updated 6-1-21

This page contains suggestions about best practice and resources available to help Clubs decide whether to move forward with your event, make potential adjustments to your event and what to do in case you are concerned about a student’s health during your event.

Arc and UNSW are following advice from the Department of Health and NSW Health, which are both updating information regularly. We recommend that you check both websites regularly in the lead up to your event for changing information, and do not rely on the information below as a complete guide to the steps your Club should take.

If your Club is experiencing serious issues, please contact the Arc Clubs team (clubs@arc.unsw.edu.au) and/or Arc Legal & Advocacy (advice@arc.unsw.edu.au) and we will endeavour to provide you with support wherever possible. Please note that Arc cannot guarantee that the information below remains current/relevant, nor can we guarantee financial support to Clubs experiencing financial or other losses.

Should we run our upcoming Club event?

In considering whether to run an upcoming event, Arc recommends that you consider a range of factors and make a decision based on your specific circumstances, including (but not limited to):

  • Likely attendance/sales - if you haven’t started selling tickets, ask members whether they think they will attend, to gauge final ticket sales; 
  • Existing ticket sales; 
  • If restrictions permit your event to run to reasonable degree;
  • Money already spent, including signed contracts involving payments; and 
  • General impact of cancellation on overall Club finances (as outlined above) and beyond.

What steps should we take when planning events?

  1. Be cautious with estimates for income/attendance. Consider what the impact to your Club will be if only a percentage of tickets are sold or if only a percentage of tickets sold result in attendees at your event.
  2. Consider whether a change of venue or adjusting the activities at the event will be beneficial. E.g. Running your event outside or in a larger space will provide more opportunities for physical distancing, which may help people feel more comfortable coming to your event. Similarly, if your event encourages or requires close contact (e.g. shaking hands at a networking event), brief participants that not everyone will feel comfortable with those activities or adapt the activity to reduce the risk (e.g. run a panel event instead of meet and greet-style networking). If your event can be run online, it can go ahead regardless of changing COVID-19 restrictions.
  3. Be cautious with terms and conditions, both for tickets you are selling as well as for contracts you are signing with venues, suppliers etc. You may be liable for the agreed payments regardless of whether your event takes place (sometimes you may not be liable if you cancel before a specific deadline). Read contracts carefully and consult with Arc Legal & Advocacy (email your contract to advice@arc.unsw.edu.au) to ensure you understand what you are agreeing to before signing it.

    Where possible, ensure that your event’s Terms & Conditions address:
    • Refunds – these options might include:
      • No refunds at all; or 
      • No refunds where cancellation is beyond the Club’s control ; or
      • Partial refunds.
    • What actions will be taken by your Club if someone arrives sick or becomes sick during the event (e.g. attendees may be required to find their own transport home) 
  4. Before the event, remind participants and potential participants of appropriate precautions they should personally take during the event (and in general), as well as reminding them of appropriate behaviour towards others. In particular, best practice would be to:
    • Provide or link to information about these topics in your event description before participants sign up, and
    • Send out a reminder email to participants the day before your event.
  5. Plan any precautions in advance of the event (see the next section), and communicate actions that organisers should take if any arrive at the event sick or gets sick at the event. Ensure that you have access to appropriate resources to carry out these plans.
  6. Be ready for changes in circumstances during your event, especially if you are running a large event, an overnight event, or are providing transport for participants to and from your venue.
    • Designate at least one organiser to regularly check for changes in information provided by health authorities.
    • Have plans in place that you can enact knowing that advice from public health authorities will regularly update and change. E.g. If the nature or size of your event exceeds health limits you may need to immediately discontinue your event.

What precautions should we take during the event?

Is there any training we should provide to people running the event?

Your team running the event should be trained to follow the precautions that your Club has decided to implement at the event, and should have access to instructions/details for their reference. They should also be aware of what steps to take if a participant appears to be ill, or know who to report any concerns to, and know who should have access to information or resources on the subject.) 

Regardless of location, all in-person Club activities during the pandemic should ensure that appropriate records are kept of the attendees in order to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a confirmed or suspected COVID case associated with your activity. These records do not need to be kept by your Club, but you should take appropriate steps to ensure that these systems are in place at that your attendees are completing the requirements.

  • Club activities taking place on campus must use the Arc COVID Contact Tracing Form, and there must be a designated COVID Officer ensuring all participants have completed the form before joining the activity (https://www.arc.unsw.edu.au/co...)
  • Where your event is taking place in a managed venue, they will often have a QR Code contact tracing form. Confirm with the venue ahead of time whether this is the case, and whether they have staff ensuring all attendees complete the form.
    • If the off-campus venue does not have a contact tracing form that will be used for your activity, you can implement your own OR you can also use the Arc COVID Contact Tracing Form (https://www.arc.unsw.edu.au/covidtracing).
    • If the off-campus venue does not have someone checking the completion of their contact tracing form OR if you are using your own or Arc’s form, make sure you have someone checking that this is completed by all participants.

You should follow up-to-date recommendations from public health authorities, and take relevant precautions based on the nature of your event. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • Ensuring participants are wearing masks when required/appropriate;
  • Placing resources around your event, including bottles of hand sanitiser, alchohol wipes, boxes of tissues and plastic bag-lined bins; 
  • Placing signage around your event, including information on correct hand washing procedures and what to do when coughing. There are posters available to download from the NSW Health website (https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/protect-yourself.aspx) 
  • Regularly using antibacterial cleaning wipes or sprays to wipe down surfaces and equipment, especially high-traffic areas and areas involving food.

Where you are serving food:

  • Provide individually packaged food items and beverages. While consideration of sustainability (e.g. minimising use of plastic packaging) is preferred under usual circumstances, it is generally accepted that health and safety concerns take higher priority.
  • Avoid self-service of food (even if it’s individually packaged). Ideally food is kept behind a counter or in a display that prevents access by participants. Assign servers to handle all food items (including condiments), and servings of food should only pass between the server and the recipient once (e.g. the servers prepare a whole plate of food, instead of than having the participant hold the plate and the server adding items to the plate.)
  • Food servers MUST wear gloves and masks. If they need to remove their gloves for any reason, they should put on new gloves each time and not reuse their old gloves. Servers should be trained on how to don and remove masks and gloves safely.
  • If your event involves food handling AND money handling, whoever is handling money should not handle food, regardless of whether they are wearing gloves.

What do we do if someone arrives to our event sick or gets sick at the event?

COVID-19 symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath. 

If a participant is suspected of having symptoms or approaches you about their symptoms, first talk to them about their circumstances. Symptoms associated with COVID-19 are not unique to the virus, find out their situation rather than making assumptions and before taking any significant action. For example, someone may suffer from allergies on a regular basis and frequent sneezing may be expected and normal for them. Even where the symptoms are unusual for them, most people displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19 are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness— not COVID-19. COVID-19 related symptoms are not a cause for panic, but you should exercise additional caution.

There are three main factors to consider:

  1. Are they displaying COVID-19 related symptoms unexpectedly? 
  2. Have they had contact with someone that has or may have COVID-19 (either as a confirmed case or they have been in close contact with someone that has travelled overseas that has not been cleared of COVID-19)?
  3. Have they been to locations or on public transport routes during specified periods that have been identified as confirmed or suspected case locations, or been in close contact with someone else that has?

If 1 is true, the person experiencing symptoms should call a doctor or hospital and tell them the recent travel or close contact history.

If 1 and at least one of 2 or 3 are true, in addition to the above, the best practice would be to isolate them where possible until they can return home safely.

Depending on the nature of the event, this may just involve asking the individual to go home.

  • If your Club is providing transport to and from the event and this individual was relying on this transport to get home, you should still provide them with transport back home

  • This could include still allowing them to use your existing transport arrangements to get home, or your Club paying for services that will allow them to get home safely (consider setting aside in some contingency budget for this purpose)

  • If you are expecting attendees in this situation to pay additional money or make their own arrangements to get home, it’s really important to make this clear to potential attendees before they purchase their ticket.

If you are running an overnight event and wish to have them stay until the end of the event (e.g. in order to take the bus back with the rest of the participants), the best practice will be to separate them from the general group , ask them to wear an appropriate face mask, practice social distancing, and maintain good hygiene practices. Where possible these precautions should also be taken on the return journey.

What do we do about refunds?

In the event of cancellation, the source/reason for cancellation may factor into what refunds are required/possible. An independent decision by your Club to cancel an event will often be different to a venue making an independent decision to cancel one or more events, which is different to public health authorities instructing certain events to be cancelled. 

These differences will be depend dependent on each situation, and ultimately will rest on the specifics of the signed contract. Similarly, you should abide by any specific terms and conditions of your ticket sales. See the What steps should we take when planning events? section of this page for recommended areas to be addressed in your event’s terms & conditions. 

Where possible, consider providing refunds to students that decide not to participate in your event because they are sick (pending provision of a doctor’s certificate). This will encourage students that are sick to stay home, without encouraging students to stay home if they have just changed their mind, and will also help to reduce the likelihood or severity of negative financial impacts on your Club. 

Is there anything we should do after the event?

After the event, ask your participants to let the event organisers and/or Club Executive know if they experience unusual symptoms (for them) that may indicate that they have developed an illness during your event. If this occurs, you should notify Arc via the Arc Club Incident Report Form (https://arclimited.formstack.com/forms/arc_club_incident_report), and be prepared to contact other participants from the event (if instructed by public health authorities). The person experiencing symptoms should call a doctor or hospital and tell them the recent travel or close contact history.

Key Contacts & Links

For the latest advice, information and resources, go to https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/

National Coronavirus Health Information Line              1800 020 080 (operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week)

UNSW COVID-19 Information: https://www.covid-19.unsw.edu...

Arc Clubs Office

P:02 9065 0930


H:10am to 4pm

Legal & Advocacy

P:(02) 9065 0900


H:10AM - 5PM