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Rowing Australia Fact Sheet on Coronavirus

Advice as of 15 May 2020

The NOVEL CORONAVIRUS 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to impact our communities across Australia, however we are now seeing the Government beginning to ease restrictions, reflecting reduced case numbers and local transmission to varying degrees nationwide.

Different restrictions now apply across different states and territories. Rowing Australia (RA), recommends that athletes and clubs across Australia look to their local government, health departments and state associations for advice on the restrictions that apply to them.

Member Association Health Website
Rowing New South Wales NSW Health
Rowing ACT ACT Health
Rowing Victoria Health Vic
Rowing Tasmania Department of Health – Tasmania
Rowing Queensland Queensland Health
Rowing South Australia SA Health
Rowing Western Australia WA Health

You may be aware that National Cabinet on Friday 1 May released the National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities, which provides the pathway for a safe return to sport. These principles align with the launch of The AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment. This detailed document is an excellent resource for sports, and can be found on the AIS website here.

In some areas, rowing clubs are now permitted to open, with social distancing measures and increased hygiene/cleaning protocols in place. We have collated below some useful links to assist the community with such measures. We would like to reiterate the need to check which rules apply due to the significant variability nationwide.

As per the AIS document, the approach at the moment will generally be “Get in, train and get out”. The current Return to Sport dates for each State/Territory can be viewed via Sport Australia’s site here.

Rowing Australia has now created a ‘COVID-19 Risk Minimisation – Guidance for Clubs’ page which is available to viewed on the button below, there is also a PDF of this information available on this page.

Click here for Club Guidance

We encourage athletes and clubs to minimise contact between individuals on site and to follow the AIS recommendations below. We would also like to highlight the absolutely critical point that anyone who is even mildly unwell should stay at home and arrange a medical review. Do not attend a training venue even if you think your symptoms are due to something else. This illness is most contagious early on, and we must all be vigilant with this rule.

AIS recommendations:

  • Arrive dressed and ready to train
  • Minimise use of change rooms, bathrooms and communal areas
  • Where possible, community sport members showering at home instead of at training venues
  • community sport members should eat off site
  • Between training efforts, maintain at least 1.5m apart (e.g. in the gym, pool, between sets or efforts)
  • Any tasks that can be done at home, should be done at home (e.g. recovery sessions, online meetings).

Please consider what strategies can be implemented at a club level to assist in minimising contact time:

  • What methods can be used to inform members of preventive actions?
  • What signage should be placed at training venues to remind members of the limitations in place.
  • What spaces can be used for isolation if an athlete/other personnel becomes unwell?
  • How will you ensure that social distancing of at least 1.5m is maintained by members attending training or competition?
  • Can training time/access be staggered or limited to reduce in-person contact between athletes and other personnel?
  • What is the strategy to manage increased levels of staff/volunteer absences?
  • What is the strategy to reduce risk to vulnerable groups?
  • What protocols are in place to ensure that any shared equipment is appropriately cleaned between users.
  • What additional cleaning measures are in place to ensure appropriate cleaning is taking place of the training venue (see below)


Please see the Government’s recommendations here for routine cleaning, which includes recommendations around cleaning of different surfaces, disinfectant choices, and advice to professional cleaners

Further advice is provided by Safe Work Australia, where there is a useful resource kit including information on cleaning products and keeping your workplace COVID-safe. Click here for more information.


Everyone must practise good hygiene, this is critical to help protect against infections. Good hygiene includes:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water, for 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand rub
  • using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid touching your face and hair unless you have just washed/sanitised your hands.

The Government’s COVID-19 good hygiene advice can be found here

 Social distancing

 Social distancing should still be practiced as per the Government’s current advice which can be viewed here:

  •  Stay at home and only go out if absolutely essential
  • Maintain at least 1.5m between yourself and others
  • Avoid physical greeting such as handshaking, hugs, kisses
  • Avoid public gatherings or crowded areas

 Staying connected during the COVID-19 pandemic

Keeping in touch with friend and family, including those in your clubs and training groups is an important way of looking after your mental health and caring for each other and Rowing Australia strongly encourages use of video chats, conference calls and online group chats to allow you to stay connected whilst practising social distancing.

A number of resources are available to help support good mental health, which is especially important during this period of isolation. The following websites have good tips for maintaining good mental health and finding support:

If you feel you need some support please don’t hesitate to seek help through your local GP.

International travel

As of 18 March 2020, the Smart Traveller has issued upgraded travel advice to include Australians to not travel overseas travel at this time. Except for returning back to Australia, there should be no international travel for sport or training purposes. If you have travelled overseas or been exposed to a case you must isolate for a period of 14 days as directed by the Federal Government.

Useful links:                

Return to Sport Toolkit – Sport Australia

Sports Trainers: Sports Trainer Practices in a COVIDSAFE Australia

AIS click here

Federal Health Website click here

Smarttraveller website click here