SLSNZ COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Responses

Friday, 20 March 2020

As at 12pm - 20 March 2020

The following information and decisions remain effective until Monday 13 April, or unless community transmission of COVID-19 is confirmed in New Zealand, at which time SLSNZ will provide an update.

1. Is it OK to continue patrols?
Yes, please refer to SLSNZ COVID Memo # 4

2. Is it OK to respond to Search and Rescue call outs?
Yes, please refer to SLSNZ COVID Memo # 4

3. Is it OK to proceed with residential programmes?
No. Programmes involving overnight stays in shared accommodation must not proceed as these are likely to breach the MOH’s guidelines re social distance and time spent near others while inside.

4. Should lifeguard training continue?
All clubs are encouraged to immediately discontinue all lifeguard training.

5. Should surf sport training continue?
All clubs are encouraged to immediately discontinue all surf sport training.

6. Should we continue with our Junior/Nippers programmes?
All clubs are encouraged to immediately discontinue all junior/nippers programmes.

7. Can clubs proceed with gatherings for awards presentations?
Indoor gatherings are discouraged for the foreseeable future, as gatherings over 100 are no longer permitted. SLSNZ strongly encourages clubs to postpone these events.

8. Will Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) continue to provide aquatic safety services for community events?
SLSNZ will comply with the government’s restrictions on outdoor event gatherings not exceeding 500 people. Therefore SLSNZ expects community and commercial event organisers to cancel events exceeding 500, in line with the governments ban. As such SLSNZ aquatic safety services should not be required. Since there are not yet any community transmitted COVID-19 cases, SLSNZ encourages individual clubs to fulfil any prior commitments to provide aquatic safety services to community events of less than 500, so long as steps are taken to minimise any potential COVID-19 risk/s e.g. request that any person with cold or flu like symptoms refrain from attending the event.
However, no club or member should be forced to provide or partake in providing aquatic safety services if they feel that their personal health or safety may be compromised. If there is any confirmed cases of community transmitted COVID-19, SLSNZ will immediately review this position.

9. Should we allow casual access to our club facilities and equipment?
Clubs should assess the risks and benefits of allowing ongoing casual access. With essential SLS operations coming to a close for the current season, SLSNZ recommends that casual access be limited to those members undertaking essential services, e.g. patrols and search and rescue operations only.

10. Should we continue with our Community/Beach Education programmes?
No SLSNZ and SLSNR have postponed or cancelled all remaining Community/Beach Education programmes for the current season.






Search & Rescue


Residential Programmes


Lifeguard Training


Surf Sport Training


Junior Nipper/Programmes


Club Awards


Event Guarding


Casual Club Access


Beach Education



For more information, please contact:

Melanie Louden
Media and Communications Manager
Surf Life Saving NZ
021 757 433