It is very important that referees understand the importance of reducing the risk of transmission to themselves and others in football. This applies particularly to the practice of referees shaking hands with players, team officials and other participants before and after games.
FNSW is advises that the practice of match officials shaking hands with players, team officials and other participants is to cease immediately as it carries with it a high risk of potential transmission in the event that a player, team official or match official has Covid-19.
To help ensure that the appropriate safeguards are in place, all participants including match officials are required to adhere to the following:
- Do not attend football if you are feeling unwell or have any cold or flu like symptoms, even a runny nose or scratchy throat
- Self isolate and get tested for COVID-19 if you feel unwell or develop cold or flu like symptoms
- Wash and/or sanitize hands before and after attending all training and games. If possible, carry personal hand sanitiser with you.
- Arrive dressed and ready to officiate
- Limit the use of changerooms
- Comply with the 1.5m social distancing rule (except during games)
- DO NOT SHAKE HANDS, high five or have any physical contact with players, match officials, team officials or spectators
- No player walkouts prior to matches
- No player huddles
- Leave the field of play as soon as the match finishes – do not shake hands, do not have any physical or close contact with anyone
- Avoid car pooling as this is considered “close contact” and can increase the risk of transmission
- Do not share drink bottles
- Do not share whistles, towels or any other belongings
- Do not share containers of food, including oranges.
- Limit the number of spectators that accompany match officials to games
- Avoid bringing anyone to football who is elderly or may be at high or increased risk of illness
- Spectators or persons accompanying match officials must observe the 1.5m social distancing rule at all times unless from the same household
- All participants must cover their coughs and sneezes properly
- Players, officials and spectators must not socialise or assemble in groups before, during or after games
- Once games are finished, avoid coming into contact with anyone and leave the venue as soon as possible
- Regularly check the Covid-19 Location NSW Health advices
- Check for updates on the Football NSW Covid-19 Information webpage
Note the following in relation to outdoor sport participation:
- an outdoor environment poses less risk of community transmission than an indoor environment
- casual contact (face to face contact with a person for less than 15 minutes) poses less risk of community transmission compared to that of close contact (face to face contact with a person for 15 minutes or more).
- The location of sporting venue in itself does not pose a risk of community transmission.
Covid-19 Locations – get tested
If you live in, or have visited, any of the locations and local government areas listed on the NSW Health website in the past two weeks, NSW Health is asking that you monitor for symptoms and get tested if you have even the mildest of Covid-19 symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat. For football, this does not mean that games cannot take place in these areas, it means that if people have been to these areas in the past two weeks and develop symptoms, they should get tested.