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Updated Guidance On Community Sport At Alert Level 2

Yesterday’s Government decisions around Alert Level 2 impacted the mass gathering limits previously communicated for play, active recreation and sport. Today we have clarified some of the detail around this announcement and a new Alert Level 2 table has been published here.

We can now confirm that the 10 person gathering limit does apply to all community sport, however this limit will be reviewed on 25 May. At this point, subject to New Zealand’s continued containment of COVID-19, the limits may be increased which could enable full training and competition environments to restart.

This means that from 23.59 Wednesday, sports teams can train or play subject to the combined number of players, coaches and/or officials not exceeding 10 and appropriate physical distancing guidelines being observed.

We fully acknowledge that the limit affects any play, recreation or sport environment where more than 10 people might come together including events. To support your planning, we have added some guidance below to help you understand the impact of the restriction on different operational settings.

Once again, as communicated last week, we encourage a managed return to sport and recreation with public safety first and foremost in our considerations. We don’t want sport to be the reason we go backwards in alert levels.

We are aware that this is not an easy phase as we collectively juggle public expectation and our responsibilities as public-facing organisations. This is a dynamic environment in which both global and local insights on COVID-19 are influencing decisions made here in New Zealand.

We will continue to support you with more information around level 2 as quickly as possible. More guidance on hygiene, sanitation and contact tracing is pending, and this updated advice will be posted on our web site as soon as we receive Government approval.

Guidance Around Gatherings

  • Gatherings must be restricted to a maximum of 10 people (both indoor and outdoor facilities). For sport and recreation, a gathering includes spectators, players, officials and support staff.
  • All indoor and outdoor facilities will need to restrict entry to a maximum of 10 people per group. This limit will still need to be considered in the context of maintaining the 2 metre physical distancing requirement between groups.
  • Care must be taken to avoid more than 10 people congregating at communal points such as entries and car parks, and to maintain physical distancing of 2m between groups. Phasing of activities is recommended to allow time for people to pass through these areas safely.
  • Spectators should be limited or asked not to attend for now. If spectators are permitted, in order to know who attended, it is recommended that they be asked to register in advance. Spectators should be physically distanced through seating allocation or marking out of standing areas. Areas for spectators should be clearly marked out for each court/area to prevent mingling with other groups in the same facility.
  • Gathering restrictions do not apply to professional athletes, and the officials or support staff supporting these athletes. These are considered to be controlled workplaces which means there are separate guidelines that are applicable.

Further Guidance On Outdoor Sporting Venues

  • For sports or recreational activities that take place outdoors in a large open area with multiple fields or courts, the requirements on the numbers of people applies to a single field or court, so long as this is managed in accordance with other public health guidelines and the attendees at one gathering do not mingle or interact with those from another gathering.
  • For large areas such as golf courses or ski fields, individual groups (of no more than 10 people) engaging in activities should keep physically distanced from each other. Careful measures will be necessary to maintain physical distancing between groups while indoors for example in the clubhouse.
  • A registration point or points should be set up and clearly marked at the venue. This is especially important for large sports fields where there are multiple entry points and fields of play.

Other Important Information - Small Business Cashflow Scheme

Government has introduced the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme to support businesses and organisations struggling because of loss of revenue as a result of COVID-19. The eligibility criteria has been announced and can be found here.

Essentially, to be eligible your business or organisation must have 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees and be eligible for the Wage Subsidy Scheme. They must also have a sound plan to be viable ongoing and hold information to verify this.

Applications are open from 12 May 2020 up to 12 June 2020. Funds will be received within five working days and the IRD will administer the payments. The loan has a five year term and must be repaid by 31 July 2025. The annual interest rate is 3% but will not be charged if the loan is repaid within one year. In most cases businesses will be able to borrow $10,000 plus $1,800 per full time equivalent employee to a maximum of $100,000.

For more information Business Central are running a webinar for members on Wednesday which you can sign up to here.

Return To Work Webinar

Duncan Cotterill are running a webinar on returning to work at COVID-19 Alert Level 2. Guest speakers including the acting COO of WorkSafe (Tony Heatherington) and one of the most experienced health and safety professionals in New Zealand, Mike Cosman. The webinar will cover all main topics likely to come up around how to return safely to work once Level 2 commences. This webinar is at 1pm on Wednesday May 13. Please email to confirm your virtual attendance. You will then be sent a calendar invitation containing the webinar link. The webinar is free.

Governance Resources

The Sport NZ Covid-19 Governance page has recently been updated with information that may be of interest to Boards at this time. ‘How to collaborate with the enemy’ by Adam Kahane is about the difficulty of collaboration. ‘The role of the board – COVID early response’ identifies areas aligned to the board’s role that will have an amplified focus or require an alternative approach during a crisis. This comes with some useful questions for boards to ask themselves.

‘Remote Work Is Sinking In: And the Impact Is Bigger Than We Realised’ is a timely research-backed article on emerging trends (and some solutions) for new approaches to working post COVID-19. It includes some innovative solutions for keeping workplaces safe. Boards are reminded and encouraged to ask for assistance if they need it, via their Sport NZ Partnerships Manager.


As always, please continue to liaise with your Partnerships Manager (if you have one) or email if you have feedback or questions.

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