COVID Ban For Auckland Swimmers With Anxious Wait To Hear Of Change In Restrictions


COVID Ban For Auckland Swimmers With Anxious Wait To Hear Of Change In Restrictions

Auckland’s 200-strong qualifiers for the Aon 2020 NZ Short Course Championships, face a desperate wait to see if they will be allowed to contest next month’s titles in Hamilton.

Only a decision by the New Zealand government to drop Auckland from a Level 2 to a Level 1 COVID-19 restrictions will give the group any chance of swimming on the last two days of the meet which will run across five days from Tuesday October 6-10.

With the government updating Auckland’s Alert Level on Monday October 5 and the likelihood that Auckland’s Level restriction will drop to Level 1 at 11.59 pm on Wednesday 7 October, Aucklanders will be welcome to compete in the events they have entered in from Thursday onwards should the Alert Level drop to Level 1.

Steve Johns S NZ

NZ CEO STEVE JOHNS: Deep regrets.Photo Courtesy: Swimming NZ.

“We deeply regret the need to exclude Aucklanders from (hopefully) the first two days of the event but we simply cannot operate the event in accordance with Hamilton City Councils requirements, with a large number of Aucklanders entered,” NZ CEO Steve Johns said in a statement.

“We hope that if Auckland moves to Level 1 on Wednesday October 7, we will look forward to seeing Aucklanders racing from Thursday the 8th.

“Swimming New Zealand is extremely disappointed that we have been forced to make the difficult decision to not permit swimmers from within the Auckland City boundary (the Auckland and Counties swimming regions)  whilst the Auckland region remains in Level 2 restrictions.

“We had originally received approval last week for the Event Management Plan to host the event with Aucklanders attending safely, housed outside in multiple marquees of up to 100 each.

“However, this week, the Hamilton City Council has adjusted its interpretation of the Level 2 restrictions for Aucklanders and is now restricting the total number of Aucklanders allowed on-site to 100 per session.

“We have considered all possible options to continue hosting the event with Aucklanders competing, but given the stringent restrictions now put in place, this is no longer possible.

Therefore, Auckland swimmers will no longer be able to compete at the event while Auckland is under a Level 2 restriction.”

There are currently 213 Auckland swimmers entered plus coaches and managers, so close to 300 Aucklanders in total.

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