Local tennis players can now get back on court for a doubles fixture, provided they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
A statement released by Tennis NSW on Friday, September 17, said that pending further information from the state government, doubles matches can only go ahead if players can provide proof that they have gotten the second jab.
"Tennis NSW has received numerous enquiries in relation to whether doubles play is permitted given the partial lifting of restrictions for individuals who have been double vaccinated," the organisation said.
"We have engaged NSW Health and NSW Office of Sport to get clarity and confirmation on whether it is the responsibility of the individual or the club/venue to ensure that they are fully vaccinated.
"Without receiving clarity on ultimately who is liable, then our advice is as follows: Doubles play at a venue in a Stay-At-Home Area is NOT permitted unless the Club/Venue Operator has means by which they can verify the vaccination status of anyone wishing to play doubles at their venue."
Complete Tennis Bowral confirmed with Southern Highland News that it is allowing fully vaccinated members to play doubles matches once they have given proof of their vaccination status.
The new directive from Tennis NSW did, however, come with the strict addendum that clubs must continue to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.
These include having a COVID-19 safety plan, check-in stations, enforcing the one person per four square metre rule on outdoor courts, and players must not gather before or after their matches.
Though Tennis NSW believes "the large majority of our venues across the State are unable to meet the requirements", it said clubs were free to conduct their own risk analysis and make a decision "based on their own circumstances and resources".
Tennis NSW did not provide a definitive answer on whether proof of vaccination will still be required in the long term, particularly once lockdowns have been lifted, and said it would rely on guidance from the state government and the Office of Sport.
"It is too early to provide a definitive position on this matter until we have received further guidance from the NSW Government and the Office of Sport in regards to a roadmap back for Community Sport," Tennis NSW said.
"There is also the broader matter of whether it will be legally permissible to require all users of a tennis venue or entrants into a tennis competition/tournament to be double vaccinated.
"We will continue to liaise with Tennis Australia, our other Member Associations and the other State Sporting Organisations in NSW to provide a consistent position across our sport and the wider sports community."
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