COVID guidelines updated

David Braithwaite

SPECATOR numbers at local football matches will be capped at 1000, according to the latest guidelines released by AFL Victoria this month.

Spectators must keep at least 1.5 metres from others, and where venues allow for vehicle access to surround the oval, people are encouraged to remain in their vehicle to watch matches.

Everyone entering a venue must register their attendance.

If electronic record keeping is used, a density quotient of one person per two square metres for outdoor setting will apply. If there isn’t electronic record keeping, the density will be one person per four square metres.

Face coverings are recommended where social distancing can’t be achieved, unless there is a lawful exception.

A pavilion, which is part of the recreation complex, can be used, subject to the physical activity restrictions.

Access to change rooms is limited to players and essential staff such coaches, trainers and managers.

Signs must be displayed at the entrance to the changerooms, stating the maximum number of people permitted according the relevant density quotient.

It is recommended people refrain from spending lengthy periods of time socialising in indoor spaces. Face masks must be worn in indoor settings unless there is a lawful exception.

Players are not to share personal items such as water bottles, food or towels. Items need to be easily distinguishable, labelled and kept separate.

Players should use their own equipment where possible.

Match balls must be wiped with antibacterial wipes or alcohol-based sanitiser at each break in the match.

Entry and exit points to the playing area should be cleaned between training sessions and matches.

Sanitiser must be available for all team training sessions and on the interchange bench, with player encouraged to use it before, during and after training and matches.

High fives and handshakes are discouraged, while spitting and nose clearing is not permitted.

All clubs must have a COVID-safe plan, and must nominate at least one COVID safety officer, who must undertake the free online training.

It is the participating clubs’ responsibility to monitor crowd social distancing, can liaise with police to enforce protocols.

Staggered training and match schedules have been encouraged where multiple teams are using the same facilities, with only players and officials allowed on the ground, even during breaks in play.

The Gippsland League played three rounds of junior matches, under the guidelines, before abandoning the season when a lockdown began across regional Victoria.

The North and East Gippsland leagues didn’t proceed with their seasons.

The North Gippsland Football-Netball League season is scheduled to begin April 2, with the Gippsland League beginning the next day. The EGFNL season is due to begin April 24.