Following Hockey Australia’s published decision on Saturday 7 March 2020 to suspend international travel for all Hockey Australia national teams including FIH Pro League, Country, Masters and Junior touring teams – Hockey Australia would like to provide the following information to our wider hockey community.
Hockey Australia is monitoring daily the current situation in relation to coronavirus and is receiving regular updates from AIS and AOC Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr David Hughes, who is working closely with the Federal Department of Health.
There is a link on the AIS website under Health & Wellbeing which is updated daily with information in relation to high performance recommendations. This link can be accessed via the AIS website however we caution people to understand that this information provides advice with High Performance programs in mind. In saying that, there is general information that is relevant to all members of the public and certainly would be of use to our wider hockey community.
Hockey Australia CMO Dr Peter Steele continues to provide our High Performance programs with regular updates and specific information to inform decisions within our high performance programs. Attached for your information, use and dissemination is some high performance travel guidelines we provide to our traveling athletes and staff.
The current situation with the coronavirus throughout the world presents challenges to everyone. It is important that as leaders of our sport, we provide the latest information based on facts and share that information to encourage people to stay informed and take action on advice from reputable sources who are at the forefront of this virus in Australia.
At the present time there is no evidence of transmission in the community so you should continue to go about your day-to-day business. You do not need to take actions like limiting your movement in the community or staying at home.
Further to the above, the following information is provided to our Member Associations.
1.Hockey Australia’s position as it relates to planned 2020 National Championships and community level hockey
Hockey Australia has received advice that there is currently no recommendation to cancel National Championships at this stage.
We do however recognise the need for this to be reviewed regularly as the situation is changing daily. We would like to work with our Member Associations to establish a regular means of providing the latest information to inform decisions relating to our 2020 National Championship schedule.
As at 12:00pm today (Thursday 12 March 2020), the advice is to continue with planned hockey activities but increase hygiene measures and implement self-exclusion if exhibiting flu-like symptoms (note – this is a fluid situation and we need to ensure we stay up to date with the latest information being provided by Federal & State Governments).
2.Import players from international countries
Hockey Australia recommends that Member Associations stay up to date with the Australian Government restrictions and/or recommendations relating to entry requirements of all foreign internationals into Australia. Advice received today is there are now only two categories:
- High risk – China, Iran, South Korea, Italy
- Moderate risk – all other countries
If you have international players intending to come to Australia to play, they need to be informed of potential quarantine requirements.
Hockey Australia recommends all members (players, team staff, spectators) of hockey clubs, associations and leagues implement (at a minimum) the below set of actions for upcoming training sessions and matches:
- Replace handshaking at the start and conclusion of games with (for example) simply tapping sticks on the ground or a thumbs up.
- Use labelled water bottles. These must be strictly single person use. Avoid use of communal water bottles.
- Take care with food handling at games; for example, oranges or lollies at half-time or full-time. Use tongs to serve or reconsider shared food.
- Mouth-guards should be washed after each game, followed by cleaning of hands.
- Continue to cover nose and mouth with tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Keep 1.5m distance from anyone that is coughing or sneezing.
- Use alcohol-based hand wash available at the canteen counter, dugouts, and seat stands outside the change room.
- All players and officials should wash their hands with soap and water and dry with paper towel prior to and after games.
- Gloves should be worn when attending to players with injuries – especially against blood exposure but also to prevent contact with mouth-guards.
Any member with flu-like symptoms should self-exclude from playing, training and spectating at the first sign of the symptoms and seek medical advice.
Further advice on the Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found from the following recommended sources:
- Australian Government Department of Health (health.gov.au) or for general advice regarding COVID-19, call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080
All members of the hockey community should note that this is an evolving situation and advice could change at any time. Hockey Australia will endeavour to update the hockey community as it is relevant.