COVID-19 Revised Restrictions: Metropolitan Melbourne (Step 3) & Regional Victoria (Step 3A)
To all bowlers in our great state of Victoria,
Bowls Victoria in recent weeks participated in a number of meetings with various departments of State Government, which resulted in a number of changes to some of our previous advice. All COVID updates have been communicated to Clubs as well as published on our website and social media channels.
We thought it timely however to write to all of you to ensure everyone is aware of the current guidelines, noting that all Bowls Victoria documentation issued is based on information provided directly to Bowls Victoria by State Government, Sport & Recreation Victoria, and various other sources relating to the Hospitality Industry, etc.
It important for bowlers to be aware that Bowls Victoria is not writing the rules, we are simply relaying the advice that we are provided as it relates to bowls, and issuing that to bowlers and clubs in as it relates to our sport. It is also important to note that Bowls Victoria does not simply interpret information published on Government websites, we only issue advice once it has been provided to Bowls Victoria, from relevant bodies. There is simply not an option for Bowls Victoria to write our own rules. Like every other sporting organisation, we have to ensure the safety of all of our members, as advised by the experts. We understand that means there are sometimes anomalies among what certain sports and industries are allowed to do.
That being said, you can be assured that Bowls Victoria is doing everything possible, at every meeting and phone call opportunity, to get the best results we can for bowlers within the strict DHHS restrictions, to get our sport back up and running and ensure the safety of our members in doing so. This applies to both Regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne.
It is somewhat disheartening to hear and read bowlers in Victoria making the incorrect assumption that Bowls Victoria is doing nothing to assist Regional bowlers, or Metropolitan bowlers to get back on the greens, or that we do not understand guidelines being published online by various Government agencies.
This is simply not the case. We will continue to update our advice as soon as we receive it, which can be outside of business hours. What we receive can often be quite different and at times contrary to what you may read yourselves online, until such time as related websites are updated.
To highlight the positives currently in play for the sport of bowls:
- Pennant competition can be played
- Pennant practice can take place
- Practice matches (club v club) can take place
- Club Championships can occur
- Social bowls can commence, with groups of 10 being separated by 10m
- Licensed clubhouses can open their bar/food areas within hospitality guidelines
We’re hopeful of further easing of restrictions in line with low numbers of positive COVID cases. If we all do our bit, we will hopefully soon be back to normal, or at least COVID normal.
We are continuing our discussions with Government about relaxing the use of face masks while playing as the weather gets warmer.
The below advice is current as of 30th October 2020, and affects clubs in both Metro Melbourne and Regional Victoria.
There are 3 key areas of change:
Masks are now mandatory, and all conflicting information has been corrected. This is a Victorian Government directive. Further detail can be found in the Return to Play Guidelines below.
ACCESS TO CLUBHOUSES
We have received clarification that access to clubhouses is permitted where there is a bar, café or restaurant. Clubs which only have a clubhouse, with no hospitality offering, are only permitted to open toilets and changerooms.
PLAYER NUMBERS & GREENS
Groups of up to 10 people are permitted outdoors on greens, but groups must now be 10m apart. This rule does not apply to pennant, pennant practice or other state events. Information on this change can be found in the sections titled “Number of Players” and “Types of Competitions”.
We understand that the ongoing changes will be causing frustration, however members and clubs should be prepared that there will be more to come. We anticipate changes after the expected announcement on 8th November.
We must stress that the content above is current at the time of publication but is subject to change, as the situation is still fluid
- For the latest State Government COVID-19 update, please click here.
Links to the latest COVID-19 information and resources, including current restriction levels, are available from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) here.
As COVID-19 remains a rapidly changing and evolving global situation, we will continue to work with relevant government authorities to provide the Bowls community with new and updated information as it comes to hand.
Please stay safe and look after each other.