Organised sport able to return at Alert Level 2
Here is the information on sports gatherings
Public health measures
• Gatherings must be restricted to a maximum of 100 people (both indoor and outdoor
facilities). For sport and recreation, a gathering includes spectators but not players,
officials or support staff.
• A system to record and retain the contact details of all people involved in, or
attending, your activity must be in place to enable contact tracing should it be
required. This information should be accessible at all times for contact tracing
purposes up to 4 weeks after the contact was recorded.
• Surfaces and equipment must be regularly cleaned and disinfected where
• Good personal hygiene practices should continue – wash and dry your hands before
and after activities, cough into elbow and don’t touch your face.
• Stay home if you’re sick and do not take part in sport or recreation if you have flulike symptoms, self-isolate at home and get tested immediately.
• Physical distancing of 2 metres should be maintained wherever possible, especially
from people that you don’t know. It is recognised that contact during physical
activity will occur but this should be minimised as much as possible, especially off
the field of play.
• People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (particularly older people and
those with existing medical conditions) should take additional precautions when
undertaking physical activity.
• Business premises (e.g. cafes/bars in club rooms, or pro shops) can be open for
staff and customers provided that they meet the relevant workplace requirements
• Travel should be done safely to reduce the possibility of transmission and spread of
What does this mean for play, active recreation and
Alert level 2 continues to expand the opportunities for play and active recreation and
reintroduces the opportunity for competitive sport at a local level, if the the public
health measures outlined above are implemented, to create a safe environment for
physical activity. Sports are expected to take some time to prepare to resume. It is
important that sports codes and clubs do not rush into starting activities again. It is
essential to get all the protocols in place before activity resumes again, and ensure
that everyone in your club or organisation is on the same page. Please work closely
with your regional and/or national organisation to get advice on how to make your
Personal hygiene is a key public health measure that will reduce the risk of
transmission of the virus through physical activity. Each participant should wash
their hands with soap and dry them before and after play or use hand sanitiser if this
is not possible. There will also need to be regular sanitation of shared equipment. In
addition to practicing good hygiene, the ability to record participants to aid contact
tracing is very important, further information on hygiene requirements and contact
tracing can be found here.
Playgrounds, gyms, pools and public courts will be able to reopen, subject to meeting
the above public health measures. Public conservation land is open to the public
for walking, biking, and hunting but there are guidelines on the use of DOC huts and
campgrounds. Check that where you want to go is open before setting off – you may
need to book in advance. Further announcements will be made shortly regarding the
duck shooting season.
During Alert Level 2 there may be some refinements to the public health measures.
Any implications for play, active recreation and sport as a consequence of changes
to the government’s expectations and measures will result in these guidelines being
updated and reissued.
Sport NZ has this afternoon published on its website public guidance on how New Zealanders can remain physically active during COVID-19 Alert Level 2. The good news for many is that organised sport can start to work towards a return, subject to some very important conditions relating to hygiene, contract tracing and mass gatherings.
“This will be welcome news to many New Zealanders given the restrictions we’ve seen with play, active recreation and sport during Alert Levels 4 and 3, but we ask that organisations and individuals now take time to fully understand the guidelines and what is required of them to make a returned to organised sport safe and compliant,” says Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin.
“We expect that sports will take some time to understand what this means, so people should expect a phased approach of getting organised, establishing appropriate protocols and ensuring volunteers, participants and supporters know how to follow them.”
“It is most likely going to be a case of training first. This is a ‘prepare to play’ phase. We don’t want sport to be the reason we go backwards in alert levels,” says Peter Miskimmin.
The Level 2 Guidelines for Physical Activity are available at sportnz.org.nz. These include guidance around hygiene, contract tracing and mass gatherings, and how these apply to various forms of play, active recreation and sport.