NEW ZEALAND: Moving to Alert Level 3
The following communication was published by the New Zealand Alpine Club on 20 April. It is an update from the federation’s previous communication of 30 March.
The New Zealand government has announced today that the Covid-19 Alert Level will move down to Level 3 from 28 April. In conjunction with that announcement, a reduction in restrictions around recreation during Level 3 have been flagged. Whilst this is positive news for the outdoor community generally, it has raised the question of whether one or more forms of climbing may be possible during Level 3.
NZAC discourages its members from engaging in any outdoor recreational activity that involves climbing or the use of climbing aids or equipment during Level 3. That is because NZAC does not consider that it is reasonable to undertake such activities while also complying with the key principles underpinning the likely Level 3 restrictions.
The Government’s Covid-19 website guidance on recreation states:
“The most important principle here is to stay safe (so that you do not need rescuing or medical care), and to stay physically distant from people outside of your bubble. You can do activities that are local, which you can do safely, and which do not involve interacting with other people, or equipment touched by other people.”
NZAC encourages all of its members to make the most of any reduction in restrictions around outdoor recreation during Level 3 but not if that involves climbing or the use of climbing aids or equipment. That means that activities like rock climbing or bouldering are not possible under Level 3. If we all continue to play our part in reducing the incidence of Covid-19 in New Zealand, it won’t be long before we can all get out climbing.
This position is supported by Queenstown Climbing Club and Wanaka Rock Climbing Club.