COVID-19 and Return to Rugby

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the sport we all love. Here you will find all the information players, referees, coaches, clubs, schools and Provincial Unions need to know on the return to rugby and what we're doing to keep everyone safe.

Current COVID-19 Alert Levels in New Zealand

COVID-19 Alert System Status

Auckland is at Alert Level 3.

The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2.

NZR COVID-19 Guidelines:

Alert Level 3

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 3, no rugby activity is allowed, including training, matches and workshops. Please continue to follow Ministry of Health guidelines, stay home in your bubbles and practice good hygeine.  

Alert Level 2

Rugby is possible in Alert Level 2 subject to suitable player, volunteer, and environment preparations (such as changing rooms and clubrooms). 

Mass gathering limits are to be strictly observed which means no person involved in a rugby event (training, game, tournament, or festival) may be exposed to more than 100 people in a single day. This additional restriction is to acknowledge the increased risk with the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Community Rugby (including Secondary School rugby) can resume in PUs that move to Alert Level 2 providing players have had:

  • a minimum of two contact sessions, with adequate recovery of 48 hours between each, and
  • A minimum of seven days from the date of moving to Alert Level 2 before commencing competitive play.

These are considered to be the minimum requirements to ensure player welfare and mitigate risks of injury following a prolonged lay off.

See resources below for full requirements on returning to play rugby under Alert Level 2.


Rugby in Auckland remains on hold, two weeks of Bunnings Warehouse NPC and FPC confirmed
(as at Tuesday 14 September, 2021)

Domestic and community rugby to resume outside of Auckland 
(as at Tuesday 7 September, 2021)

Domestic and Community Rugby to remain on hold 
(as at Tuesday 31 August, 2021)

All rugby postponed or cancelled this weekend; Top 4 cancelled 
(as at Tuesday 24 August, 2021)

All rugby in New Zealand this weekend cancelled or postponed. 
(as at Wednesday 18 August, 2021)

NZR will continue to work closely with Government and provide updates as soon as possible as anything changes. We continue to ask everyone involved in rugby to support one another and follow the official health guidelines.

Provincial Unions, clubs, schools and rugby providers are encouraged to make decisions that are best for your communities and prioritise health and safety.

For more information on COVID-19  and official Government guidelines please visit

Resources for Clubs & Schools

Please find COVID-19 resources for clubs and schools below to help keep your communities healthy and safe.

New Zealand Rugby COVID-19 Requirements: Alert Level 3 & Alert Level 2 


A guide to developing a Training Health and Safety plan. 

Return to Training Guide - Level 2  


A guide to developing a Health and Safety plan for rugby clubrooms. 

Return to Clubroom Guide - Level 2 


A guide to developing Rugby Changing Room Health and Safety. 

Return to Changing Rooms Guide - Level 2  


This Match Day Operations resource will assist with the running of rugby under COVID-19 requirements. 

Matchday Guide - Level 2