HOPES of community sport resuming in the Riverina appear to be dashed after the state government confirmed it isn't among the activities permitted to restart after the region was cleared to emerge from lockdown.
Several leagues like AFL Riverina (Riverina and Farrer Leagues), Group Nine Rugby League, Southern Inland Rugby Union and Football Wagga had devised contingency plans in the hope shortened finals series could be played should lockdown end on Friday, which was confirmed today.
But deputy premier John Barilaro confirmed community sport won't proceed until an 80 per cent double vaccination rate is reached.
"For those areas coming out of lockdown, you are not coming back to a pre-lockdown environment," Barilaro said.
"There's rules around certain activities that won't recommence, community sport won't be permitted.
"We'd have ticketed events in what we'd call a very restricted and controlled environment. In community sports you're relying on volunteers. You have canteens and a range of activities that you have no ability to police.
"You can't police spectators on the sideline so we tend to err on the side of caution. It's easier for us not to permit community sport during this lifting of restrictions in the regions or even at the 70 per cent mark.
"Yes, it's unfortunate, but it's about the balancing game."
However in good news for local racing clubs, it was confirmed that 'major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5000 people."
Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people while sporting facilities, including swimming pools, can reopen.
It was confirmed before this morning's press conference the Ovens and Murray League had been cancelled.
- MORE TO COME
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