COVID-19 ISSUES - MVB Resuming Events Program
In response to both the NSW and VIC governments regulations surrounding social gatherings the MVB Committee has decided that as of Aug 20 2022 we are now able to resume some events.
The MVB is inviting any member who wishes to rejoin events to please do so and to be assured that all event leaders will be complying with the current guidelines.
In practice this will be reflected in group size, mandatory registration for events, social distancing and maintenance of club equipment.
If a group leader has additional requirements concerning attendance at their event and members register it is assumed that they are in agreement.
MVB members are encouraged to comply with exisiting restrictions regarding not attending if feeling unwell, transport to each event and personal protective equipment
Dont forget you need to login to the MVB website to book in for an event!
The following information has been provided by
Matt McClelland Activities Coordinator National Parks Association of NSW
Epidemic/Pandemic Risk Mitigation
There are periods of time where serious diseases spread through the broader community at alarming rates. This is notable in significant flu seasons and during times of global pandemics. Most significant pandemics have been flu based, but also have included SARs and the recent Covid-19 Coronavirus. It is important to not panic during times of disease outbreak, but it is equally important to take serious steps to help in the effort to reduce and slow the spread of the disease.
The purpose of this document is to highlight the core behaviours or activities within the MVB bushwalking program that increase the risk of spreading infectious diseases, then to identify and implement mitigation strategies. At all times we should be looking to NSW Health for the latest advice that will continue to evolve during the spread of any significant disease. Ideally, we want to keep the bushwalking program running all year round. The program provides many direct health, social, environmental and economic befits. We aim to reduce the risk of infection to our members and the rate of spread of the disease through our broader community.
This is especially important to protect the most vulnerable people. There will be times when we need to cancel specific types of activities, encourage vulnerable members to not participate or lead, and potentially pause the program for time. Risks associated with bushwalking program The following table highlights the main transfer risks associated with the MVB bushwalking program. Some general terminology and points to consider; Risk of transfer refers to the risk of a pathogen (virus) being able to transfer from a person or surface to a participant. Transfer does not always lead to infection or disease. Transfer of a pathogen to someone’s hands may occur but if the hands are washed well before touching mucus membranes (eye, nose or mouth) the risk of infection is significantly lowered.
- If a person is infected the disease may develop depending on many factors, prominently around the individual’s immune response.
- If the disease does develop then the severity will tend to vary based on exposure, immune response, general health/fitness, pre-existing conditions and many other factors.
- An infected person can be contagious even though they show no signs of disease,
- People at most risk of developing severe health issues generally are people with immune system compromise, older people and people with significant acute or specific chronic illnesses.
Relevant control measures to implement
Participant & leader General Responsibilities
- Practise Personal Hygiene.
- Practise Social Distancing
- Consider Self-Isolation.
- Notify the MVB if you discover out you were potentially contagious with Covid-19 when participating in a club activity
- Clean your hands (eg after public transport, after signing in for the walk, before eating)
- Cover your sneeze or cough with your elbow or with a tissue. (plastic bags to carry used tissues)
- Avoid touching face (especially near eyes, mouth, and nose)
- Do not share water bottles
- No sharing common food
- Keep your distance (about 1.5 meters) from other people but stay connected.
- Create extra distance between you and people sneezing/coughing
- Public transport
- Minimise time on public transport (walk locally)
- Avoid touching surfaces
- Car sharing
- ○ Keep all car-sharing rides less than 1 hour (reduce the potential dose of a virus)
- Maintain physical separation of people in the car (only two people in a three-person bench seat)
- Group size limits to 20
- Keep groups as small as possible, better split into two groups of 10 if you have adequate leaders.
- Reduce group size further in line with government advice
- Indoor meetings
- ○ Run webinars / video meetings or teleconferences where possible
- Limit to 20 members (no public meetings)
- Limit to 1 hour
- Do not use group accommodation (such as huts or youth hostels) for sleeping
- Do not share a tent or bedroom overnight with other people (unless with someone you currently cohabitate with)
- Avoid physical contact (no handshaking etc)
- Travel Restrictions
- No overseas travel
- No visiting remote communities Self Isolation
- Do not participate in the program whilst you have any flu-like symptoms.
- If you suspect you are infected or a particularly vulnerable person then speak with your doctor about the potential need to self-isolate.
- Do not participate if you are a particularly vulnerable person.
- During different phases of pandemics vulnerable people will be encouraged to self Isolate. Monitor NSW Health updates on who is vulnerable and follow their advice
- The program will be suspended if the government issues advice.
- Participants are to contact the MVB if diagnosed within 3 weeks of participating in an MVB activity or otherwise advised by your doctor
- MVB will contact each participant who registered for the relevant activity providing advice & protecting the sick members privacy.
- Leaders are required to ensure Google Drive booking forms are completed within 24hrs of completing the activity.
- Contact the club president by email firstname.lastname@example.org or secretary by email email@example.com
Advice from Bushwalking NSW Received March 21 2020
To all Bushwalking NSW members,
Bushwalking NSW appreciates that all bushwalking clubs are currently facing difficult decisions regarding how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the light of the rapidly changing situation and the uncertainty that this brings to all of us, clubs are making their own decisions on how to act. Bushwalking NSW offers the following advice to assist clubs. Please note that Bushwalking NSW cannot and does not mandate any specific action.
- Health advice: Bushwalking NSW recommends that clubs pay close attention to government health authority announcements, and make decisions reflecting that advice. Bushwalking NSW cannot and will not provide health or medical advice. The NSW Health advice can be found at www.health.nsw.gov.au.
- Club action advice: Bushwalking NSW is receiving reports from bushwalking clubs and related organisations about how they are responding to COVID-19. Individual clubs are making a range of decisions, based on their own individual circumstances. Bushwalking NSW is collating these reports, and will be able to share this with clubs as examples of responses to assist them in making their own decision in the light of their own circumstances (types of activities, demographics, geography, etc.). Bushwalking NSW does not and cannot direct any member club to take a particular course of action. Bushwalking NSW encourages clubs to take action that best reflects the individual club's duty of care for the health, safety and wellbeing of its members.
All the best, and stay safe,
Bushwalking NSW Inc
The following information has been provided by the insurers Marsh Australia
Subject: RE: Bushwalking clubs and coronavirus
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2020 11:27:33 +0000 From: Richard, Robert <Robert.Richard@marshadvantage.com>;
Thanks for your email. We are in a very uncertain, fast-evolving environment.
Regarding Personal Accident Insurance
The policy provides coverage for injuries sustained during the scope of cover (as per policy schedule). Personal Accident policies do not cover Illness, such as Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Regarding Public Liability, I copy below “general guidance” from our Technical Team, regarding the impact on General Liability policies.
Regarding Commercial General Liability (CGL)
Generally, CGL policies may respond to pandemic events if the insured has been negligent in, or found legally liable for, failing to protect other persons/third parties from infection.
The term “legally liable’ is very broad although it envisages civil liability rather than criminal liability. Legal liability can arise at common law or under statute or a contract with a third party. Most common law liabilities involve a negligent act or omission, that would need to be proved.
We consider the possibility of such liability to be fairly difficult to prove if insured act reasonably to safeguard persons for which they have a duty to protect.
However, such coverage could be triggered if liability is legally present or established. The wording of the coverage/operative clause under these policies typically read (in summary) as follows:
- Insurers will pay to or on behalf of the Insured all sums that the insured becomes legally liable for Compensation in accordance with the law of any country or assumed under contract or agreement for Personal Injury or Property Damage.
- Coverage is further qualified by:
- first happening during the Period of Insurance;
- within the Territorial limits
- in connection with the Insured’s Business or Products
As can be seen from the coverage/operative clause, “legal liability” is necessary for this coverage to be triggered. If there is liability, then the policy will respond subject to the Policy’s limits.
A CGL policy does not routinely include an infectious disease exclusion, however, the policy should be reviewed to ensure any deviation from this norm, particularly the more bespoke and manuscript wordings.
That being said, the goal for all insured’s should be to minimise liability and preserve policy proceeds by ensuring that all reasonable precautions against Personal Injury spread of disease and protection of customers, or other third parties, is achieved.
Most CGL wording will impose obligations on the Insured, which will typically be referred to as either ‘Insured’s Duties’ or “Reasonable Precautions” ( usually be found within the Conditions section of the policy). In both instances, it is a Condition of cover, that the Insured must take all reasonable steps, and at their own expense, prevent a Personal Injury, in this case spread of disease. Failure to do so could prejudice a claim.
Accordingly, the risk response and review under the previous section of this advisory, particularly, subject to the rules of the relevant Departments of Health in each country, should be undertaken at all times.
In terms of Bushwalking Australia’s Public Liability policy, refer to clause 8.7 (pg 13) for the “reasonable precautions” condition.
Bushwalking Australia and entities will need to seek guidance from relevant Government Departments, to discharge your duty of care.
This “Daily Sports News” provides some links to relevant Government resources, and actions that other sports have been undertaking: https://mailchi.mp/ausport/daily-sports-news-20-march-2020?e=7f990080f6
All the best with the challenges that lay ahead.
Rob Richard| Principal – Sport, Marsh Australia Collins Square, Level 13, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008
t: +61 9613 1437 | m: +61 427 651 840 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org | w: www.marsh.com