Community sport in regional Victoria is again on the backburner after the announcement on Sunday by Premier Daniel Andrews that stage three coronavirus restrictions would once again be enforced outside of metropolitan Melbourne.
Three weekends of Shepparton Junior Soccer Association, Goulburn Valley Hockey Association and Shepparton District Junior Football League action — as well as one round of Goulburn Valley League junior competition — were among the matches able to be completed in the region, but sport is again set to return to hibernation.
The tightened restrictions — which will come into effect at 11.59 pm Wednesday — will see community sport shut down along with indoor sport and recreation, swimming pools and most outdoor recreation facilities.
Golf will survive the new restrictions, as will the likes of fishing, boating and tennis as long as they take place with only one other person or members of the same household.
“These changes will be in place for at least the next six weeks. As always, we’ll keep reviewing and realigning the restrictions in line with the advice of our health experts — and if we can change things earlier, we will,” Andrews said.
“I know there’ll also be questions about why restrictions are needed in some communities that have no cases.
“But as we’ve learnt over the course of things, just because you have no cases today — doesn’t mean you won’t tomorrow.
“And when the cost of failure is measured in lives, it’s a risk we cannot afford to take.”