ACT COVID-19 Restrictions

by corourke on September 15, 2021

The ACT Government has this week announced an easing of restrictions surrounding Social and Recreational Sport which has (good) implications for the bowls community. The easing of restrictions means that people can participate in social and recreational sport in groups of 5 for up to two hours.

The good news is that Bowls can return in a limited capacity within the ACT. There are several things that need to be kept in mind for clubs to get members back on the greens;

  • Maximum of 5 people in a group, for two hours
  • No coaching or training is to be conducted
  • Facility to remain closed to food and beverage sales

ACT Clubs will be working to get you back on the greens as soon as possible, however, we ask that you remain patient while clubs ensure the safe return to social bowls. There will be no competitions played during the lockdown, only social rollups.

For NSW Clubs, the following clubs are to remain closed as they are in LGAs still under lockdown:

  • Queanbeyan RSL
  • Queanbeyan Bowling Club/Campbell & George
  • Bungendore
  • Yass
  • Goulburn Railway

In accordance with the current Public Health Order, for those areas which are in lockdown, bowling clubs remain closed except for the sale of takeaway food and beverage. Crookwell Services Club falls within an LGA where restrictions have been eased and can open their greens. The licensed premises must be open for greens to be open, and it is up to the club to decide if they open their greens.

The following play is permitted but is restricted to 20 people per green, up to a maximum of 50 people overall under the current Public Health Order. Clubs must ensure that they have a current COVID-19 Safety Plan.

  • Roll ups
  • Social bowls
  • Internal Club Championships

There is also an issue of cross-border travel for members of ACT clubs to participate in bowls activities if they live in NSW. It appears on the ACT COVID website to be permissible – “The standing exemption permits entry into the Australian Capital Territory for the following essential purposes….

  • to engage in physical or recreational activity (excluding any organised or for profit activities) in an outdoor space, limited to one household (any size) or up to 5 people for up to 2 hours.”

However the NSW government website directs anyone who has been in the ACT to complete a NSW entry declaration form ‘not more than once every 72 hours’. While this may seem unnecessary I think the best advice is over-compliance rather than under-compliance. Form is available here

We will have further updates coming however we are excited about the news of a return to some form of bowls in the near future. We ask that you continue to check with both ACT and NSW Health to stay up to date with all health directives. We need to ensure that this return is conducted in a safe and controllable manner to continue to build towards the new normal so we will ask for your patience while we get the ducks in a row.

Ciaran O’Rourke

Executive Officer