During this time, where lockdowns and uncertainty around COVID-19 can have a negative impact on mental health, wellbeing is essential. For youth, getting outdoors, exercising, and engaging in fun, meaningful activities with their peers is more important than ever. The outdoor environment is also a lower risk area of transmission. This is why we will do what we can to ensure our camps continue to run and operate safely.

When looking for information on alert levels, make sure the information is up to date, as the rules do change. For the most up-to-date information, check out the government website https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/.

POET has summarised the government guidelines on alert levels and how they apply to our camps below:

How do the alert levels affect POET camps?

  • According to government guidelines, school camps can run safely at alert levels 1 and 2
  • Camps cannot run at alert level 3 or 4- any camps during this time will be postponed
  • If the level changes to 3 or 4 during the camp, the camp will either be cancelled or postponed, and students will be sent home

Camps at alert level 2:

At alert level 2 there is a low risk of community transmission. Students and staff can return to school, and events and outdoor recreation can proceed.

What happens if a student/staff member is sick?

  • If a student or staff member is sick, in isolation or awaiting a COVID-19 test during the time of a camp, they must stay/return home
  • We will have a spare tent available for the person who is sick to isolate in while they await departure

What about contact tracing?

  • A record will be kept of the people attending the camp, tent/cabin/van groups and the locations that are visited
  • Camp attendees will need to sign into public venues via the Covid Tracer app or a sign-in book

Can we sleep in tents?

  • Tents are allowed to be used, but we will do our best to avoid students breathing in each other’s faces (top-and-tail, lower number of students sharing a tent)

Do we need to wear masks?

  • Face coverings are optional on school transport to and from the camp
  • Students and staff are required to wear a face covering indoors in public venues and are encouraged to wear a face covering outdoors

What about multi-school camps, e.g. the Year 12 Leadership camp?

  • At multi-school camps, students and staff will be required to keep a 1 metre distance between each other wherever practical and face coverings must be worn in vehicles

What hygiene practices will be followed?

  • Hand sanitiser and spare face coverings will be available to all students and staff
  • Shared equipment and commonly touched surfaces will be regularly sanitised, e.g. helmets, paddles, buoyancy aids, van door handles, cooking equipment, etc.
  • Students and staff will be encouraged to:
    • Frequently wash and dry/sanitise hands
    • Cough into their elbow
    • Not touch their face
    • Notify a staff member at the first sign of feeling unwell
    • Follow good hygiene practices when operating with food
    • Keep a 2 metre distance from members of the public and avoid breathing on or touching each other wherever practical

Please refer to the following websites for more information:




Check out this website for information about personal outdoor recreation:


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with the POET team.

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