The federal government has revealed what local and community sport will return to Australia when COVID restrictions are slowly relaxed around the country.
Following a national cabinet meeting with state premiers on Friday, Scott Morrison and the Australian government revealed a three-step plan for the country and sport to return to post-coronavirus normality.
The return of sport featured heavily in the return plan, but the PM insisted that exactly when sport returns is “up to the states and territories”.
“They’ll have to outline their plans. Under Step 1, should the states move on that in their jurisdictions, (sport) training would be able to occur for those types of sports,” Morrison said.
“That can be happening under Step 1, and in many places that would already be happening.”
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy also revealed that more competitive sport will start returning under ‘Step 2’ when groups of up to 20 can participate.
“So Step 2 has sport in groups of 20. And, again, more work will be done. It may well be possible for some competition to occur then,” Murphy said.
“Step 2 is still being worked through. But in Step 1, people can train in groups of 10. We want that to happen.”
Sport in ‘Step 1’
Step 1 is described as the important small measures to get Australians connected with friends and family once again.
In terms of sport, the national government is suggesting Aussies can return to outdoor sport in groups of up to 10 people at this stage.
Aussies can once again utilise community centres, outdoor gyms, playgrounds and skate parks – as long as they maintain groups of up to 10 people.
Pools will also be opened with restrictions.
However considering coronavirus seems to be spreading far more rapidly indoors, the government has declared no indoor physical activity will be happening under stage one, including gyms.
Sport in ‘Step 2’
The government describes its ‘Step 2’ phase as a time to build up to slightly larger gathering and return to slightly higher risk activities with tight restrictions.
When it comes to sport, Step 2 will see “up to 20 people allowed to participate in all outdoor sports”.
Sport in ‘Step 3’
Step 3 is when businesses and the community will open up again with minimal restrictions and will be ideally reached by July, according to Scott Morrison.
The government says all sport venues should be allowed to operate with gatherings of up to 100 people during this stage.
Community sport will also be greatly expanded.
CMO Murphy also said “full Level C of the AIS framework will be in Step 3”.
Judging by the AIS plan – that means Australian sport will return to full training and competition under this step.