Our most frequently asked questions can be found below.
Do coaches have to wear masks?
It is not mandatory for coaches to wear masks when training with their athletes, however it is recommended that masks are worn where possible.
I work in a gym, do I have to wear a mask?
It is not mandatory to wear a mask if you work in a gym but it is recommended that all customer-facing staff at indoor sport and recreation facilities (including gyms) wear masks while serving customers.
Can I require my staff to be vaccinated?
The threshold for whether an employer can require a staff member to be vaccinated for a particular role is a high one. Employers may make vaccination a requirement for new employees (and existing employees if negotiated as a variation to the conditions of employment) only if, following a health and safety risk assessment, there is considered to be a high risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 to others (such as border workers, for example). It is unlikely that roles in the sport and recreation sector will meet this threshold. See this Worksafe link for more information.
Can I ask/require people entering if they're vaccinated?
When planning any events and how to run their facilities, event organisers and facility managers should consider the steps they will take to meet their health and safety obligations (see the Worksafe website here for some useful guidance and tools to help with this). This will include following any relevant Covid-19 alert level requirements (such as physical distancing, contact tracing and mask wearing as appropriate) as well as any additional protocols the organiser/manager deems necessary.
At this stage there is no legal requirement that an individual must be vaccinated before entering a facility or participating in an event. Any decision about making vaccination a requirement of entry is therefore dependent on each specific situation and will require event organisers and facility managers to consider:
- the broader environment relating to the event or facility and the wider health and safety measures that are in place;
- the legality of seeking mandatory vaccinations (from a privacy and discriminatory perspective); and
- how to implement anti-discriminatory measures and protect personal information should mandatory vaccinations be deemed legal and required.
We cannot provide general advice on whether vaccination can or cannot be made a requirement of entry because each case will be different and will involve balancing health and safety risks alongside the rights of those who, for whatever reason, are not vaccinated. If you are considering making vaccination a requirement of entry it would be advisable to seek independent legal advice.
This issue is one that goes well beyond the sport and recreation sector. We understand that a broader government-wide approach to the issue of using vaccination status as a condition of entry to a facility or an event is being developed and will update our guidance as soon as we know more.
Can I ask people entering my facility if they're vaccinated?
You need to consider why you are asking this question – and the information provided above in response to “Can I make being vaccinated a condition of entry to a facility or event?” will be relevant here. If you have decided that requiring vaccination as a condition of entry is appropriate, please refer to this link for more information from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner about the COVID-19 vaccination and privacy rights. As above, if you are considering asking visitors this, it would be advisable to seek independent legal advice.
Can I run a regional or national event at Level 2?
There is a lot more freedom at Level 2 to resume sport and recreation activities provided the relevant public health guidelines are followed. This includes the ability to travel for sport and recreation provided the relevant public health guidelines are met. However, it is important to remember that at Level 2 the virus is still present in New Zealand and the overall approach is to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. At Level 2 there may be limited community transmission of the virus and there are active clusters in at least one part of New Zealand. While it may be possible to run regional or national competitions within the Level 2 rules, we would urge event organisers to remember that the rules are a minimum requirement – just because you can theoretically do something within the Level 2 rules does not mean that you should do it. We recommend that a conservative approach should be taken to the hosting of any regional and national sport and recreation events while the Level 2 restrictions are still in place. This may mean postponing or rescheduling an event or reducing the number of participants or teams involved.
Will Sport NZ be setting up another COVID relief fund?
Sport NZ are exploring options for Auckland communities and hope to be able to provide an update on this soon. We are not looking to set up a Community Resilience Fund for any areas outside of the Auckland region. We will continue to monitor the situation as new evidence emerges.
Inviting guests from other alert levels
If I am hosting an event in a region that is Alert Level 1, can someone from a region in Alert Level 2 attend my event?
If you are holding an event, then the event itself will have to follow the guidelines of the Alert Level set for the region the event is being held in. If there are different Alert Levels for regions in the country (e.g. if Auckland is level 2 and the rest of the country is level 1), then the individuals travelling from Auckland to the event “take their level with them”. In practice, this may mean that they cannot participate in the event if it would involve being part of a gathering larger than the limit that applies under the individuals alert level. It is the responsibility of any individuals travelling to stick to the guidelines of their personal alert level, not the event.
Which facilities are expected to contact trace?
For the sport and recreation sector, mandatory contact tracing applies to:
- Indoor facilities where sport and recreation occur e.g. recreation centres, swimming pools
- Indoor exercise facilities e.g. gyms, yoga studios
- Sport and recreation clubrooms
- Commercial and ticketed sport and recreation events
In all other places where people gather, it is encouraged but not mandatory to provide record keeping. For example, changing rooms. If you are in doubt, it is recommended you provide record keeping.
What are my responsibilities as a sports facility?
Businesses are required to display a NZ COVID Tracer QR code and have an alternative way people can record their visit. Displaying QR codes for scanning is a legal requirement under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 11) 2021. This means you need to display a QR code and have one alternate form of record-keeping for people who do not use the COVID Tracer App.
At Alert Levels 2, 3 and 4, most businesses that are open must have systems and processes in place to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that everyone aged 12 years or older who enters their workplace either:
- scans the NZ COVID Tracer QR code
- makes some other kind of personal contact record (e.g. a diary note), or
- provides their name and phone number to business, alongside the date and time they were present.
This means more than just displaying the QR code and having a sign in sheet. It requires the person in charge of the business or service to have systems and processes in place to ensure that people do check in.
What counts as my ‘local area’ at Alert Level 3 and 4?
You are allowed to leave your home or place of residence for recreation or exercise at an outdoor location in your local area that is easy to access. This includes travel by vehicle if you need to access outdoor space, however, please note that you should not travel between regions for physical activity and the recommendation is to stay close to home. There are no specific rules or guidelines defining local, however we encourage people to use their common sense and remember that the guidance exists to keep you and others safe.
I have a Sports Club that serves food and drink
Do I follow the sport facility or hospitality guidelines?
At Alert Level 2 all venues and sporting facilities, including clubrooms, can open but must have safety measures in place such as the 2m physical distancing rule for customers. All venues must have a WorkSafe plan in place for safe operation. Hospitality operations must meet the public health guidelines for these operations Cafes, bars, restaurants and night clubs | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz). Business premises can open for staff and customers. Services can also be provided on customers’ premises (e.g. coaching or personal training). These businesses must operate safely.
- Complying with mandatory contact tracing and record keeping for all participants and spectators
- Complying with general Alert Level 2 settings
- Meeting appropriate public health requirements for their workplace
- Fulfilling all other health and safety obligations.