National AFL Community Club and NAB AFL Auskick Guidelines
(As of 13 March, 2020)
The health and safety of our football community – our participants, umpires, volunteers and fans is paramount.
We are closely monitoring the situation with respect to Covid-19 and it is important that any information you receive with respect to Covid-19 or any other infectious illness comes from a reputable source. We are regularly consulting with the Australian Government, the World Health Organisation and the AFL’s Chief Medical Officers on the best advice for our football community.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have now declared Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. The advice and updates are changing quickly, so please find below some links to key advice
• World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
• Australian government: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
As you may be aware, the latest advice provided this afternoon (13th March), is that there is a limit on mass gatherings of up to 500 people, from Monday 16th March.
The current understanding is that Covid‐19 is spread from person‐to‐person when people are in close contact or when an infected person coughs or sneezes, releasing the virus into the air as droplets. These droplets can then enter another person’s mouth or nose or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Infection may also be spread by touching a surface contaminated with Covid‐19 then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Symptoms of Covid‐19 infection typically begin 2‐14 days after exposure and include fever, fatigue, muscle aches and cough. More severe symptoms include diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia. Older people and those with chronic illness are at increased risk. There is currently no vaccine to prevent Covid‐19 infection.
If you have not been in an area where Covid‐19 is spreading or been in close contact with someone who has and is now infected, your chances of getting Covid‐19 are currently low. However, it’s understandable that people may feel anxious about the situation.
Given Covid-19 remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly, the AFL makes the following recommendations to our State/Territory bodies, Community Leagues, Auskick Centres and Clubs to mitigate the consequences that may arise.
For weekend 14th and 15th March
• Based on the current advice from the Government in relation to group gatherings, football matches and Auskick centres with limited crowds (500 or less) can proceed until further notice – our recommendation is that match attendance is limited to players, families, and key match officials.
• Individual leagues, clubs and players can elect not to participate in any activity at their discretion.
• We strongly encourage that strict hygiene protocols are followed as outlined below.
• If anyone associated with your Club/Centre is feeling unwell, they should refrain from playing and club activities immediately, seek medical advice and where appropriate, advise the Club of their absence.
• Further, any participants and volunteers who are at high risk from a health perspective should follow the medical advice as per the link above.
Recommended hygiene protocols
The protocols outlined below are essential to limit your exposure and prevent the spread of germs, in particular as they relate to Covid‐19:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol‐based hand sanitiser.
• Wash or sanitise your hands before eating.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home and seek medical treatment when you are sick.
• Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze.
• CV19 or not, communal use of water bottles should be avoided at all times. All players should be in possession of their own drink bottle, and should not share with any other players
• Do not share drinks, towels, lip balm, sunscreen with others (have own)
• Place hand sanitisers around the change room and encourage use of them.
• Ensure all player facilities are maintained and cleaned to a high standard with appropriate cleaning agents – consider more regular cleaning of facilities.
• Limit physical contact such as avoiding shaking hands, pre or post game
• Work with other community clubs that share Club facilities, if appropriate, to implement practices consistent with this communication
• Limit travelling party to matches/training/sessions where possible.
Meetings between the AFL and health authorities are taking place regularly to monitor any changes in the situation and to consider implementing any further measures. We are also monitoring the situation as it relates to School closures and the impact of any closures may have on our Community Leagues, Clubs and Auskick centres.
As such, the AFL is currently working with our State/Territory bodies and Affiliates to develop recommended guidelines around a range of scenarios, in the event matches need to be delayed or cancelled. Further detail around these guidelines will be provided in the coming days.
We will continue to take the advice of the Government and the World Health Organisation and will make preparations based on that advice. And we will continue to review our position, and will update the football community accordingly.
Our game is strong and resilient and we will work through whatever challenge is ahead of our football community.
Should you require any further information it can be sourced here: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov