18 August 2021
Kia ora koutou,
This Sector Update contains new information on the following topics:
- New Public Health Order – mask wearing and physical activity
- International travel – general update on inbound and outbound travellers
- Financial support for businesses – wage subsidy and resurgence support
- Employee Assistance – available via Vitae Services
New Public Health Order – Guidelines on Mask Wearing
From 11:59 PM Wednesday 18th August it will be mandatory for people aged 12+ to wear a mask when visiting essential services (supermarkets, pharmacies and service stations). With this in mind, there may be some confusion as to the rules that apply for mask wearing more broadly, such as when undertaking physical activity outdoors.
Under Alert Level 4, you should stay home, but you can leave to undertake physical activity, such as walking and running locally. When exercising outdoors (eg: running or cycling) you are not required to wear a mask. You should take special care to keep at least 2 meters between yourself and anyone outside of your bubble but a face covering is not required.
Financial Support for Organisations Affected by Lockdown
To support organisations during the current Level 4 lockdown the Government has activated the following financial support for businesses:
- The Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) is available nationally when there is a regional or national move to Alert Levels 3 and 4 for a period of seven days and helps eligible businesses keep paying staff and protect jobs. The rates have been raised to reflect increased wage costs.
- The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is a payment to help support businesses or organisations with a 30% reduction of revenue due to a COVID-19 alert level increase to level 2 or higher. This is available to eligible firms at the same time as the WSS.
The criteria for these payments are expected to be the same as for previous lockdowns. Charities, not-for-profit organisations and incorporated societies are expected to be eligible for this assistance, provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.
Further information about these payments will shortly be available on the Work and Income website for the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Inland Revenue website for the Resurgence Support Payment.
The government announcement about the assistance that is available can be found here.
It is unclear at this point how long lockdown will last, and if current Alert Levels will remain in place for longer. In dealing with the disruption cause by COVID-19 in the past, Sport NZ has provided financial assistance to the sector, to ease the burden of financial uncertainty. We will apply learnings from previous recovery processes, and gather information over the next few days, in order to inform an approach as we go through this current period of disruption.
Many of you continue to face significant challenges and have made or are making difficult decisions regarding travel or event delivery in the absence of any certainty. If you have queries regarding the Government’s plan to reconnect New Zealanders to the world and access to Managed Isolation Quarantine then you can contact the team at InternationalTravel@sportnz.org.nz
Employee Assistance Services
Employee Assistance Services are available to all sector partners via Vitae. Vitae can be contacted via phone on 0508 664 981 or via their website here. Vitae offer a free and completely confidential service for people who feel they require some independent and expert support.
Contacting Sport NZ
Thank you all for continuing to work through the obvious challenges ahead. While we all hope the current lockdown situation may be short-lived, there is the likelihood of ongoing impact to operations and events.
Please contact your Partnerships Manager for further help or support if you have one, otherwise feel free to send COVID-19 related queries to this address, and we’ll respond as soon as possible: Covid19response@sportnz.org.nz