearing a face mask is mandatory in the cart unless an exemption applies;
  • People playing together should keep at least 1.5 meters distance from each other; and
  • Wearing of face masks have been made mandatory.

 

Back to playgrounds:

  • Playgrounds and skate parks have been reopened;
  • One should keep at least 1.5 meters distance from each other and handwashing is a must; and
  • Indoor skate parks, play centers and indoor trampolining centers are open. The four square meter rule applies.

 

Letting your hair down

  • Recreational activities like hunting, boating, surfing, fishing and recreational diving can be enjoyed alone or in a group of up to 100. There are no limits on the distance one can travel in Victoria. One can travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria for recreational activities;
  • The minimum 1.5 meter distance applies as does minimizing the sharing of equipment and cleaning and disinfecting shared apparatus between users; and
  • It is recommended that one wears a face mask if once cannot keep 1.5 meters distance from others.

 

Saddling up

  • One can now enjoy a spirited gallop with household members or in a group of up to 100 people outdoors; and
  • Indoor horse-riding classes can resume.

 

Enforcing the rules

  • Victoria Police will conduct spot checks to enforce the directives and by use of emergency powers by the Department of Health and Human Services Authorized Officers to ensure compliance with the public health directives; and
  • Industry bodies, Victoria Police, WorkSafe, and Authorized Officers will join hands to inform Victorians about the directions, as well as undertake enforcement and compliance activities as and when required.

 

Cracking the whip

Victoria Police can issue on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:

  • Refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions;
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a public health directive;
  • Refusing or failing to comply with the public health directions to provide information; and
  • Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system.

 
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