Dear NSW tennis community
Firstly, we hope that you are all keeping well and safe during these challenging times. We thank you for your patience as we have been examining the current Public Health Order and the impacts on tennis activity throughout NSW.
Tennis NSW has been overwhelmed with requests from the community around the varying levels of restrictions now in place throughout NSW. We are working to present our guidance on tennis activities across NSW in a format that is easy to understand and to update our FAQs, we anticipate this will be available Monday 20 September.
During this week several LGAs across NSW have come in and out of lockdown as local COVID-19 cases emerge. Tennis NSW reminds its community to use the NSW Government’s webpage search that allows you to identify your current rules and restrictions by postcode. Tennis NSW staff will not undertake these searches for you.
In regards to doubles play and double vaccination, Tennis NSW is able to provide the following guidance:
DOUBLE VACCINATION – DOUBLES PLAY
Tennis NSW has received numerous enquiries in relation to whether doubles play is permitted given the partial lifting of restrictions for individuals who have been double vaccinated.
We have engaged NSW Health and NSW Office of Sport to get clarity and confirmation on whether it is the responsibility of the individual or the club/venue to ensure that they are fully vaccinated. Without receiving clarity on ultimately who is liable, then our advice is as follows:
Doubles play at a venue in a Stay-At-Home Area is NOT permitted unless the Club/Venue Operator has means by which they can verify the vaccination status of anyone wishing to play doubles at their venue. Alongside of this, the Club should be implementing all relevant COVID protocols including having a COVID-19 Safety plan, COVID-19 check-in stations and all other necessary protocols to effectively implement the 1 person per 4sqm rule (outdoor courts only) can be adhered to. All play at the venue should be on a ‘Play and Go’ basis and the Club/Venue should not permit any gatherings pre or post play.
We believe that the large majority of our venues across the State are unable to meet the requirements above however, any Club/Venue wishing to implement appropriate processes should conduct their own risk analysis and make a decision based on their own circumstances and resources.
Clubs should also note that we are aware that the NSW Police have interpreted the current Public Health Order differently in different parts of the State and should therefore be prepared to provide evidence of how they are effectively implementing and monitoring the vaccination status of those using their venue should they be asked to.
We believe that in the spirit of the Public Health Order then it is reasonable for a Club/Venue Operator to ask for evidence of a person’s vaccination status prior to play commencing.
DOUBLE VACCINATION – LONGER TERM VIEW
We have also been asked what our position will be longer term in regards to double vaccination and how it will relate to participating in tennis whether it be coaching, court hire or competition.
At this stage, it is too early to provide a definitive position on this matter until we have received further guidance from the NSW Government and the Office of Sport in regards to a roadmap back for Community Sport. There is also the broader matter of whether it will be legally permissible to require all users of a tennis venue or entrants into a tennis competition/tournament to be double vaccinated. We will continue to liaise with Tennis Australia, our other Member Associations and the other State Sporting Organisations in NSW to provide a consistent position across our sport and the wider sports community.
While Tennis NSW can provide guidance, it is the responsibility of the club, coach or venue to undertake its own independent enquiries as to whether that guidance is appropriate to be implemented. We appreciate that many of you are seeking answers for individualised questions that unfortunately we are not in a position to answer. Tennis NSW provides general advice only, and specific advice regarding the circumstances of a particular venue will need to be sought independently.
We are in the process of setting up a dedicated COVID-19 enquiry email address and this will be notified to you when our updated guidance is released next week. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding COVID-19 restrictions and tennis, please contact us at [email protected] We have a team addressing the large volume of enquiries coming through and we will endeavour to get back to all COVID-19 related enquiries within two business days.
Thank you and stay safe