community sport an AFL football on the ground at a community sports oval.
From 11.59pm on Friday 15 May, non-contact social sporting activity can recommence in outdoor spaces with a maximum of 10 people. Getty.

An easing of restrictions on community sport that will allow for the resumption of 10-person community sport training and informal, outdoor, non-contact sport in the ACT was announced today.

Privately-owned commercial pools will also reopen, with limits of 10 swimmers per pool at any one time and one swimmer per lane in place.

These new restrictions will come into effect from 11.59pm on Friday 15 May.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said this announcement doesn’t herald the complete return of community football competitions.

“This model will allow for training though, whether that is through community clubs, commercial providers, high performance training programs, or individual activities.”

ACT Government sports grounds will be available for bookings from Monday 18 May. Existing suspended bookings will be reinstated, and new bookings will be made available in line with the current playing season.

Changes to existing bookings, and new bookings will be taken from Thursday 14 May.

Communal facilities, changerooms, clubhouses, and kitchen facilities will remain closed for the time being.

Sports Minister Yvette Berry said ACT clubs will have booking priority over any clubs from outside of the Territory, as has always been the case.

Ms Berry said any physical contact, sharing of equipment and use of communal facilities is discouraged.

“The sharing of equipment is strongly discouraged. If you have to share equipment such as a football, wash your hands before and after you’ve completed your training session.”

All sports are recommended to have a clear ‘Return to Play in a COVID-safe Environment’ framework that details how, in a sport-specific setting, activity will be delivered under this first phase, and any subsequent phases.

This framework should provide clear and consistent guidelines for participants, coaches and volunteers.

Regarding the reopening of commercial pools, Government-owned facilities including Gungahlin Pool, Canberra Olympic Pool, Tuggeranong Pool and Active Leisure Centre Erindale will not reopen yet as maintenance work at those facilities is underway.

Government owned outdoor pools including Dickson and Manuka pool remain closed for the winter as well.

Restrictions will remain in place for the time being for indoor sporting facilities and gyms as the sharing of fitness equipment and surfaces, coupled with an indoor crowded and sweaty environment, “pose a serious risk for the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus”.

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