Revised COVID regulations for all pony clubs as of Monday, 17 August
With so many events cancelled this year, it’s important we continue offering our riders as many local events as possible. However, strict new COVID-19 regulations must be applied.
It is expected that these restrictions will be applied for a minimum of six weeks, or at least until the end of the October school holidays.
As per the recommendations, club activities may still go ahead under certain conditions as long as clubs have updated Covid Safety Plans and complete a risk assessment for each activity to determine the risk to attendees regarding these recommendations.
PCA NSW recommends that in addition to all Covid Safe Practices including staying home if you are unwell, restriction of participants from affected areas, social distancing and good hygiene that all attendees must carry their own personal hand sanitiser and wear a face mask, including riders when they are not riding.
Face masks: while face masks are not mandatory in NSW, they have been proven to be effective in reducing the spread of the virus. Therefore, PCA NSW recommends and encourages that everyone wears a face mask when attending pony club activities. Zone 16 and PCA NSW have organised a washable face mask that will be available for purchase shortly.
Only one carer/parent can attend with each rider and all attendees must practice social distancing and minimise all contact points at the venue (including gates and taps etc.).
There can be no camping or sharing accommodation with people from other households. “Camps” may continue but must change in structure to multiple day instruction with members returning home each day. Clubs must cease any activities that result in overnight stays (camps) due to increased risk of COVID transmission with shared facilities. Competitions that bring together participants including spectators and officials from different regions of the state must cease.
Participants can not car pool or share transport.
Regional Schools, Instructor Schools and Assessments that have limits on attendees and do not include overnight stays/camping for participants may go ahead with extra Covid precautions to be taken, including the wearing of face masks by all attendees when not riding.
Where possible, clubs must provide contactless options for all members to nominate or register, submit COVID self-declarations, and place canteen orders etc. Some contactless options include using MyPonyClub for rallies and registration, submitting declarations by email (and using this as your attendance record) or using a QR code and App for scanning on entry.
All clubs must have appointed a Covid Safety Coordinator.
The revised conditions restrict travel across Zones. All competitors and their horses attending Zone 16 events must reside within and be members of Zone 16. Clubs must ensure entries to their events do not come from outside Zone 16.
The new travel restrictions mean that Z16 members should compete and train only within Zone 16 and should not be entering or travelling to events outside of our Zone.
Participants should not be travelling into Greater Sydney nor travelling across regions/Zones in regional NSW. Participants should reconsider whether it is necessary to participate in club activities not located within their local area. The only exception is if a club decides they can attend because the member resides very close to the club, on the border just outside of our Zone boundary.
COVID Safety Plans and Risk Assessments
new (17 August 2020) example Risk Assessment document from PCA NSW
All clubs need to update their existing risk assessment and COVID safety plan documents with the most recent information and requirements, e.g.:
- Restrict activities due to travel restrictions commencing 19/8/2020.
- Cessation of overnight stays during the six week period commencing 19/8/2020.
- Everyone brings their own masks and hand sanitisers etc.
- Provision of online services for signing in etc.
If a club has already completed a risk assessment (all clubs should have done this already) then part of the process is to review these plans to see how effective they were.
Clubs do not need to redo a whole new plan but should instead be adding the additional requirements from the example risk assessment document and as described on this page. You can also review further PCANSW Risk Management resources if needed.
Clubs must complete new assessments and plans for each type of activity they run (e.g. competitions, rally days, camps, multiple day training activities) and submit a copy to the state office (cc Z16 Secretary) for insurance purposes.
Clubs must keep a copy of the completed risk assessment and Covid Safety Plan on the grounds and be able to share the documents with Police or Health authorities if they conduct a spot check.
Clubs should review and update their plans where necessary after each activity but do not need to resubmit updated copies to state office.
Review the new (17 August 2020) example Risk Assessment document from PCA NSW and make sure you add the new requirements to your club’s risk assessment. This is an example document only and club committees must work through the document and update/revise their information as they believe is appropriate for their individual club circumstances.
The NSW Government has advised the following key points that relate specifically to PCA NSW:
- The principle is to restrict activities to local competitions to avoid inter-mingling and potential community transmission.
- Competitions should be run within the local district, zone or association boundaries determined by State Sporting Organisations or the Peak Body for the respective activity.
- In regional NSW (i.e. outside of Greater Sydney), existing competition structures or scheduling should aim to minimise the need for overnight travel. If overnight travel is required in order to participate in sporting activities in regional NSW, car pooling or other shared transport arrangements should be avoided. The use of shared accommodation facilities that would lead to mixing of people from different households should also be avoided.
- If participants are members of a club not located within their local area, they should consider whether it is necessary to participate in club activities at this time.
- People may need to travel to specialised venues to participate in their sport. In these cases, people in regional NSW should limit their travel to venues within their region and people in Greater Sydney regions should limit their travel to venues within Greater Sydney.
- Activity organisers should put structures, schedules and booking systems in place to ensure that mixing of participants across regions is minimised.
- Participants should drive directly to the venue, compete, and then return to their homes following the activity. Avoid social gatherings before and after the activity, and car pooling or other shared transport arrangements.
- Participants should not be travelling into Greater Sydney from regional NSW to participate in activities nor travelling across regions in regional NSW.
Therefore wherever possible PCA NSW members:
- Must compete and train within their zone or nearby zones (especially for those who’s clubs are on the border of two zones) where possible
- No overnight stays to be held in the next six weeks, clubs and zones that were scheduled to hold school holiday camps may look at holding multiple day instruction days with members returning home each day
- Restriction of travel for those members of clubs not located within their local area
- Clubs and zones must complete a risk assessment and Covid Safety plan for all activities including competitions, rally days, multiple day training activities, regional schools, instructor schools and NCAS assessment and submit a copy to the state office for insurance purposes. Risk assessments should include details relating to the whole activity not just those relating to reducing the spread of Covid, the example attached can be used to start this process
- Keep a copy of the completed risk assessment and Covid Safety Plan on the grounds to provide to Police and NSW Health authorities in case they conduct a spot check, these plans should be reviewed and updated after each activity to streamline the process
- Clubs must monitor NSW Health website and revise and update these plans accordingly regarding restriction of attendees from Covid hotspots https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates
- Communicate clearly to all members your expectations on their attendance including the following:
- nomination process
- restrictions relating to parent/caregivers to one per rider only where possible
- providing contactless options to nominate, provide Covid self-declarations, canteen orders etc. where possible
- communicate new practice surround gear check (still contactless as per example risk assessment)
- communicate details of PPE available noting that members should also carry their own personal hand sanitiser and attendees should all wear face masks including riders when they are not riding
- provide signage at the venue to remind members about social distancing and good hygiene practices
With school holidays just around the corner we want to encourage clubs and zones to safely hold their activities and hope that these guidelines help in some small way, we understand that these extra restrictions will place an added burden onto committees who already have a lot to organise and we thank you all for your hard work and acknowledge that the sport relies heavily on our wonderful volunteers.
The new (17 August 2020) example Risk Assessment document from PCA NSW.
The Office of Sport (OoS) has provide State Sporting Organisations (SSO) with further clarification and a definition on regions.
Letter from Dr Kerry Chant and attached New Recommendations for Community Sport from NSW Health, regarding non-essential travel within the state and its impact on community sport. This New Recommendations document includes the FAQs from Dr Kerry Chant.