Sports and recreation

Advice on playing sports and other recreational activities at each of the Alert Levels.

Sports and recreation at Alert Level 1

You can do your usual sport and recreation activities, and sporting events. There are no limits on the number of people you can exercise with, or limit on the number of spectators at events.

All indoor and outdoor recreation facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and skate parks can open.

Even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, you should still continue to keep track of where you go, wash your hands before and after touching shared equipment and surfaces, and stay home if you are sick.

Sports and recreation at Alert Level 2

You can do your usual sport and recreation activities if you can do them safely.

Try to keep a 2 metre distance from people you do not know. If you are around people you do not know, it is a good idea to wear a face covering.

Even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, you should still continue to keep track of where you go, wash your hands before and after touching shared equipment and surfaces, and stay home if you are sick.

You can do activities like:

  • walking, biking and hunting, including on public conservation land — overnight trips are okay
  • swimming at a public swimming pool, but there will be restrictions
  • going to the gym, but there will be restrictions
  • boating and motorised watersports.

Fishing and boating at Alert Level 2

Using DOC facilities at Alert Level 2 (external link)

Sports and recreation facilities

Public parks and playgrounds are open.

Indoor sports facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, dance studios and health clubs can open, but with extra safety measures.

You should wear a face covering whenever possible, but it is not a requirement when exercising and playing sports.

Personal trainers and coaches are encouraged to wear a face covering as they are in contact with many people. All workers must keep 2 metres apart from customers and clients using the services.

Facilities may restrict numbers to help with physical distancing.

Close contact sports

You can participate in close-contact sports — for example, boxing, wrestling or martial arts. The person organising the activity needs to make sure they keep a record of all the people participating and spectating.

If you are playing a close contact sport, you may want to modify activities or exercises to limit physical contact. Try to keep 2 metres away from others when you are not participating in the sport or activity.

Try not to share equipment — for example boxing gloves, hit pats, punching bags. If you do need to share equipment, wash or sanitise it before and after you use it.

You do not need to wear a face covering when playing sport. We encourage instructors and trainers to wear one, if possible.

Team and community sporting events

Team and community sporting events, including those that take place at an event facility — for example at a stadium or arena, are considered a gathering and the 100-person limit applies. This includes both indoor and outdoor events. If you are organising a sports event, make sure everyone records their visit.

You do not need to wear a face covering when participating in team sports.

Private social gatherings at Alert Level 2

Professional sporting events

Professional leagues can go ahead at Alert Level 2 because they take place in controlled workplaces.

Elite, professional and semi-professional sporting games can take place at Alert Level 2 using a controlled workplace approach in consultation with WorkSafe.

There are no restrictions on the number of spectators that can attend a sporting event, for example at a stadium or arena — as long as everyone can safely stay 1 metre apart.

Events and entertainment at Alert Level 2

Sports and recreation at Alert Level 3

Advice for everyone

If you are exercising outside, try to keep a 2 metre distance from people who are not in your bubble.

Wear a face covering when you are not exercising.

Do low-risk activities so you do not need rescuing or medical care. 

Do not go out to exercise if you have cold or flu symptoms or you have been asked to isolate. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app to scan in and keep a record of where you go.

Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe.

Fishing and boating at Alert Level 3

Sports and recreation at Alert Level 4 

You can exercise in your local area on your own, or with people in your household bubble.

You can drive to a place to exercise — for example, to a park — but you should stay close to where you live. Do not travel too far.

Stick to simple outdoor exercise, and avoid activities where you can get injured or lost. For example, do not go swimming, surfing, boating, hunting or tramping. It is important emergency services remain available to support the response to COVID-19. 

Even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, you should still continue to keep track of where you go, wash your hands before and after touching shared equipment and surfaces, and stay home if you are sick.

Fishing and boating at Alert Level 4

Do not go out to exercise if you have been asked to self-isolate

If you have been asked to self-isolate by public health officials, you cannot leave home to exercise. The people you live with are allowed to leave home to exercise if they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Sports and recreation facilities

Sports and recreation facilities, including playgrounds, are closed. Personal trainers and exercise instructors can offer virtual sessions that can be done from home.

Dog walking

Your dog is part of your household bubble. This means your dog should only be walked with people who are in your bubble.

Try walking your dog around the block instead of driving to a park. Use a leash so you can keep a safe distance from others.

Professional dog walking services cannot operate.

Horse riding

We recommend you do not go horse riding to reduce the risk of an accident. If you do need to ride your horse, do it with people from your household bubble, and within the boundaries of the property where it is kept. Do not transport your horse by float to ride somewhere else.

You should also use your own grooming kit, tack and other equipment to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. 

Travelling to care for animals

You can travel to care for your horse — for example, to provide it with food and water, if there is no alternative and you are complying with any region-specific travel measures. We recommend you carry proof of your reason to travel — for example, documentation showing where the horse is kept.

You can travel to look after your bees if your hives are not on the property where you live, and you comply with any region-specific travel measures. Try to limit your travel for urgent welfare reasons — for example, to manage disease.

Use your own equipment to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Information about looking after your animals and pets | mpi.govt.nz (external link)

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