Guidelines for Physical Activity

 Women playing soccer

On this page:

1. Play, active recreation and sport guidelines for Alert Level 2

2. Guidelines for physical educators in primary, intermediate and secondary school environments

3. Other Resources

Play, Active Recreation and Sport at Alert Level 2

Updated Tuesday 12 May

Sport NZ can now confirm that the 10 person gathering limit does apply to all community sport, however this limit will be reviewed on 25 May. At this point, subject to New Zealand’s continued containment of COVID-19, the limits may be increased which could enable full training and competition environments to restart.

This means that from 23.59 Wednesday, sports teams can train or play subject to the combined number of players, coaches and/or officials not exceeding 10 and appropriate physical distancing guidelines being observed.

Today Sport NZ clarified some of the detail around the Government's recent announcement and have published a new Alert Level 2 table.

View the latest guidelines for Alert Level 2

Guidance Around Gatherings

  • Gatherings must be restricted to a maximum of 10 people (both indoor and outdoor facilities). For sport and recreation, a gathering includes spectators, players, officials and support staff. 
  • All indoor and outdoor facilities will need to restrict entry to a maximum of 10 people per group. This limit will still need to be considered in the context of maintaining the 2 metre physical distancing requirement between groups. 
  • Care must be taken to avoid more than 10 people congregating at communal points such as entries and car parks, and to maintain physical distancing of 2m between groups. Phasing of activities is recommended to allow time for people to pass through these areas safely. 
  • Spectators should be limited or asked not to attend for now. If spectators are permitted, in order to know who attended, it is recommended that they be asked to register in advance. Spectators should be physically distanced through seating allocation or marking out of standing areas. Areas for spectators should be clearly marked out for each court/area to prevent mingling with other groups in the same facility.
  • Gathering restrictions do not apply to professional athletes, and the officials or support staff supporting these athletes. These are considered to be controlled workplaces which means there are separate guidelines that are applicable.

Further Guidance On Outdoor Sporting Venues

  • For sports or recreational activities that take place outdoors in a large open area with multiple fields or courts, the requirements on the numbers of people applies to a single field or court, so long as this is managed in accordance with other public health guidelines and the attendees at one gathering do not mingle or interact with those from another gathering. 
  • For large areas such as golf courses or ski fields, individual groups (of no more than 10 people) engaging in activities should keep physically distanced from each other. Careful measures will be necessary to maintain physical distancing between groups while indoors for example in the clubhouse.
  •  A registration point or points should be set up and clearly marked at the venue.  This is especially important for large sports fields where there are multiple entry points and fields of play.


Alert Level 2 guidelines for physical educators in primary, intermediate and secondary school environments

Updated Friday 15 May 

This document has been prepared for a New Zealand context, based on public health guidelines and our NZ Government Alert Levels. It provides ideas for physical education or physical activity contexts to support physical distancing when equipment or sports gear cannot be shared between children, and they must be 2m apart. Senior leaders, HODs, HPE leaders and teachers can engage with these guidelines and ideas. 

Please note - these guidelines have been updated since the start of the week. 

View the guidelines

Please note, there are different Ministry of Health Guidelines for Early Childhood Centres (ECC) - view here


 Other Resources 

Sport NZ 

Sport NZ have the following resources available on their website: 

You can view more information and resources on the Sport NZ website.

Physical Education New Zealand

The following guidelines, as well as more resources can be found on the Physical Education New Zealand website


On 11 May the Government also released more information on how different alert levels will work more generally. Please click on the tables below to find out more.

You can view the latest information on the Government's COVID-19 website.

Updated 12 May