Updated advice for members and students about Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

This page last updated on 3 August 2020

This page will keep members, students, stakeholders and the wider UniSport community up to date with developments relating to the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

Important note: State and Territory governments and their public health authorities are responsible for decisions about the resumption of sporting activities in each jurisdiction, both at the professional and community sport level. 

Federal Government Updates

Sport Australia’s Return to Sport Toolkit guides clubs and associations at every level to document their own COVID-19 Safety Plan and appoint a COVID Safety Coordinator to implement and oversee it. 

As part of the Toolkit, a checklist works through practical and progressive steps such as:

  • relevant approvals from Government and NSOs;

  • facilities management;

  • training behaviours;

  • hygiene protocols;

  • management of illness and;

  • communicating these processes with members.

Economic Support

Information on how the Australian Government’s economic response could support you can be found on the Australian Government Treasury website

Education Sector

Collated information re COVID-19 and its impact on the Education sector can be found on the Department of Education and Skills website


State Government Restrictions

The following links provide information on state based responses to COVID-19 as well as links to advice for the community and businesses. 

Queensland - STAGE 3

From 3 July:

  • Resumption of contact sport training and competition, with physical distancing off the field of play

  • Indoor sports require:

    • 1 person per 2 square metres for venues 200 square metres or less (up to a total of 50), and

    • 1 person per 4 square metres for venues of 200 square metres or more.

The Return to Play Readiness Checklist details how organisations can provide a safe re-start for all participants. QSport have developed a Covid Safe Plan - Field Team Sports and Indoor Sports (approved by the Queensland Chief Health Officer) which outlines a plan of sports' return to competition in a staged approach.


New South Wales

From 1 July, the following activities are permitted: 

  • Junior and senior community sporting competitions can resume with contact permitted

  • Where activities involve more than 20 people, organisers must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan

  • The maximum number of people at a community sporting event must not exceed 500


**Social distancing of 1.5m for all spectators at sport events must be adhered to - click here for the latest statement from Sport NSW.

There are also venue guidelines available for Clubs and Operators and Participants and Spectators.

In addition to the Safety Plans, organisations are being asked to exclude participants who have: 

Reasonable steps must be taken to minimise the number of spectators attending community sports events.

Below lists specific COVID-19 Safety Plans for: 


ACT has entered phase 2.2 of the return to community sport which means outdoor exercise may be undertaken in groups of up to 100 people and full contact in training may be reintroduced. As of July 17, in addition to this:

  • Full contact competition can recommence

  • Competition and squad swimming can recommence within the gathering requirements for swimming pools 

  • All sporting organisations, clubs and venues must have a Return to Play in a COVID Safe Environment plan or a COVID Safety Plan (whichever is relevant).

ACT Sport & Recreation


From 6pm 2 July, Stage 4 restrictions have been imposed for metropolitan Melbourne. These changes include:

  • From 5am - 8pm, exercise may be undertaken for an hour per day within 5km of where you live

  • All indoor and outdoor sport facilities are closed

  • You can still walk, cycle, run, do yoga or a workout in the park

  • You don’t need to wear a face covering while undertaking strenuous exercise or playing sport. You do have to carry a face covering with you so you can wear it before or after exercising, unless you have a lawful exception

Sport & Recreation Victoria

Tasmania - STAGE 3

From 26 June:

  • Gatherings of up to 500 people are permitted in an undivided space for outdoor community sport and outdoor pools, including athletes, coaches and spectators

  • For indoor venues (including pools), there is a limit of 250 people (or one person per 2 square metres, whichever is less)

  • Full contact training, competition (contact and non-contact), and use of changing facilities are permitted to resume.

South Australia - STAGE 3

As of 29 June:

  • One person per 2 square metres

  • No maximum numbers of people at a venue, in rooms or groups

  • Contact indoor and outdoor sport competition is permitted 

  • Gatherings of over 1000 people will require a dedicated COVID Management Plan

Western Australia - STAGE 4

As of 27 June:

  • No limit on public gatherings, so the maximum number of people attending will depend on size of venue 

  • One person per 2 square metres and physical distancing still applies


Sport Sector Updates


The AFL has provided a Return to Community Football Covid Protocols Course, to ensure clubs are prepared for the return of football in a COVID-19 safe environment.  

Athletics Australia

State based return to Athletics guidelines released

Basketball Australia

Activities currently on hold however return to play guidelines have been released by Basketball Australia. 

  • Basketball VIC has released comprehensive return to sport guidelines which includes PD for BioSafety Officers

  • Basketball NSW events will recommence when gatherings of between 50-100 depending on the nature of the activity and size of the stadium.

  • Basketball WA community basketball training resumed in a limited capacity indoors in groups no more than 20 with no contact from Monday, May 18.  Additional information

Badminton Australia

Badminton have released a number of resources which will assist clubs and organisations in creating their COVID-Safety Plans for the resumption of badminton.​ #badmintoniscomingback 

Cricket Australia

There will be a range of checklists, protocols and other resources available by the start of June on the MyCricket Community website to support clubs, associations and their volunteers

Football Federation Australia

Working in collaboration with the Council of Mass Participation and Professional Sports in planning a return to play at the community level  and seek to avoid local participants having to choose between sports with overlapping seasons

Golf Australia

Plans developed by Golf Australia provide guidance for Clubs and Facilities as to how they can operate under models approved by the relevant state office.

Hockey Australia

An infographic providing key considerations for hockey clubs and associations during each phase of the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment.

Judo Australia

The International Judo Federation (IJF) has developed a resource to assist clubs to resume activity in a safe and hygienic way. Please see resource here.


 This should be applied to your dojo/training venue as progression is made through the different levels of restrictions as applicable in your State or Territory.

Netball Australia

The Return to Netball Guidelines support state and territory member organisations in bringing a safe return to community netball.

The guidelines, which focus on a return to training, provide a minimum baseline of standards for ‘how’ reintroduction of netball activity will occur in a cautious and methodical manner.

Rowing Australia

Rowing Australia have released a COVID-19 Risk Minimisation document in line with the AIS Return to Sport guidelines, detailing some key risk areas in returning to rowing, and some recommendations to minimise these risks for clubs and organisations. 

Snow Australia

The 2020 Snow season will commence, albeit in a delayed fashion.  Snow Australia is developing Club & Program guidelines in line with the AIS Return-to-Sport protocols and the sport’s own Medical Commission.  These will be published on or before 1st June and updated as necessary.

Swimming Australia

National Guidelines for Restarting Club Environments

 to assist clubs and their coaches to safely return to swimming activity

Table Tennis Australia

This resource provides a summary of the support that will be accessible to the table tennis community over the coming months via various government agencies. please CLICK HERE.

Tennis Australia

The COVID-19 Community Tennis Guidelines for Continued Play provide details on how outdoor courts can remain open for use to help ensure people remain active, subject to strict social distancing and hygiene practices being implemented

Touch Football Australia

There is a web hub full of resources to assist with a safe return to Touch Football including guidelines and checklists for competition administrators, players, coaches, spectators and referees. 

Volleyball Australia

The Return of Community Volleyball Guidelines offer key principles and strategies in recommencing volleyball in the community in a safe format, in line with the federal and state government's directives.


Resources & Education


In response to the ongoing changes and necessary requirements for organisations to return to work/sport/life, there are a number of COVID-19 resources that UniSport have collated below that may assist with this process. 

  • COVID Safety Officer training: Active Queenslanders Industry Alliance have released a free e-learning course for Safety Officer training for the safe return to play.

  • Sports TrainersSports Medicine Australia, the AIS and Sport Australia have developed resources for sports trainers to perform their roles in a COVID-Safe environment.

  • Key links for international students studying in Queensland - these are some extremely useful links with information and advice on employment, finance, accommodation, healthcare and wellbeing. 

  • Sentrientthere are a number of (free) online courses to assist in keeping workspaces COVID-Safe, and provide helpful content in adapting to new work environments.

  • TCP Trainingthis online training course provides an understanding of COVID-19 and prevention measures to reduce the risk of contraction. It costs $15 and participants receive a Certificate of Completion for the COVID-19 Prevention course.

  • Healthcare Workers: this is an online infection control training available for all healthcare workers.

  • Infection Prevention and Controla number of eLearning modules to provide information regarding infection prevention and control in Australian Healthcare settings.

  • Touch FootballThis a free online course via Touch Football Australia's learning management system, The Nest, providing useful information on what COVID-19 is and how to prevent its spread. 


UniSport Events


With many UniSport national events unable to be held this year, UniSport is working closely with its members to establish local and regional intervarsity sporting opportunities in the later part of the year. The scope and timing of these competitions will vary depending upon government regulations in each state and university protocols. More information will be released as plans develop. 

UniSport national event status updates:

  • Nationals Div 1 & Div 2 Perth: This event will not be held in 2020. 

  • Nationals Distance Running:  UniSport have teamed up with Gold Coast Marathon to launch the UniSport Virtual Distance Running Championships from 1-31 July as part of the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Virtual Marathon. Click here for information on how to get involved in this FREE event.

  • Nationals Snow: This event has been cancelled in 2020 following consultation with Mt Buller and member universities. Read full statement

  • The following UniSport Nationals events which were due to be held or rescheduled in 2020 have now been cancelled. This includes the following events

    • 3x3 Basketball (Canberra)​

    • Athletics (Brisbane)

    • Cheer and Dance (Melbourne)

    • Surfing (Port Stephens)

    • Swimming (Sydney)

    • T20 Cricket (Perth)

    • Golf 

    • Cross Country

  • University Basketball League: The UBL competition has been suspended. UniSport will work with Basketball Australia and our members, to reschedule the competition for a time later in the year.

  • Indigenous Nationals: This event has been postponed to June/July 2021. For a full statement and further information on BP scholarships, click here.

  • FISU Events: All World University Championship events until 15 October 2020 have been cancelled. For more information click here