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NZCF guidelines for rehearsals under Alert Levels 2 & 3

The Auckland region is currently at Alert Level 3 (as of 6am on Sunday 28 February 2021). The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. These levels will be in place until at least midnight on Saturday 6 March. 

At Alert Level 3, choirs may not rehearse. You are required to stay in your family bubble, and gatherings of up to 10 people are only permitted for weddings, funerals and tangihanga.

At Alert Level 2, choirs of up to 100 members may rehearse.

The 100-person maximum applies per each defined, separated area within a venue, as long as intermingling in common spaces can be prevented. Therefore, a larger choir could potentially conduct sectional rehearsals simultaneously at the same venue if they are in self-contained, separated areas.

School groups are subject to the Ministry of Education guidelines which state “Practices, rehearsals and performances can go ahead – physical distancing of 1 metre is recommended where practicable including singing and using wind instruments”.

Please note: We at NZCF are not health or legal professionals. Please do not consider this medical or legal advice. These guidelines are based on the NZ Government guidelines and advice we have received from Professor Michael Baker. We will update this page as and when the government guidelines change.

Alert Level 3 – choirs may not rehearse.

Alert Level 2 – all the guidelines below apply

Alert Level 1 – spacing of singers, length of rehearsals and physical contact can be relaxed


Stay home if you are at all unwell

Choir management should reserve the right to turn away a singer displaying signs of being unwell.

Singers may consider carrying out their own temperature checks before attending rehearsals.


Contact tracing

Ensure that attendance registers are accurately recorded and contact lists are kept up to date. Ensure there are sign-in forms at the door (singers should use their own pens) and contact lists are kept up to date. Taking a photo at rehearsals may be an additional means of recording attendance.


Wash/sanitise hands

Ensure there is access to hand washing/hand sanitiser at the door to the rehearsal room and in the bathrooms.


Coughs & sneezes 

Sneeze and cough into your elbow – this is good practice no matter the bug.


Space out at rehearsals

2 metres between singers, both side to side and front to back. The conductor should stand as far back from the choir as practicable. Don’t sing in a circle formation – all the singers should face forward.


Length of rehearsals

A maximum of 2 hours to limit exposure to the virus.


Ventilation in rehearsal rooms

Ensure adequate ventilation, with a minimum room temperature of 18°C.


Snacks & drinks

No sharing of snacks or drinks before, during or after rehearsals.


Limit physical contact

Singers should not pass around music or folders. If music needs to be passed out it should be done by one or two people who use hand sanitiser before touching the copies to be handed out.



Choir members who have travelled overseas and have completed the 2-week mandatory quarantine should communicate with choir management before returning to rehearsals.

Choirs may consider recording rehearsals for those who cannot attend. This will encourage members to exercise greater caution and to stay at home if remotely unwell.

Remember that members of your choir will have different reactions and levels of anxiety with the return to Alert Level 2. Some may not feel comfortable coming to rehearsals. Please be kind.