Events and entertainment

Advice about attending events and using public venues at each of the Alert Levels.

Events and entertainment at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, there are no restrictions on the number of people who can attend a large event or gathering. You can hold events both indoors and outdoors. All public facilities such as libraries, museums and cinemas can open.

You can travel to attend events in another town or city.

Events and entertainment at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, there are no restrictions on the number of people that can attend an event at a venue, for example at a stadium, cinema, theatre, casino, concert hall or conference venue — as long as everyone can safely stay 1 metre apart. Attendees can be seated or standing.

This includes indoor and outdoor event facilities, and both ticketed and non-ticketed events.

Events that are held outdoors but not at an event facility — for example a concert at a park, a parade, or an organised sporting event like an amateur club rugby tournament must follow the rules for social gatherings. These are limited to 100 people in any defined indoor or outdoor space.

Social gatherings at Alert Level 2

Advice for event organisers

Everyone attending your event needs to keep a safe distance from people they do not know. Attendees must stay 1 metre away from each other — unless the entire venue has been hired for a private social gathering. People working at the event also need to stay 1 metre apart from each other.

  • If your venue has a stage, make sure the audience is seated 1 metre away.
  • If your venue is small, you may need to limit attendees to make sure everyone can distance safely. You may want to alternate occupied seats with vacant seats to help everyone keep a safe distance.
  • Think about how people can safely distance in congested areas – for example, bathrooms, entrances, lifts, corridors and walkways.
  • Encourage people to arrive early. You may want to open the venue up earlier to allow people more time to find their seats, order food or drink and avoid congestion.
  • Use signs and posters to direct traffic flow, and let people know where they need to stand.

Face coverings

Performers do not need to wear a face covering when on stage, but we encourage them to wear one backstage. Staff working at an event are encouraged to wear a face covering but this is not a requirement — unless they are serving food or drinks.

Attendees are encouraged to wear a face covering where possible — they can take it off to eat and drink.

Serving food and drinks

Customers at a cinema or theatre do not have to be seated at a table and are able to consume food and drink from their seats.

At all other event facilities, if you are providing food and drinks everyone must be seated at a table to eat and drink. Tables should be spaced 1 metre apart to help with physical distancing. Workers serving food and drinks must wear a face covering.

If your event has a licence to sell alcohol, attendees must be seated at a table to be served. This means attendees will not be able to go up to the bar to order, even if they are ordering food or a non-alcoholic drink.

If your event is not licenced, attendees can buy food and drink from the counter area but they must be seated at a table to eat or drink. 

Ticketing

We encourage you to use contactless payment options for selling tickets. Ask attendees to buy their tickets online, before they come to the event to avoid queueing at the venue.

Cleaning and hygiene

  • Regularly clean high touch surfaces – for example, door handles, handrails, counters and shared facilities.
  • Clean shared equipment – for example microphones used by speakers at events.
  • Clean audience and spectators areas such as seating before and after your event.
  • Provide hand sanitiser in high traffic areas, for example entrances, doorways, lifts and bathroom facilities.
  • Refill sanitisers and soap regularly.
  • Talk to your workers to see if they have access to enough hygiene supplies. Use signs and posters to educate attendees about good hygiene habits.
  • Ask people who are unwell not to attend your event.

Ventilation

In enclosed spaces, such as indoor settings, or indoor areas of outdoor venues, good ventilation can help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. If you’re organising an event in an indoor venue, you should think about:

  • Keeping doors and windows open to improve airflow
  • Regularly maintaining air conditioning systems 

 If you are going to an event 

  • We strongly encourage you to wear a face covering.
  • Stay home if you are unwell or if you have been asked to isolate.
  • Scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer App.
  • Avoid congregating or gathering at entrances or in small shared spaces such as the bathroom. 
  • If you need to pay for your food or drinks, use contactless payment options if possible. 
  • Follow the venue's safety measures and stay in your allocated seat.

Travelling to an event

At Alert Level 2, you can travel to other regions that are at Alert Level 1 or 2 to attend a concert, conference, sports game or any other event. If the event is in an Alert Level 2 area, attendees will need to meet physical distancing guidelines, and keep 1 metre apart.

Public venues at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, public venues such as libraries, art galleries and museums can open. Public venues also include indoor recreation facilities — for example, swimming pools, gyms and health clubs.

If people can safely maintain 2 metre physical distance, there is no limit on how many people can be inside. Some venues may choose to limit the number of visitors to meet physical distancing requirements. Please follow the instructions of the venue, and be prepared to queue. 

Employees working at indoor public venues legally must wear a face covering — except for at a swimming pool.

If you go to a public venue:

  • keep 2 metres physical distance from people you do not know
  • sign in using the NZ COVID Tracer app
  • you legally must wear a face covering at all indoor public venues — except for when you are exercising
  • wash or sanitise your hands after using shared equipment.

Sports and recreation at Alert Level 2

If you are feeling unwell, stay home and call Healthline or your doctor for advice. 

Even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, you should still stay home if you are feeling unwell. Staying home will help protect you, your whānau, friends and community. 

Events and entertainment at Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3, we all need to stay home. Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe. 

Events cannot go ahead. The only gatherings allowed at Alert Level 3 are weddings, civil unions, funerals and tangihanga — up to a maximum of 10 people.  

Weddings and civil unions at Alert Level 3

Funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 3

Meeting friends and whānau at Alert Level 3

All public facilities and venues such as museums, cinemas, libraries and swimming pools must close. 

Advice for venues

At Alert Level 3, some venues, for example community centres or sports club rooms can open to provide an essential service — for example, a food bank or vaccination centre. Members of the public are permitted to enter the premises to use the essential service.

Anyone accessing an essential service must wear a face covering and keep 2 metres away from people who are not in their household bubble.

Events and entertainment at Alert Level 4

At Alert Level 4, we all need to stay home. Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe. 

Events cannot go ahead.

All public facilities and venues — for example, museums, cinemas, libraries and swimming pools must close.

Record keeping for contact tracing — advice for event organisers and venue managers

All venues must have ways for people — including staff and guests to record their visit. You can do this by displaying a QR code for your venue and asking people to scan in. 

If an event is either indoors or outdoors and in one defined space, you can use one QR code for the event.

If the event is spread out across sites, we recommend having separate QR codes for each business or exhibit. You should also use an event QR code at entrances to help people sign in.

You also need to provide an alternative way for people to record their visit, especially for people who are not able to scan QR codes.

Find out more information about record keeping and contact tracing

Get your QR code poster

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