The Victorian Amateur Football Association would like to issue the following statement regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the potential impact on the upcoming 2020 season and associated VAFA events.
The VAFA continue to work with the AFL, AFL Victoria and take advice from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Australian Department of Health and Victorian Department of Sport and Recreation to monitor the situation and will act in accordance with advice from the relevant authorities.
At this stage, the 2020 VAFA season and associated events will continue as planned.
The VAFA puts the welfare of all participants in our community at the forefront of all we do and will look at all necessary precautions to ensure a safe environment is provided to all participants and spectators.
The VAFA will continue to monitor the situation with the relevant authorities and provide regular updates as required.
The following is information is provided by AFL Victoria
Note to AFL Industry Staff/Community Football Clubs
The purpose of this information is to provide an update in relation to the ongoing situation with coronavirus (Covid-19).
The health and safety of our staff, players and volunteers is paramount, therefore we are closely monitoring the situation, regularly consulting with the AFL, Australian Government and the World Health Organisation. A trusted source of information is the dedicated page set up by the Australian Government’s Department of Health.
Detailed below are some practical measures to minimise any potential exposure and disruption to our competition.
- General Practices
The current understanding is that Covid‐19 is spread from person‐to‐person when people are in close contact or when an infected person coughs or sneezes, releasing the virus into the air as droplets. These droplets can then enter another person’s mouth or nose or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Infection may also be spread by touching a surface contaminated with Covid‐19 then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Symptoms of Covid‐19 infection typically begin 2‐14 days after exposure and include fever, fatigue, muscle aches and cough. More severe symptoms include diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.
If you have not been in an area where Covid‐19 is spreading or been in close contact with someone who has and is now infected, your chances of getting Covid‐19 are currently low. However, it’s understandable that people may feel anxious about the situation.
The precautions outlined below are recommended to limit your exposure and prevent the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol‐based hand sanitiser
- Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze
- Overseas travel before you leave
Please advise your club (player, coach, umpire or volunteer) or Manager (staff) of any planned overseas travel between now and the next six months. This will allow us to plan ahead should the travel restrictions or self- isolation requirements change.
Returning from overseas
If you have travelled to Mainland China, Iran, Italy or South Korea (countries listed by the Australian Government) in the last 14 days, you will need to:
- stay at home and self-isolate for the next 14 days
- monitor your health
- obtain a medical clearance from a doctor before returning to work
Please contact your Club or Manager immediately to talk through what arrangements need to be made.
If you have travelled to Japan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore or Thailand in the last 14 days, you will need to:
Contact your Club or Manager immediately to talk through appropriate health and safety measures. This may include providing medical clearance from a doctor.
While we appreciate overseas travel is often planned many months in advance, we ask that you reconsider non- essential travel to the above countries.
- Feeling unwell?
If you are involved with a Club and are feeling unwell, we ask that you please seek prompt medical advice and advise your Club.
If you are an employee and are feeling unwell, we ask that you please seek prompt medical advice advise your Manager about temporary suitable work arrangements for you and to ensure the welfare of your team members.
Government Emergency Response Plan
The Australian Government has activated its Emergency Response Plan to an impending coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19 Plan). At present, the Government has only updated travel warnings and restrictions for the countries listed above, however various meetings of Government are taking place regularly to monitor any changes in the situation and to consider implementing any further measures.
In relation to the VAFA, these measures may include;
- cancelling/restricting large gatherings (i.e. delaying the start of the season)
- cancelling club training
- bringing in “social distancing” measures (quarantining people, cancelling social events)
- implementing infection control guidelines and healthcare safety and quality standards
Coronavirus19 and its effect on the world should not be lost on anyone.
We are currently attempting to come to understand some touch points around best practice to mitigate risk at Club level
- CV19 or not, communal use of water bottles should be avoided at all times
- In the short term it would be prudent to have all players be in possession of their own drink bottle.
- Place hand sanitisers around the change room and encourage players to use them
- Anyone associated with a Club if feeling unwell should refrain from club activities immediately, seek medical advice and where appropriate, advise the Club of their absence
Should you require any further information it can be sourced here: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Football & Umpiring
- The VAFA’s Football Growth & Integrity & Umpire sub-committees are monitoring the current situation in relation to our impending 2020 season
- The following matters have been considered and contingencies planned:
- Player shortages
- Umpire shortages
- Team forfeits
- Competition postponement
- Fixturing & alternatives
- Competition disbandment
- Managing infection if detected
Commercial & Events
- The VAFA’s Commercial, Media & Events sub-committee are monitoring the current situation in relation to our impending 2020 season
- The VAFA has been assured by its (3) current suppliers TLA, CGR and Starsub that orders will not be disrupted or delayed where orders have been placed inside the requested timelines
- The following matters have also been considered and contingencies planned:
- Clubs impacted by late orders for uniforms
- Holding VAFA events where large numbers will congregate
- Impact of cancelling VAFA events
- The VAFA’s Finance & Risk sub-committee are monitoring the current situation in relation to our impending 2020 season
- The following matters have been considered and contingencies planned:
- Reconsider fines for forfeiting teams (with justifiable COVID-19 reasons)
- Impact a postponement of the season will have on affiliation fees
- Impact a cancellation of the season will have on affiliation fees
- Impact of cancelling VAFA schedules events
Working from home (Staff absences only) – as outlined above (AFL Victoria Memo)
All VAFA participants, officials and volunteers are urged to follow the government’s advice on how best to protect yourself from the virus and also practice good hygiene methods, whether at the club, at home or anywhere else in public.