Frequently Asked Questions

Physical Activity in COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 enables the return of organised sport and more options for play and active recreation. Below are answers to commonly asked questions, grouped into four topics:


General Questions
What are the Golden Rules at Alert Level 2?

Do everything you can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

  1. COVID-19 is still out there. Play it safe.
  2. Keep your distance from other people in public.
  3. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  4. If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline and get tested.
  5. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  6. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, regularly disinfect surfaces.
  7. If you have been told to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  8. Keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen
What are the rules about physical distancing?

At Alert Level 2 we can leave our bubbles and reconnect with our close friends and family again.  We still need to be careful, and socialise safely to keep COVID-19 under control.

  • Socialise with people you know and keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.
  • When out in public keep your distance from people you don’t know. Aim for 2 metres where possible.
  • Do not gather in groups of more than 10 people. This includes taking part in sports training, sports competitions and any form of play or active recreation.
  • More than one gathering can operate indoors and outdoors where 2 metre physical distance can be maintained between groups at all time, including at places like entries, carparks and changing rooms, and provided that equipment Is not shared between groups without being cleaned first.
  • Sport and recreation activities can take place where more than 10 people are present if all participants maintain a 2 metre physical distance at all times and all other public health and safety requirements are in place.
  • On public transport don’t sit next to someone you don’t know – keep the seat next to you empty. There will be limited capacity, so limit your use of public transport at peak times if you can.
  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (cold and flu like symptoms), you should be staying at home, and you should not go to work or socialise with anyone.
  • If you are self-isolating because you have been tested for COVID-19, or have been diagnosed as a probable or confirmed case then you should not leave the house other than to seek medical attention
What if I’m somewhere that’s very crowded?

You should avoid places where it’s difficult to keep your distance. If a public space becomes too crowded to maintain distancing (2 metres), you should consider leaving. This includes children’s playgrounds, skate parks, courts and fields.

What is a gathering?

A gathering is a group of people who are intermingling, and includes both public and private activities, but does not include activities where people remain 2 metres apart (e.g. people at a playground or park) or activities undertaken on a business premises or educational facility. Gatherings include parties, weddings, funerals, tangihanga, religious celebrations, or spectators watching sports or music events (this isn’t an exhaustive list). 

Gatherings are not: offices or work sites (including professional sports, gyms), supermarkets, educational facilities, retail stores, cafes, bars or restaurants, public transport, hospitals, prisons, or malls (all of whom have their own measures in place to prevent transmission). Gatherings are not people going to a public venue like a swimming pool, or going to a park or a beach for a walk where other people are present.

For indoor venues like a shopping mall, or swimming pool there are guidelines for operating safely. There are two types of gatherings relevant to sport and recreation:

  • Gatherings of friends and whānau – where everyone knows each other
  • Lower-risk gatherings – where not everyone knows each other and therefore someone keeps records to enable contact tracing.
Do the gathering rules apply to sport?

Yes. If a gathering is at a public or private venue (both indoor and outdoor) then the organiser of the gathering is responsible for making sure that the following measures are met: 

  • There are no more than 10 people (including coaches and match officials) in any one gathering
  • Keep 2 metres between individuals or other groups of people who don’t know each other unless the gathering is in a facility where contact details of attendees are being recorded in which case the distance is 1 metre
  • Keep a register of the contact details of everyone that attended if they do not all know each other
  • More than one gathering can operate indoors and outdoors where 2 metre physical distance can be maintained between groups at all time, including at places like entries, carparks and changing rooms, and provided that equipment Is not shared between groups without being cleaned first.
  • Sport and recreation activities can take place where more than 10 people are present if all participants maintain a 2 metre physical distance at all times and all other public health and safety requirements are in place

The organiser of an event should also ensure:

  • People with cold and flu symptoms do not attend
  • Surfaces are wiped down regularly with disinfectant
  • Facilities for regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water and drying, or hand sanitiser are provided.
Why are gatherings limited?

In situations where people come into contact with each other, such as contact sports or contact activities, this is classified as different to settings where people can train or participate while remaining physically distant at all times. Gatherings are limited to 10 or less to limit the risk of a viral spread to large groups of people. People managing gatherings need to have robust plans in place covering hygiene, sanitation, distancing and contact tracing.

Do I have to provide my contact details if I attend an event?

If a venue or premises is required to record contact details you must provide them.  Organisers need this information so that if you are able to be contacted if there is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 at the event.


Organised sport
How do I know that it is safe for me or my children to attend and participate in sport?

Each business, organisation or individual who is running a sport programme must have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in place.  This plan sets out hygiene/sanitation and contract tracing measures specific to their facility and the sport being played. If you would like to be sure it is safe to attend you can request to see the plan.  If there is no plan the business or organisation should not be operating.

Can I play rugby/netball/hockey/basketball and other contact or non-contact sports?

For now, the 10 person gathering limit applies to all community sport, however competitions are expected to resume soon, subject to New Zealand’s continued containment of COVID-19.

Until that time, unless physical distancing guidelines are being observed, sports teams will not be able to train or play if the combined number of players, coaches and/or officials exceeds 10.

If your sport is able to train or play with physical distancing in place, you will still need to ensure contact-tracing measures are in place and personal hygiene measures are followed.

Can sports teams train?

For now, the 10 person gathering limit applies to all community sport, however competitions are expected to resume soon, subject to New Zealand’s continued containment of COVID-19.

Until that time, unless physically distancing guidelines are being observed, sports teams will not be able to train if the combined number of players, coaches and/or officials exceeds 10. Multiple groups of 10 can train at the same time, provided that they do not mix. Indoor facilities may need to restrict capacity to ensure that physical distancing requirements are met. Outdoors there Is no limit to the total number of people who can attend, provided that physical distance can be maintained between gathering groups.

When your sport is able to train in groups larger than 10, you will still need to ensure contact-tracing measures are in place and personal hygiene measures are followed.

Can more than one gathering of 10 train at the same sports field or facility?

Yes, but there are important rules to follow. Indoors - gatherings or groups of 10 cannot merge and must maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres. This includes use of spaces like carparks, entries and changing rooms. Also, there can be no sharing of equipment (including balls) between groups, unless these are cleaned first. Outdoors – multiple groups of 10 can train or play in large outdoor spaces if they do not mingle and maintain distance from each other. The same rules around merging and sharing equipment also apply.

How do I run a training session (e.g. football, rugby, hockey) with just ten people?

Your club or national sporting body will be able to support you with this.

Do we need to maintain physical distancing when training or playing sport?

No, as long as you remain in your gathering of up to 10 people and your group maintains physical distancing from other groups Physical distancing is essential, however, if you wish to operate a group of more than 10 people.

How do I run a training and manage things like contract tracing and hygiene?

Your club or national sporting body will be able to support you with this.

Can I travel for inter-club sport?

Yes, but we recommend you travel safe, track your journey and follow these tips:

  • Stay 2 metres away from people you don’t know
  • Don’t travel if you’re unwell
  • Keep a record of where you go
  • Don’t travel inter-regionally to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings.
  • If you are carpooling, make a note of who you are travelling with.
Can I go to watch a community sports game?

This will depend on the club, school or organisers of the game as some sports may decide not to have spectators attend in the short term.  If spectators are allowed, numbers may be restricted and all spectators will be required to apply physical distancing if they are not part of the same gathering. We recommend you contact the organiser or check their website if you are interested in attending a sports game. There Is a cap of 100 people at event venues such as stadia.

Can professional sport start again?

Yes, professional sport can take place in Alert Level 2. The Government is working closely with New Zealand-based Super Rugby franchises, the Netball ANZ Premiership, and High Performance Sport NZ to ensure professional sport can start as soon as possible.


Gyms, studios and other active recreation facilities
How do I know that it is safe for me or my children to start participating?

Each business or individual who is running a sport programme must have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in place.  This plan sets out hygiene/sanitation and contract tracing measures specific to their facility and the sport being played. If you would like to be sure it is safe to attend, you can request to see the COVID-19 plan.  If there is no plan the business should not be operating.

Can I go to the gym?

Gyms can open under Alert Level 2 so long as all public health guidelines are met such as contact tracing record keeping, physical distancing and ensuring infection prevention and control requirements are met. We recommended you contact these facilities or check their website for information how they are managing the public health guidelines. If this is uncertain, you may wish to request a copy of their COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan.

Will swimming pools be open?

Pool facilities can open to the public if they can operate safely. This includes physical distancing, contract tracing record keeping, and ensuring infection prevention and control requirements are met. Some facilities may be shut, such as spa pools, hydro slides, steam rooms, saunas and hot pools. We recommended you contact these facilities or check their website for information how they are managing the public health guidelines. If this is uncertain, you may wish to request a copy of their COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan.

Am I able to attend a yoga, pilates or cross-training class?

Yes, these types of studios can open under Alert Level 2 so long as all public health guidelines are met such as contact tracing records, and – where practical – physical distancing. We recommended you contact these facilities or check their website for information how they are managing the public health guidelines. If this is uncertain, you may wish to request a copy of their COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan.

Can I work with a personal trainer?

Yes, so long as all public health guidelines are followed. This will include contact tracing records and – where practical – physical distancing. We recommended you contact your personal trainer to see how they and/or the facility in which they operate are managing the public health guidelines.

Can I use an indoor court for activities such as basketball, badminton, volleyball or squash?

Yes, these types of indoor facilities open under Alert Level 2 so long as all public health guidelines are met such as contact tracing and – where practical – physical distancing. We recommended you contact your local club or facility or check their website for information how they are managing the public health guidelines. If this is uncertain, you may wish to request a copy of their COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan.

Do we need to maintain physical distancing when at a gym or yoga, pilates or fitness studio?

Yes, physical distancing rules apply.

Can more than 10 people train at one time in a gym or yoga, pilates or fitness studio?

Commercial operations such as gyms and fitness studios will be operating under their own COVID-19 WorkSafe plans. As businesses, they can have more than 10 people at one time as long as those people are physical distancing and there are proper measures in place around hygiene and contract tracing.

How many people are allowed in a gym, swimming pool, yoga studio or other indoor sports facility?

For most indoor facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and yoga studios, any number of people can be in a building or facility so long as they can meet the physical distancing and all other requirements (e.g. contact tracing). Proprietors should estimate their building's capacity having regard to its usable floor space and the need for people to maintain 1 metre distance if the venue or premises is required to keep records to enable contact tracing.

For event facilities, e.g. stadiums, there is a maximum cap of 100.

Outdoor play and recreation
How far can I travel for recreation?

Inter-regional travel is permitted for recreation, however we recommend you travel safe, track your journey and follow these tips:

  • Stay 2 metres away from people you don’t know
  • Don’t travel if you’re unwell
  • Keep a record of where you go
  • Don’t travel inter-regionally to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings.
  • If you are carpooling, make a note of who you are travelling with
Do I need to worry about keep records for contract tracing?

When exercising or recreating we recommend you take note of who you have been with and where. For example, make a note of the route you ran and when. If going on a ‘pack’ run or cycle, someone in the group needs to record the names of the participants.

Should I clean my equipment?

Where practical, this is recommended before and after each use.

Do I need to maintain physical distancing?

Yes. To the greatest extent possible stay 2 metres apart from people you do not know. For example, when running make sure you run single file when approaching others and give them a wide berth when passing. You should also involve lingering before or active exercising to avoid unnecessary contact with other people.

Can I go to the beach or park?

Yes, you can go to the beach or park, but people are encouraged to be safety smart. If it’s crowded, go home, as you must be able to maintain 2 metres distance from other people you do not know. This is because it’s difficult to keep your distance, and there is no reliable way to trace everyone if illness occurs.

Can we do outdoor recreational activities like walking, biking, tramping, surfing, mountain biking, fishing, water-sports?

You can do your usual recreation activities but you are encouraged to do these safely. Public conservation land will be open to the public for walking, biking, and hunting but there are guidelines on the use of DOC huts and campgrounds. Check out the DOC website for details.

Can we go boating/sailing?

Yes, boating is allowed at Alert Level 2. This includes motorised boats and jetskis.

Can I go duck shooting?

Yes. Details of the revised season dates have been announced.

Can I use a public outdoor tennis or basketball court?

Yes, but you must maintain a 2 metre distance from people outside of your group and clean your equipment after use.

Are playgrounds open?

Yes, playgrounds are open under Alert Level 2. Please try to maintain a 2 metre distance from people. This can be difficult for small children at playgrounds, particularly if there are others around. Please be safety smart – if you aren’t confident your child can maintain physical distancing, we recommend you try somewhere else.

Will ski-fields be allowed to operate at Alert Level 2?

Yes. There will be no cap on the total number of people on the ski field, but people must keep 2 metres from people they don’t know.