The Outdoor Council of Australia Board has formed up a comprehensive document, which is a framework for conducting Outdoor Recreation activities in a COVID-19 environment. It has been compiled in very tight timeframes through the sustained efforts by volunteers of Outdoors SA with contributions from Australian Camps Association and Christian Venues Association, Outdoors NSW & ACT, Outdoors Victoria, Outdoors WA, Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (QORF), Scouts Australia with advice from Mountain Bike Australia, Paddle Australia and other outdoor activity peaks.
This framework is primarily intended to provide industry advice to guide the public health and other statutory authorities in decisions regarding the appropriate manner in which to resume outdoor activities. The document has been submitted for consideration to the Federal and respective State & Territory Government Ministers and relevant departments.
The framework will hopefully assist the state governments in forming up detailed strategies and clear guidelines for outdoor providers and community groups to follow for COVID-safe operations in the future. We know from research results that outdoor activities in natural settings directly contribute to positive benefits in physical and mental health for the Australian community and look forward to working with governments.
The OCA Framework is a national document. The implementation for rebooting outdoor activity is a State/Territory responsibility and individual State/Territory jurisdictions will provide guidance on recommencing various levels of activity participation with regard to local epidemiology, risk mitigation strategies and public health capacity.
Therefore, any outdoor activity provider should check with their local State/Territory Public Health (and other) Authorities to ensure that they are aware of, and comply with, the latest local health directives.