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The purpose of this memo is to provide an update regarding the 2020 SMJFL season and the Government’s Emergency Response Plan in relation to the ongoing situation with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Australian Government is currently in emergency talks today regarding the second stage of its Emergency Response Plan in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (COVID-19 Plan) and continues to monitor the situation.

The SMJFL is making the call now to suspend all training for clubs, umpires and all other league programs, including practice matches and social gathering events, to be effective immediately, until further notice.

The league’s main priority remains the health and wellbeing of all players, coaches, umpires and volunteers of the league. The league strongly believes that the suspension of these gatherings will minimise the risks posed to all within our league.

The league understands that this is a difficult time for all, but remain confident that we will endure the current circumstances if the SMJFL sticks together as a community.

Round One of the SMJFL is presently scheduled for Sunday 19 April 2020 (in five weeks time). The league is hopeful that the season will be able to proceed as planned, but are preparing to take necessary precautions as we are advised by the Australian Government and the AFL. These precautions may involve a delay to the beginning of the 2020 SMJFL season.

The SMJFL will continue to keep all Club Presidents up-to-date as information becomes available. It is crucial for Club Presidents to maintain close communication with the league to inform of the measures and precautions being taken at your club, and for any support that your club may require from the league.

We look forward to discussing further action and measures with Club Presidents during our webinar Club Conference on March 22, 2020. The league will inform Club Presidents in the coming days regarding instructions to access the Club Conference. Again, we thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

Should you require any further information it can be sourced here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/australian-health-sector-emergency-response-plan-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19