4 Apr 2020

New Covid-19 lockdown guidelines: No swimming, tramping, boating allowed

9:17 pm on 4 April 2020

Ministry of Health and police have released additional guidelines for Alert Level 4, including around shared bubbles and what exercise people can partake in.

No caption

Photo: 123RF

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield issued a Health Notice today which provides guidance and clarity about the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 rules.

Most New Zealanders had been complying with the rules since lockdown began, he said.

"The best way to ensure the success of the lockdown is for everyone to play their part.

That means staying at home, maintaining physical distancing when outdoors and washing your hands."

The notice sets out:

  • Everyone in New Zealand is to be isolated or quarantined at their current place of residence except as permitted for essential personal movement.
  • Exercise is to be done in an outdoor place that can be readily accessed from home and two-metre physical distancing must be maintained.
  • Recreation and exercise does not involve swimming, water-based activities (for example, surfing or boating), hunting, tramping, or other activities of a kind that expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services.
  • A child can leave the residence of one joint care-giver to visit or stay at the residence of another joint care-giver (and visit or stay at that residence) if there is a shared bubble arrangement.
  • A person can leave their residence to visit or stay at another residence (and visit or stay at that residence) under a shared bubble arrangement if: one person lives alone in one, or both of those residences or everyone in one of those residences is a vulnerable person.

Dr Bloomfield said the guidance provided clarity around bubbles.

"Specifically, if you live alone and have already established a bubble with another household this can be maintained so long as both households have no contact with others - that they stay in their joint bubble."

The new guidelines reinforced the ability of police to enforce them, he said.

Director-General of Heatlh Dr Ashley Bloomfield gives the latest figures on the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. (3/4/20)

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield Photo: POOL / NZ Herald

"No one likes a rule breaker, especially when breaking the rules puts other New Zealanders' lives at risk.

"We've started well but now is not the time to be complacent. We need to be extra vigilant to move out of Alert Level 4 as soon as possible, and police have all the powers they need to make sure people not following the rules are dealt with."

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said most people were adhering to the rules.

"We want people to stay safe, but if a small number of people persist in deliberately flouting the restrictions, police will have the discretion to warn or, if necessary, to arrest.

"The Health Notice makes it clear what types of outdoor exercise and recreation people shouldn't do. Outside of that, we are asking people to stay local, apply common sense and not do anything that could risk exposure to injury or require search and rescue services."

Coster said police were focussed on being visible in the community, and carrying out day-to-day police work. Operational guidelines had been updated and given to staff.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus: