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  3. Alert Level 2 Event Guidelines

Alert Level 2 Event Guidelines

At Alert Level 2, any club running events has a strong responsibility to keep both themselves, the venue staff, and the attendees safe.

If you have questions about any of the following information, feel free to reach out to the UCSA clubs team via clubs@ucsa.org.nz or 03 369 0555 and select prompt 1, prompt 1. We’re here to help and very happy to give advice and guidance!

To see the latest on Alert Level 2 direct from the government – make sure to visit covid19.govt.nz.

Public Event or Private Social Gathering?

In line with advice from the Government, there is the ability for clubs to differentiate between Private Social Gatherings and Public Events.

If your club is running a gathering that meets the definition of a Private Social Gathering then you can follow those guidelines instead of the Public Event guidelines.

What is a private social gathering?

A private social gathering is informal and involves getting together with friends and whānau you regularly socialize with.

Private social gatherings can include:

  • Birthday parties, stag dos, hens parties, baby showers or a celebration of a significant life event with friends and whānau
  • A social gathering organised through work or school
  • Family dinners 
  • Social club get-togethers — for example, book clubs, musical or cultural groups or hobby groups
  • Weddings and civil union ceremonies.

What is not a private social gathering?

Private social gatherings do not include:

  • Events open to non-members
  • Events with guest speakers invited
  • Events not purely of a social nature


If you are unsure which applies to your club event, then it likely a Public Event, and the following advice applies.

Does this event meet the Alert Level 2 restrictions?

The first question you should ask yourselves as clubs is whether your event can meet the restrictions.

At Alert Level 2, you can hold social gatherings including weddings, civil union ceremonies, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga. These are limited to 100 people in an indoor space, and 100 people in an outdoor space.

Event and entertainment facilities including cinemas, stadiums and concert venues can open. There can be up to 100 people in an indoor space, and 100 people in an outdoor space.

You can have more than 100 people in an event facility, but only if the people are in separate ‘defined spaces’. There should not be direct airflow between the defined spaces.

Public facilities such as libraries, swimming pools, cinemas and museums can open. You legally must wear a face covering when visiting, and must keep a 2 metre distance from other people, except for friends and family.

Events and entertainment at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, events can go ahead but with restrictions. 

Events and event facilities — for example, stadiums and cinemas can have a maximum of:

  • 100 people in any defined indoor space, and
  • 100 people in any defined outdoor space.

If you have people in both indoor and outdoor spaces, you need to make sure the two groups do not mix. This means making sure you have separate entrances for shared areas —  for example bathrooms or counters where people go up to order or pay.

Workers providing services to the event are not included in the indoor and outdoor gathering limits.

If you are providing food and drinks at an event, everyone must be seated to be served. 

Employees working at an event legally must wear a face covering if they interact with customers.

Going to an event or using an event facility

If you go to an event, you legally must keep 1 metre apart from people you do not know. We encourage you to wear a face covering if physical distancing is difficult.

Event organisers and venues such as cinemas may alternate occupied seats with vacant seats to support you to physically distance. Please follow the venue’s safety measures and stay in your allocated seat. 

Even if you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you still need to keep 1 metre apart from others, sign in using the NZ COVID Tracer app, and stay home if you are sick.

Travelling to an event

At Alert Level 2, you can travel to other regions that are at Alert Level 1 or 2 to attend a concert, conference, sports game or any other public event. If the event is in an Alert Level 2 region, the indoor and outdoor gathering limits apply.

Remember to keep a record of who you have been in contact with, and what transport services you used. 

When you are out and about, try to keep a 2 metre distance from people you do not know. 

If you cannot maintain physical distance from people you do not know, we encourage you to wear a face covering.

Defined spaces for events

A defined space is a single indoor or outdoor space separated from other spaces.

If a place has more than 1 defined space, then people should not intermingle between the defined spaces. This includes when entering, leaving, or going to the bathroom. It does not include workers. You can have more than 100 people in an event facility, but only if the people are in separate ‘defined spaces’.

There should not be direct airflow between indoor defined spaces. This means unfortunately that venues such as the Ngaio Marsh Theatre are only able to accommodate 100 people, regardless of their size.

Venue Controls

If you are booking an event into Haere-roa, the UCSA will ensure these controls are followed. If you are using a different venue, you should ensure these are followed:

  • QR Codes for the venue.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are positioned around the venue at strategic points:
    • Main entrances and exits
    • Toilets
  • There is clear signage around the building reminding attendees of their responsibilities.
  • The venue is regularly cleaned.


Before the event you need to ensure you have completed the following:

  • Work with the venue to ensure you have an appropriate number of attendees for the size of the space – see Event Space further down for more details.
  • Ensure that either the venue or your event has a COVID Tracer App QR Code.
  • Ensure you have a system for attendees to register in advance that captures for each attendee, their:
    • Name
    • Email Address
    • Phone Number
  • For events in Haere-roa, attendees MUST register for a ticket (paid or free) for an event setup through the UCSA Clubs Eventbrite account.
  • This information must be kept for at least 2 months.
  • Sent out the following communications to attendees at least 48 hours prior to the event, and again on the day of the event:
    • If you are sick, stay home.
    • If you have been in close contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 please stay home.
    • If you are a vulnerable person, stay home.
    • Ensure your name and contact details on your ticket are correct.
    • What we (the club & venue) are doing to keep you safe at our event.

Event Entrances and Exits

Clubs need to ensure certain precautions are met whilst attendees enter and leave their events.

Any entrance to an event needs to ensure:

  • Attendees should queue spaced out 1 metre apart, with this distance marked on the ground.
  • Attendees should have their ticket checked in by a contact-less means.
  • Attendees should have their ID checked against their ticket to confirm the person presenting the ticket is the person registered. Should an ID not match a ticket, the attendee should be required to record their contact details separately BEFORE entering the event, along with the ticket details presented.
  • Any club exec or staff checking tickets should be wearing a face covering.

When attendees are exiting an event, the club needs to ensure:

  • Attendees are directed to leave in small groups at a time, starting with those closest to the exit.
  • Any exiting attendees are able to do so in a way that minimised crowding.
  • Any attendees leaving the event before the conclusion of the event should be checked out by the ticketing staff.

Event Space

Clubs need to work with venues to ensure the following:

  • The event space needs to physically separate from other event spaces. This means:
    • No shared bar or food facilities.
    • No shared toilet facilities.
    • No shared entrance or exit facilities (excluding fire exits).
  • All events must be able to accommodate 1 metre physical distancing.
If the event involves table seating:
  • When people are seated at the table, there must be a gap of at least 1 metre between the back of their chair, and the table next to them.
If the event involves theatre style seating:
  • There must be at least a 1 metre gap between rows, and a distance equivalent to two empty seats between groups of attendees.
When including a bar or food service:
  • All attendees must be seated and table service provided.

What about face coverings?

At Alert Level 2 you legally must wear a face covering when:

  • using public transport, airplanes (including in arrival and departure points such as train stations and bus stops) and in a taxi or ride-share vehicle
  • visiting a healthcare or aged care facility
  • inside retail businesses, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, shopping malls, indoor marketplaces, takeaway food stores, and public venues, such as museums and libraries
  • visiting the public areas within courts and tribunals, local and central Government agencies, and social service providers with customer service counters.

This means that there is no legal requirement to wear face coverings at events. However, if your attendees wish to wear one, they should be allowed to do so without any form of discrimination.

However, face coverings should be worn whilst scanning tickets or in other close proximity tasks.

Venues other than Haere-roa

What other venues can clubs use?

University Spaces

We are continuing to work with the university to determine what spaces they can make available for clubs. We will update this section when we have more information.

Flats or Homes

Whilst you may invite other people into your flat or home, you still are not permitted to be holding parties at home under Level 2.

You may be able to run a small event of up to 100 (although you will probably be only able to accommodate much less) people at your flat or home, if you are otherwise able to comply with these guidelines. E.g.:

  • a tutorial or study group
  • a quiz night
  • a board games evening
  • a TV or film screening

At all stages, please be considerate of your neighbours.

Please also remember that all the provisions of Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 still apply, including the Place of Resort conditions. We expect Police to be very unlikely to be letting any breaches slide whilst we are under COVID-19 alert level restrictions, which could make the club liable for serious fines of up to $20,000 if these are not adhered to.

Other venues around town

You are most welcome to reach out and attempt to run events at other venues around town. Please remember to check that they are adhering to all MBIE and Hospitality NZ guidelines.

UCSA is currently working with venues in the Ilam area to discuss what options may be available for clubs.

If you can meet all the guidelines, run your event!

If you event can meet the New Zealand COVID-19 Alert Levels restrictions, and these guidelines, then your event should be able to proceed.

Whatever you do, just remember to keep yourselves, your attendees, and your event safe.

Updated on September 29, 2021

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