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Play, Active Recreation and Sport at Alert Level 3

Your Alert Level will depend on where you are in New Zealand.

The current Alert Level for your region can be found at

See here for our Alert Level 3 - Step 1 information

See here for our Alert Level 3 - Step 2 information

Alert Level 3 – Restrict

  • Stay at home in your bubble, other than for essential personal movement – e.g. for local recreation
  • You can do low-risk recreation activities in your local area on your own, or with people in your household bubble.
  • You are encouraged to wear a face covering, and must keep 2 metres distance from others when exercising. 
  • Remember to use the NZ COVID Tracer app and scan QR codes if you visit an essential service.
  • If you are unwell, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.
  • You should stay safe and close to home. Go to your local park, not your favourite one. You must stay within your region and overnight trips are not allowed.

Public health measures

  • People are instructed to stay home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement — including to go to work, school if they have to or for local recreation. Don’t invite or allow social visitors, such as friends, family and whānau, to enter your home.
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres outside home, or 1 metre in controlled environments like workplaces.
  • Face coverings must be worn on public transport and when visiting essential services. They are highly recommended if you are out and about.
  • People must stay within their immediate household bubble but can expand this to reconnect with close family/whānau, or bring in caregivers or support isolated people. This extended bubble should remain exclusive.
  • People must work from home unless that is not possible.
  • Businesses can open premises, but cannot physically interact with customers.
  • Public venues are closed. This includes libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds, markets.
  • Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga. Physical distancing and public health measures must be maintained.
  • If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise and if you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline and get advice about being tested.
  • Inter-regional travel is highly limited to, for example, essential workers, with limited exemptions for others.
  • People at high risk of severe illness such as older people and those with existing medical conditions are encouraged to stay at home where possible, and take additional precautions when leaving home.
  • Play

    e.g. playing in homes, neighbourhoods and playgrounds

    Alert Level 3

    • Play must be contained within your bubble.
    • Streets, outdoor parks and fields are okay, but playgrounds are closed.

    Scenarios at Level 3

    • Public and school playgrounds are closed.
    • You are able to drive within your region to play in a public space for example a beach or a park – however physical distancing (2 metres) should be maintained.
  • Active recreation

    e.g. walking or going to the gym

    Alert Level 3

    • No gathering for active recreation with people outside your bubble.
    • You can travel for active recreation within your region.
    • Maintain physical distancing (2 metres) with people outside your bubble.
    • Activities must remain low risk and within your current abilities and don’t pick up new activities.
    • Lower-risk activities only: care must be taken not to be injured and require medical care.
    • No contact activity or sharing equipment or balls with people outside your bubble.

    Scenarios at Level 3

    • Gyms and public pools cannot open.
    • Personal trainers and professional coaches should work from home and use online and video conferencing facilities to deliver their training.
    • Short walks (up to 3 hours total) on easy trails are permitted. Long, backcountry tramping or overnight hiking is not allowed.
    • Longer rides/runs (within your region) are ok. Although they should still be low risk and you should be self-sufficient (be able to get home without outside assistance if something goes wrong).
    • Mountain biking on known trails for experienced mountain bikers is permitted.
    • Any activities that may expose the participant to danger or may require search and rescue services are not permitted. Regardless of your personal competency or experience, if an incident was to occur, and this would typically require search and rescue, then that activity is not permitted.
    • This means that you should not participate in activities such as any form of hunting in areas not readily accessible from your home (including by vehicle), backcountry tramping, rock climbing, mountaineering, any form of backcountry snowsports, swimming at a distance from shore, or mountain biking at grade 3 or above.
  • Sport

    e.g. team sport

    Contact sport – is an activity, particularly a team activity, where you are coming into close contact to others as part of competing or taking part in that activity – for example, physical contact sports like rugby and wrestling, sport where there is close contact like football, squash, basketball, hockey, netball or a rowing crew (in which case also refer to guidance for Water-based Activities below).

    Non-contact sports – are activities in which you can comfortably avoid coming closer than 2 metres to others as part of participating in that activity – for example, running, cycling, golf or bowls.

    Alert Level 3

    • No gathering for sport with people outside your bubble.
    • You can travel for sport within your region.
    • Maintain physical distancing (2 metres) with people outside your bubble.
    • Activities must remain within your current abilities and don’t pick up new activities.
    • Group activities with anyone outside your bubble are not allowed.
    • Lower-risk activities only: care must be taken not to be injured and require medical care.
    • No contact activity or sharing equipment or balls with people outside your bubble.

    Scenarios at Level 3

    You can train at your home or outside with bubble members only. For example, going for a run or weight training.

    Do not share equipment outside your bubble. For example, you cannot play frisbee or kick a rugby ball with people outside of your bubble.

    Do not use things like playground equipment or benches in public spaces for your training.

    If you’re exercising outdoors, maintain physical distancing from those outside your bubble (2 metres).

    Try to avoid places with a large number of people – and do not arrange to meet anyone.

    You can travel within your region to get to a destination for recreation (for example, going to a particular park or trail). Check in advance whether the place you’re going to is open – not all areas will be open.

    Participate in low-risk activities only: care must be taken not to be injured and require medical care.

    For outdoor sports where 2 metres physical distancing is possible e.g. golf, tennis, bowls etc:

    • Public facilities will be closed. Private facilities (e.g. clubhouses, toilets, showers) cannot open except for use by workers (with appropriate public health measures in place).
    • A COVID-19 safety plan must be in place, including risk controls for any staff that may be on site (e.g. grounds person).
    • Contact tracing measures must be in place.
    • Common touch points must be minimised. It is good practice for the facility owner to sanitise all surfaces (e.g. gates, flags, holes, nets etc) after each use. Users should sanitise their hands after touching them.
    • Don’t share food or drink, and water fountains should not be used.
    • Don’t share equipment (e.g. clubs, balls, towels, water bottles etc).
    • You can only play with those in your bubble. Do not arrange to meet anyone else to play.
    • You must keep physical distancing of 2 metres from anyone outside of your bubble.
    • There can be no congregating. You must leave as soon as you have completed your recreation activity.
  • Water-based activities

    e.g. swimming, kayaking, surfing

    Lower risk – would be activities that you can comfortably undertake, and have done so previously, in conditions that do not pose any additional risk (e.g. calm water or moderate temperatures).

    High risk – would be challenging activities, or challenging conditions (e.g. high winds, large waves, rips or cold-water temperatures).

    Alert Level 3

    • Water-based activities are discouraged where they would expose participants to danger or require search and rescue services.
    • Water-based activities involving boats or motorised craft or equipment, or scuba diving are not allowed.
    • Maintain physical distancing with people outside your bubble.
    • Remain within your current abilities and don’t pick up new activities.

    Scenarios at Level 3

    • All public aquatic facilities are closed (only workers can enter premises).
    • Some water activities are possible. We recommend you remain within close range of the shore (no more than 200m away). These activities would include: swimming, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, rowing, windsurfing and paddle boarding but only when meeting the following guidance and complying with other public health guidance.
    • You must: stay within your bubble, not share equipment, not gather with others (even with physical distancing), stay close to shore and only go out when conditions are calm.
    • Water-based activities involving sailing boats, motorised craft or equipment, or scuba diving are not allowed.
    • High risk activities are discouraged, because these activities expose participants or other users to increased danger and may require complex search and rescue services.
    • Further guidance on boating and water-based activities at each alert level is provided by Maritime NZ (
    • Fishing from a wharf or surfcasting from the beach is permitted, but people should not fish from rocks (because of the increased drowning risk).
    • If in doubt, then don’t go out.
  • Commercial

    e.g. sports which sell merchandise or run bar/café facilities

    Alert Level 3

    • All venues and sporting facilities are closed.
    • Everyone should work from home if possible. Workers can only come into the premises if they can’t work from home. And then appropriate measures must be taken. If these measures cannot be taken, staff must not go to work and premises should remain closed.
    • Contactless retail/merchandise open to customers for pickup or delivery. Customers cannot enter premises.
    • Businesses cannot offer services that involve close personal contact, unless it is an emergency or critical situation. All hospitality services and venues remain closed, and no food or drink to be consumed on premises.
    • Only essential regional travel (e.g. travel to work), travel to other regions is not allowed.

    Scenarios at Level 3

    • Individual businesses should follow MBIE and WorkSafe NZ advice.
    • You cannot travel to other regions (e.g. you should not be travelling from Hamilton to Auckland) other than in limited circumstances. See the website for more information.
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