What Level 2 means for sport - and why uncertainty remains for rugby comps

Publish Date
Tuesday, 7 September 2021, 8:08AM


Sport and recreation for all of New Zealand – except for Auckland – is set to return following the Government's decision to move the rest of the country to alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Tuesday.

Under alert Level 2, usual sport and recreation activities is allowed if it can be done safely.

Public parks and playgrounds will be re-opened, while indoor facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, dance studios and health clubs can open, but with extra safety measures.

However, new Level 2 rules will be introduced because of the danger presented by the Delta strain, including mandatory mask use in most public venues and patron limits at restaurants, bars and clubs.

Under the new Delta Level 2, indoor public facilities such as gyms and libraries are now classified the same as retail and supermarkets: a 2-metre space will be required.

Team sports can also continue, but are limited to 100 people. Professional leagues will be able to return as they are considered controlled workplaces, but will take place without fans.

The drop in alert levels outside of Auckland is set to have a positive impact on rugby in particular.

It opens the door for most teams in the NPC, Farah Palmer Cup and Heartland Championship to resume training.

However, with Auckland staying at alert level four for at least another week, likely followed by a period at Level 3, resumption to competitions remains up in the air and would require teams in the greater Auckland areas to relocate.

New Zealand Rugby will provide an update on the competitions tomorrow morning.

The New Zealand women's NBL could also resume if Auckland-based teams were willing to move.

Auckland's alert level and the move to Level 2 for the rest of the country will be reviewed next Monday.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission