The COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread through New Zealand and has already put a halt on the majority of squash activity.
What’s happened so far?
The New Zealand Government has announced the COVID-19 alert level has raised to Level 3. This will then be increased on midnight Wednesday 25 March to Level 4. For more on the COVID-19 alert levels visit https://covid19.govt.nz/
What is expected now?
Below is a list of measures that will be enforced as a result of moving to Alert Level 4:
– People instructed to stay at home
– Educational facilities closed
– Businesses closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities
– Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities
– Travel severely limited
– Major reprioritisation of healthcare services
How it affects clubs
As announced by Squash NZ on the 19th of March, all national and district squash competitions/ events are suspended until the 1st of May.
Now, with the New Zealand Government raising the COVID-19 Alert system to level 3, government regulations state that all squash clubs nationwide (as non-essential businesses where public congregate) must close effective immediately.
For those clubs with paid employees, you may be aware of the government’s support packages that were announced on Tuesday. These are designed to help keep staff employed while organisations consider the disruption to their usual operations. Employers can apply through the Ministry of Social Development and pass the payments on to staff through wages.
Getting Help and Advice
Visit the Government run COVID-19 website: covid19.govt.nz/
Follow the Ministry of Health Guidelines: www.health.govt.nz
If you’re finding it tough, or know of someone who is, don’t be afraid to reach out to Family and Friends.
Other options for external mental health help: Lifeline: 0800 543 354 | Text line at 4357
Squash New Zealand and the districts are working through the implications the closing of squash facilities will have on the sport. Further information on the support we can provide clubs will be provided by Thursday 26th March. The situation is ever-changing, so we’ll provide further updates as soon as we know more.