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

This page last updated on 17 November 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 4

As at 1 October 2020;

  • When holding an event outdoors, organisations can now see numbers increase from 500 to 1000 with a COVID Safe Event Checklist.

  • Standing eating and drinking permitted at indoor and outdoor venues with a COVID Safe Plan or Checklist (from 4pm Friday 2 October 2020)

  • Community or Boutique Stadiums with an approved Site-Specific Plan can have increased capacity;

  • Outdoor venues up to 75% of seated venue capacity

  • Indoor venues up to 50% of seated venue capacity or one person per 4 square metres (whichever is greater)

For outdoor sporting activities, physical distancing off the field of play is still required. Spectators are required to remain 1.5 metres away from people who are not from their own household or group.

New South Wales

  • 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

From Saturday 26 September, interregional community sporting competitions can recommence without restricting these activities to regions or zones, where there is a COVID-19 Safety Plan for the school or community sporting activity in place.

Below lists specific COVID-19 Safety Plans for: 


ACT has entered phase 3.1 of the return to community sport:

  • 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).

  • All venues, facilities and businesses must clearly display occupancy allowance at entrance to each venue or space.

  • Community sport activities (other than classes and training) can have a maximum of 100 spectators for each indoor and each outdoor space, where the one person per 4 square metre rule can be observed. This excludes staff and participants. This includes Community sport activities taking place at a swimming pool, such as competitive races or water polo matches.

ACT Sport & Recreation


From 11:59 pm on 27 October 2020, metropolitan Melbourne is in Third Step restrictions:

  • There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home (if you live in metropolitan Melbourne you can still only travel 25kms) 

  • Non-contact sport outdoors can resume for adults. Non-contact means you must be able to keep 1.5m between everyone

  • For people aged 18 and under contact and non-contact sport outdoors can resume. Sport is limited to the minimum number of people needed to play

  • You can exercise outdoors in a group of up to 10 people. A trainer is allowed in addition to this limit


From 11:59 pm on 27 October 2020, regional Victoria will ease further restrictions:

  • Indoor exercise, including gyms, can reopen with limits on the number of people in spaces. Exercise and classes can resume with up to 10 people per indoor space and a limit of 20 people per facility. 

  • Indoor non-contact sport can also resume for those aged 18 years and under

COVID-19 Reopening Roadmap


  • Gatherings of up to 1000 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

As of 17 November, under the current direction the following venues must not open:

  • Gymnasiums

  • Recreation centres

  • Indoor play centres

  • Amusement parks and arcades

There are also restrictions on certain types of activity. These activities may not go ahead:

  • indoor or outdoor community sports fixtures and trainings (this does not include elite, professional or intra-school sports)

  • any classes or activities at gyms, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities and dance and pilates studios.

  • swimming, other than for fitness or rehabilitation.

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

From Friday, 25 September a public or private event involving more than 500 patrons that requires local government authority approval will need an approved COVID Event Plan. See COVID-19 coronavirus: Events for more information. 


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: FISU have announced the World University Championships - Mind Sports will be held online this year from 26-30 October 2020. UniSport are calling for expressions of interest from universities interested in nominating a team in either Chess or Bridge. Click here for more information. Any questions or queries, please contact siobhan.james@unisport.com.au