Updated 11:53am 28/07/2021


Given the ongoing number of infectious cases in the community, the current lockdown will be extended for at least another four weeks until 28 August.

This means the restrictions currently in place across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour will remain in place until this time.

Restrictions in Regional NSW remain unchanged. Read more here.

Northern NSW Football is in regular contact with the NSW government in relation to COVID-19’s continued impact on football in our region. As the situation evolves in northern NSW we will keep this page up to date and communicate changes via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



Is football still being played in northern NSW?

Yes. Community and premier football are still being played in line with the NSW government’s COVID-19 safe practices including the wearing of marks except for when playing, warming up or officiating and having only one person per four square metres.


When do I need to stay at home?

To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, current stay-at-home orders will be extended across all of Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong  until 28 August.

Everyone in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason.

Persons covered by the Order cannot leave their place of residence without a reasonable excuse. The reasonable excuses mirror those in earlier restrictions and include:

  • obtaining food, travelling to attend essential work or education (where it is not possible to do at home);
  • exercise outdoors in groups of no more than 10;
  • medical and caring reasons – including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination;
  • family and carer obligations and compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not necessarily live together


Does my club need a COVID-19 safety plan?

Yes. Clubs must complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan and have a copy at its facility. Your club can then register as “COVID Safe”.

What does a COVID-19 safety plan include?

  • Fill in your club’s details and select your business type.
  • Review each of the actions in the checklist under each section: wellbeing of staff and customers, physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning and record keeping.
  • Agree to the action using the Agree button, or if an action does not apply to your premises, briefly describe why.
  • Once you complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan, a confirmation email will be sent to you with a copy of your plan attached as a PDF.

To complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan offline, print a blank copy of the form using the print button.

Remember to keep a copy of your COVID-19 Safety Plan on your premises at all times.

How do I create a COVID-19 safety plan?

Visit the NSW government’s website and follow the prompts.


What is the square meters rule?

COVID-19 Safety Plans require venues to determine the maximum number of people who can be on a premises. This should meet the requirement of one person per four square metres.

How do I apply the square metres rules to calculate the maximum number of people allowed on a premises?

Follow the advice from the NSW government.

How do I calculate the square meters rule?

Follow the advice from the NSW government. 


Is a QR code check required at your venue?

Yes. In line with COVID-19 safety plans, QR codes need to be available for attendees to check-in at your venue.

We appreciate football grounds do not have one central point of entry. So we ask that you take reasonable steps regarding QR check ins e.g. post check-in rules via your club’s social media channels, put up multiple posters around your grounds and make announcements at games.


Are masks compulsory?

Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events including football grounds.

If you are not participating in the game, officiating a match or warming up, you need to wear a mask.

When can I remove my mask?

You may remove your mask only for strenuous physical exercise (e.g. to warm up, train, play or referee), or when eating or drinking, and must put your mask back on at all other times. This includes spectators, coaches, managers, substitutes etc.

Do players need to wear masks?

Players should wear masks when not participating in football at both training and games.

Do players need to wear masks in the changing rooms?

Yes. If you are not participating in the game, officiating a match or warming up, you need to wear a mask.

Do players need to wear masks while sitting on the bench?

Yes. It is strongly recommended that players wear masks while sitting on the bench.

Do coaches and other officials need to wear masks?

Yes. Anyone attending football, including training as well as games, but not participating in football is required to wear a mask.

Are there mask wearing exemptions?

Yes. Exemptions apply to specified groups including children and people with a disability. A full list of exemptions is available via the NSW government website.


Can training continue as normal?

Training is allowed to continue as normal in accordance with your COVID-19 Safety Plan. Masks must be worn while not training. Players must abide by the four square metre rule in changing rooms, toilets, club rooms and any other indoor areas.

Indoor training is permitted as long as participants abide by the venue’s COVID-19 Safety Plan regarding capacity restrictions and masks.


Do players need to wear masks at games?

Players should wear masks when not participating in football (on the pitch and warming up), this includes arrival at the ground, sitting on the bench and post-game.

Do coaches need to wear masks at games?

Yes. Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events. This includes when coaching on the sideline.

Is hand shaking at games allowed?

No. The NSW Government recommends not shaking hands and use alternatives such as elbow bumps.

Should we have COVID-19 Marshalls at games?

COVID-19 Marshalls are not compulsory. But we recommend clubs appoint COVID-19 Marshalls where reasonable. Marshalls should be clearly identifiable e.g. in a COVID-19 Marshall vest.

For junior football, can we expect to head back to the one parent rule like last season?

This rule has not been reintroduced. If this changes, we will keep you updated.

Can BBQs and canteens still operate? 

Club BBQs and canteens can still take place in line with COVID Safety Plan requirements. As the BBQ/canteen is taking place at community sport, face masks must be worn at all times by staff and volunteers.


What happens if a premier team has players impacted by the stay at home order?

From Saturday 17 July, Northern NSW Football will no longer be permitting teams to postpone any matches based on player availability due to the Stay at Home Order.

Northern NSW Football has provided an update (memo 74) to premier clubs regarding stay at home orders and postponements.


Will the Football Five5 Winter leagues be played?

Yes. The winter Football Five5 leagues will be played from week commencing 12 July. Players must comply with NSW Government’s mask orders i.e. if you are not participating in the game, officiating a match or warming up, you need to wear a mask.


What is the rule regarding consuming alcohol at our venue?

You must be seated when consuming alcohol in an indoor area of non-residential premises in NSW. This includes outdoor gatherings or stadiums.


What if an individual refuses to abide by my COVID-19 safety plan/public health order? e.g. not wearing a mask, social distancing etc.

We encourage clubs to remind individuals of the rules set out in your COVID-19 safety plan. While clubs should do what is reasonably possible to ensure participants and stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities, it is not the club’s responsibility to enforce the law. Non-compliance with the public health order is enforceable by NSW Police and penalties apply.


What if I’m returning to NSW from another Australian state?

Rules and restrictions apply if you have been in an affected area, area of concern or a place of high concern, and are entering or have entered NSW.

Follow the NSW Government’s rules if you are a NSW resident, returning to NSW.