Covid-19 FAQs

For areas at Level 3.1

(Created: 21/10/21)

(Updated 27/10/21)

Step 1 of Level 3, has created a few recurring questions from the tennis community that we wanted to help address. We hope the below helps with clarity and helps you understand the current situation at Level 3.1.

Please do your bit to help tennis shine during this time. Support each other by following the guidelines, remaining positive and remembering that this will all be over soon.

Q: Can I play doubles with 3 other households?
No. Level 3.1 states that sport and recreation (tennis) can be played with a maximum of 10 people from 2 different households.

Remember: Auckland and parts of Waikato are at Alert Level 3. There are a large amount of restrictions at Level 3, and life is very far from what we are used to. Level 3.1 is a small step towards more freedom, but it is not Level 2.

Q: Can Tennis NZ lobby the Government for more flexibility for tennis players that want to play doubles?
Tennis NZ will not be lobbying Government for flexibility to the rules at Level 3.1. As tennis players, we all have a responsibility to follow the Level 3.1 guidelines to help keep our communities safe and to act responsibly in line with the best public health guidance we have been given.

Remember: COVID-19 cases in Auckland are high (week of 18/10/21, 102 cases in one day – the highest daily total since the pandemic began in 2020).

Q: Can Tennis NZ (or regional organisations), change the rules for tennis at Level 3.1?
Tennis NZ, and tennis regions do not make the rules for COVID-19 restrictions. Sport NZ clarify the Alert Level guidance from DPMC (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) and how it relates to Sport and Recreation. Sport NZ then provide that guidance to the sport sector and National Sporting Organisations (Tennis NZ). Tennis NZ then provide tennis scenarios based on this guidance before sharing with Regions, Associations and the tennis community.

Remember: Tennis clubs and coaches do not make the rules for COVID-19 restrictions. They are responsible for applying the relevent guidance to their operations. If at any time a club or coach is not comfortable to offer services, they can make the choice to remain closed/cease operations.

Q: Why can coaches have up to 10 household bubbles on court?
The Government rules for Level 3.1 are that exercise classes (tennis lessons) can resume with up to 10 people from 10 different households, including the instructor (coach). Professional businesses, instructors and tennis coaches legally have to keep contact tracing records, have a Worksafe Safety Plan in place, and follow all health and hygeine requirements such as equipment sanitisation, social distancing and QR code scanning. This ensures a safe environment that cannot be guaranteed in a personal setting with multiple friends meeting to play tennis with different people throughout the day.

Remember: Social distancing of 2m is mandatory for tennis lessons. If this cannot be followed, then group numbers need to be reduced. 9 clients is NOT a target for coaches, but instead the number of clients will be dictated by the space available. It is recommended that individual and small group lessons are delivered.

Q: I have lots of questions about vaccines
Tennis NZ is following Sport NZ guidance on vaccines in Sport. Currently, vaccines are not mandated in the sport sector, due to the low risk nature of the industry compared to health or border workers. We are mindful that a large proportion our tennis community are U12 or over 60 and will take this into account with any guidance that is prepared. Sport NZ information on vaccinations can be found here. Because vaccination is an evolving situation in all industries, we shall keep you informed as often as we are able to.

Q: Why is tennis safe to play?
Tennis is VERY fortunate. It is usually played outside, it is non-contact and socially distanced, and there isn’t shared equipment that we have to touch with our hands.

Remember: There are many many NZers who cannot enjoy their favourite sport at the moment. There are many sports clubs that remain shut, with no activity happening. Squash players, basketball, football, badminton, gym goers, swimmers are all missing out completely at the moment.

Q: How can I communicate with members or coaching clients that might be nervous about coming to the club?
The CEO of Tennis NZ has written a letter to Auckland tennis players that you can share with your community. Tennis NZ has also provided multiple resources for you to display at your club, on your website, and in your club communications. The letter and resources can be found here.

Remember: We are all learning this at the same time as one another. Patience, kindness, and an attitude of ‘lets make the most of what we have’ is appreciated.

Lastly, this won’t be forever. We are lucky to be able to play our favourite sport in any capacity as many others are missing out on theirs.

Kia kaha,
The Tennis NZ team