10 November 2021
Kia ora koutou,

Thank you for your patience as we have worked through the most recent change in alert levels. In this Sector Update please note: 
  • Amends to permitted sports under Alert Level 3, Step 2 and clarification about toilets at private facilities
  • New vaccination guidance – see our comprehensive guide covering:
    • Developing a vaccination policy for staff in your own organisation 
    • Requirements for visitors to your facility and/or participants in your events
    • What we know about the Covid-19 Protection Framework
  • Information about the Events Transition Support Payment Scheme
Alert Level 3, Step 2
Today finds us in a new setting with Tāmaki Makaurau (and parts of the Waikato) at Alert Level 3 Step 2 allowing for retail and public facilities such as museums and libraries to open. Outdoor gatherings expand to 25 noting the need to remain vigilant about social distancing, contact tracing and hygiene. 
 
With this a caveat that for sport, recreation and play, the following limitations still apply:
  • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities cannot open, this also means that indoor and outdoor swimming pools remain closed
  • Most contact-based team sports, such as basketball or volleyball, should not go ahead
  • Playgroups and playcentres cannot operate
New guidance for sports permitted under Step 2
We are pleased to announce that the guidance for equipment sharing for certain sports and recreation activities under Alert Level 3 Step 2 has been amended. The Ministry of Health has confirmed that non-contact outdoor sports will now be allowed to share equipment, as the risk of transmission of Covid-19 with shared equipment is low. 
Our new guidance strongly recommends that:
  • Participants should maintain physical distancing while engaging in these activities
  • There is a maximum of 25 people per gathering, including the instructor/coaches
  • The shared equipment should be sanitised before and after the activity occurs
  • Participants who feel unwell or are symptomatic should stay at home.
Example of activities that would be permitted include cricket, tennis, frisbee and any ball skills training which did not involve contact. Outdoor contact sports and recreation activities that are not able to follow physical distancing guidelines are not covered by this change. See the updated guidance here.
 
We are also aware of the current difficulties in Alert Level 3 Step 2 for sports who are currently permitted to open but must ensure that their indoor facilities remain closed to the public. We are working closely with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to solve this issue and expect to have a resolution early next week. 
 
Guide to vaccination for the sport and recreation sector
We appreciate that there is a lot of uncertainty about vaccinations and what organisations can and cannot require at the moment. Our new guidance sets out the current position on vaccinations noting there will likely be changes as we transition into the Covid-19 Protection Framework. The details of the traffic light system are still being designed; we will issue further guidance as soon as we can about the implications this new system will have for sport and recreation (such as how the system will work for community sport events).  

Government support for large-scale ticketed summer events
Yesterday the Government announced a new scheme to provide assurance to organisers of large-scale summer events so they have the confidence to plan and deliver these events. The Events Transition Support Payment scheme will provide support for large-scale events with over 5,000 attendees by covering 90% of unrecoverable sunk costs if the event has to be postponed or cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions. 

The scheme is broadly targeted at a wide range of large-scale summer events and sports events will be eligible for the scheme if they meet the criteria. Examples of sports events that may qualify for the scheme include mass participation events (such as Wellington Round the Bays) and sports events with large crowds (e.g. domestic and international cricket matches etc). The key criteria are that:
  • the event must have over 5,000 confirmed attendees who have paid for tickets or for their registration fee  
  • the event must be scheduled to take place between 17 December 2021 and 3 April 2022 and have been announced before 9 November 2021
  • the event must require the use of COVID-19 vaccination certificates.
Read more about the announcement of the scheme here. More information about the specific criteria for the scheme, how to apply and a contact email address if you have any questions about the scheme can be found here
 
Getting help and guidance from Sport NZ
As always, please send questions directly to your Partnership Manager if you have one or send your query to: Covid19response@sportnz.org.nz. Note that anyone in the sector is welcome to sign up to Sector Update here.
 
Ngā mihi, 
Raelene Castle
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