Text of email from NSW President Lance Miller:
SSAA NSW have developed the following policy model for responses to COVID-19 Coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Governments all over the world, including the Australian and NSW Government, are responding to its rapid spread. We are advised that although this new strain of virus has been likened to the flu, it is much more contagious and appears to have a higher mortality rate. As a new virus, at present, the worldwide population has minimal immunity.
The Government and Chief Medical Officer’s responses are rapidly changing and increasing in severity, with new containment measures being introduced multiple times a week. During this escalation phase, any containment measure decision we make is likely to be overtaken by Government measures very quickly.
The US has announced a ban on non-essential meetings of over 10 people – that is very likely to occur in Australia. The UK is considering quarantining people over the age of 70 for four months and other countries have quarantined entire populations.
SSAA NSW continues to monitor the situation around the clock and is in contact with relevant authorities. Like all other law-abiding and responsible Organisations, we are following advice.
The pandemic will subside and Government and health restrictions will eventually be eased. At that time, we can make plans for SHOT Expo, State Titles, National Championships and other operations affecting our ranges and Branches.
Until such time when our government considers the virus to be manageable, SSAA NSW has made the following decisions to protect our volunteers, competitors and our members as well as the broader community.
We hope these decisions will provide direction and consistency for our members as we all manage our response to the Pandemic:
All State Title shoots will be postponed until further notice.
All National Championship shoots being held in NSW will be postponed until further notice. Consultation with National Discipline Chairmen for positive outcomes will begin immediately.
Additionally, SSAA National Executive have implemented that beginning Monday 16th March, SSAA will not send teams overseas to compete in events, whilst the virus maintains its Pandemic status. It is highly unlikely that travel insurance would be available, and many countries are stopping or considering stopping flights already.
As we are attempting to make decisions that will comply with future Government directives, we believe that future decisions will have more lead time. We hope to ensure that members travelling to compete, who require accommodation, will have time to organise bookings or cancel bookings with satisfactory notice.
SSAA NSW apologises to the competition organisers, host branches and the competitors wanting to attend planned State Titles being held this weekend and soon thereafter, as well as to those organising and competing in upcoming NSW-based National Championships.
We thank you for your understanding regarding decisions that are being made in the interests of public safety and are beyond our control. SSAA NSW will continue to communicate any changes early, to mitigate impacts to our sport and activities.
Everyone is in this together and updates will continue to be provided as they come to hand.
Last week, SSAA NSW took the proactive step of formally seeking advice from the NSW Firearms Registry in relation to attendance compliance. The initial response received over the weekend appears positive and once formal advice is received from the NSW Firearms Registry, we will communicate this to all members.
Thank you for doing your part in ensuring a healthy Australia and protecting our sport and activities.