COVID Safe Measures include the below, noting that there may be times where emergency service workers will not be able to implement these measures.

  • increased cleaning and sanitisation
  • restrictions on group sizes
  • physical distancing
  • QR code check-ins
  • masks
  • temperature checks

Additional information related to running COVID Safe activities and events in Surf Life Saving can be found in this factsheet. This factsheet replaces some of the information featured in last seasons’ Activity Matrix and COVID-19 Information Packs.

Important information to note:

  • The exemption request letters are only required for those members who are required to leave their residential LGA to undertake one of the above duties.
  • Exemption letter requests must be submitted 7 days in advance of the required travel.
  • Any member that is leaving a declared area is requested to undertake a COVID test no later than 3 days prior to utilising their exemption letter. The result should state Negative on the returned test result.
  • Any member who feels unwell on their day of intended travel must not travel for the purpose of the exemption letter that has been provided.
  • These letters of exemption will only be valid for travel direct between a members place of residence and the lifesaving related destination. It will not be valid for any deviations for personal use.
  • Support Operation and Club Call-Out Team Members should submit an exemption request up until October 31 2021 clearly outlining any relevant area/s of operation that they may be required to attend. Updated letters will be provided at a later date for post October 31 2021 to ensure the most relevant information is being utilised for exemption requests.
  • Essential Training refers to training that is required to be undertaken prior to the season to ensure there are no capability gaps for the start of the 2021/22 season.
  • Club Lifesaving Patrols - any exemption requests for lifesaving patrols may now be made for September 18 – October 31. Exemption requests must be submitted 7 days in advance of their intended use. Updated letters will be provided at a later date for post October 31 2021 to ensure the most relevant information is being utilised for exemption requests.
  • Other – Exceptional circumstances that aren’t covered by the above and will be reviewed by the Operations Manager, Public Safety and SLSNSW CEO.
  • Members should ensure that SLS uniform is being worn when undertaking travel or duties under the exemption letter
  • Members will not be granted exemption request for travelling large distances between a place of residence and their club (>50kms). Members who reside large distances from their clubs should have discussions with their club captain regarding their patrols.


As a volunteer patrolling member of Surf Life Saving NSW, a gazetted NSW Emergency Service under the NSW State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989, the NSW Government has confirmed that all Surf Life Saving NSW volunteers are eligible to be vaccinated under vaccination round 1B as they are considered “high risk workers who are currently employed including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing”.

Please download the letter and Eligibility Declaration Form from the SLS Members Area as evidence of eligibility and authority to receive your vaccination, if you elect to be vaccinated. This decision of vaccination is one of a personal nature, and not a mandated Surf Life Saving NSW position. Members do not need to be vaccinated to patrol.

The type of vaccine (AstraZeneca or Pfizer) will be a decision made by the individual relative to their age and vaccine availability. The Australian Government has a very clear website that members can use to guide them:

Vaccination is not mandatory to participate in SLS activities (unless you reside in an LGA of concern), however all members are strongly encouraged to consider vaccination to protect your own health as well as the community and discuss any concerns with their doctor.

For areas under current stay-at-home provisions, getting vaccinated is a reasonable excuse for leaving home.

It remains a requirement for clubs to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for each program area. Since the introduction of COVID-19 Safety Plans at the start of the pandemic, NSW Health have simplified these plans. As such, the SLS-contextualised COVID-19 Safety Plans from the 2020/21 season have been retired and clubs and branches are asked to make use of the NSW Health COVID-19 Safety Plans.

Information to support the development of your COVID-19 Safety Plans can be found in this factsheet.

If the club runs a gym, café, restaurant or bar then they must also register as a 'COVID Safe Business'. A copy of the COVID-19 Safety Plan must be kept on the premises and be made available for inspection by an authorised officer if requested.

The following COVID-19 Safety Plans can be found on the NSW Government website:

  • Community centres and halls
  • Function centres
  • Gyms
  • Funerals, memorial services and wakes
  • Office environment
  • Pubs and clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Wedding ceremonies and receptions

If the club doesn’t run any of these services, they are still encouraged to register as a 'COVID Safe Business'.

Clubs and branches should appoint a COVID Safe Coordinator to act as the central point of contact for COVID-19 matters. Clubs are requested to update their Officer Positions in SurfGuard with a new position available COVID Safe Coordinator. This will enable clear communications with every club as new information and updates become available. Additional COVID Safe Coordinators can be appointed for each portfolio (e.g. Lifesaving, Education, Juniors, Sport).

All Surf Life Saving Clubs in NSW need to have electronic check-in set up at their premises. Clubs need:

  • a NSW Government QR code for their premises and events so that staff, members and customers can check in using the Service NSW app; and
  • an alternative digital sign-in sheet for staff, members and customers who do not have a smart phone or are unable to sign-in using the Service NSW app. You then have 12 hours to register those contact details with Service NSW.

You should:

  • display your QR codes in prominent locations
  • remind people to check in when entering your premises
  • where possible, keep an eye out for new people who have entered your premises
  • ask to see the ‘green tick’ on the Service NSW app and check it relates to your premises.

If a person refuses to check in, you may refuse entry to that person for the well-being of your staff, members and customers.

Check-in is not required if the person in entering to provide emergency services or if they are under 18 years of age and it is not possible to register their contact details.

The current rules regarding mandatory electronic check-in, visit the NSW Government website.

If you have already registered your COVIDsafe plan with the NSW government, you should have received an email with your unique QR code to the email address you registered with. If you didn’t, you can go here: and enter the email address you registered with and you will be able to download your unique QR code to print and display.

If you have not registered your COVIDsafe plan with the NSW government, you should do so immediately by completing the form here:


  • Advice for clubs and branches on upcoming AGM's is available on our website.


  • Clubs should manage their risk as though there is NO insurance cover in place for claims arising from COVID. However, the risk of a claim against the club is very low if they implement the relevant government health advice across their activities, both on and off the beach.
  • SLSNSW members have coverage for personal accident cover under the icare (workers compensation) scheme. As with contracting any infectious disease whilst participating in SLS activities, members are required to demonstrate to icare that the infection was directly acquired as a result of their SLS activity. All claims are considered and determined by icare directly and independently.
  • The SLSA Insurance Program provides a safety net to address costs if a COVID related claim is lodged against a club.  Marsh, as the broker for the National Program, will manage and defend any claim in partnership with the club and SLSNSW.

Cyber Attacks (Phishing)

  • Phishing schemes have increased dramatically since the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • A guide to help clubs and branches identify and protect themselves from Phishing attacks is available on our website.

For more information about club governance, management and compliance, please contact

  • Active Kids Vouchers will expire on 31 December 2021 and members are encouraged to redeem these. 
  • It is recommended that clubs have a clear policy on membership cancellation / refund / credit process and under what circumstances any refunds might be applied. More information and considerations, including SurfGuard processes can be found in this factsheet.
  • Capitation fees will be charged on any membership accepted this season, including those which are archived within the season.

The NSW Government is offering 3 types of financial support to businesses as part of the COVID-19 support package:

  1. COVID-19 business grant
  2. COVID-19 micro-business grant
  3. JobSaver payment.

More information is available via this Memo.

In addition, the Australian Government is offering a support payment for workers adversely affected by a state public health order individuals financial support: COVID -19 Disaster Payment.

The Westpac COVID-19 Customer Support Package is also available for Westpac customers.

For more information about available grants, please contact the SLSNSW Partnerships Team,

For assistance in preparing a professionally written application, lodgement and acquittal for available grants, please contact the Surf Life Saving Foundation Grant Seeking Unit, (07) 3177 5855.

Communication resources such as social media tiles, website banners and posters have been created by NSW Health and can all be downloaded from Dropbox.