What Level 3 means for sport in New Zealand

Publish Date
Tuesday, 21 April 2020, 8:49AM
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The New Zealand Government has announced a move from a nationwide level 4 lockdown to alert level 3 in just over a week – and it means a few changes to the rules around sport and recreation.

Here's what you need to know about the things you can and can't do during alert level 3.

Professional sport
There is still no professional sport in level 3 for both non-contact and contact sports.

It means professional sport in New Zealand will stay in limbo, with more information on level 2 to come, according to Sport Minister Grant Robertson.

"At level 3 we want people to stay in their bubbles still. I know a number of our professional athletes are training hard inside their own bubble," Robertson said last week.

"When it comes to level 2 there is further work to do there as to what might be possible in terms of particularly contact sport at a professional level. That requires conversations with health officials and with sports clubs."

When asked on Monday when professional sport would return, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said "future work was being done...applicable specifically to [alert] level 2".

Sport/exercise activities
According to Sport New Zealand's website, contact and non-contact sports and activities are expanded slightly to match travel rules at level 3, but must be done within your bubble.

Level 3 still has strict rules on movement with "people instructed to stay home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement".

Newstalk ZB is reporting the governing bodies of certain recreational sports will meet with Sport New Zealand on Wednesday to learn their specific guidelines under alert level 3.

New Zealand Golf tonight confirmed that the sport could resume "under strict rules and guidelines, which will become known this week".

Simple exercise and physical activity can take place but only within your bubble.

Sport New Zealand advises the public to "remain within your current abilities".

"Examples are easy walks, picnics, backyard soccer, biking, including riding on easy, local mountain bike tracks. Public parks may open, but need to maintain physical distancing with people outside extended bubble."

Activities or sport involving contact must remain within bubble members and must be low-risk activities.

Sport NZ states: "[You] can train at home or outside with bubble members if personal contact is limited to bubble, activity is low risk, any associated travel is within allowed amount. Low-risk activities only: care must be taken not to be injured and require medical care."

Water sports
Some water sport is now allowed at level 3 if done alone or within your bubble but "no congregating, keep it low risk (no activities you have not tried before or are inexperienced in), and also keep it non-motorised".

All public aquatic facilities are closed.

Allowed (but stay close to shore): Swimming, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, rowing, windsurfing and paddle boarding.

Not allowed: Boating, sailing and jet skis.

Active recreation including hunting, tramping, fishing
Advice on hunting is still being developed.

The Government advises to check with Department of Conservation for activities on public conservation land.

Gyms remain closed.

Allowed: Biking (including riding on easy, local mountain bike tracks), fishing (recreational and other non-commercial fishing or line-fishing from shore only).

Play, in outdoor parks and fields, remains similar with level 4: It must be contained within your extended bubble.

Playgrounds are still closed.

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