'Don't be stupid' – senior official's stern message for people playing touch rugby or frisbee during lockdown

A senior Government official had a stern warning for those wanting to play games such as touch rugby or frisbee during New Zealand's coronavirus lockdown.

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John Ombler says coronavirus could be transferred on frisbees or rugby balls. Source: 1 NEWS

All of Government Controller John Ombler says coronavirus could be transferred on frisbees or rugby balls.

"I've heard today that some people were playing touch rugby and frisbee in parks, that's just stupid.

"People need to stop doing that sort of thing, Covid-19 can transfer on a frisbee from one person to another.

"With touch rugby it's quite obvious, please don't do it, don't be stupid," he said.

A file image of people playing with a frisbee Source:

His message comes as there’s concern some people are not adhering to the rules.

“I find there's two types of people at the moment: there's the types of people like ‘stay away’, and then there's the types of people who are actually being more friendly,” one man on Auckland's Tamaki Drive told 1 NEWS.

Authorities have stressed over recent days for people to keep at least two metres apart from others not in their “bubble”.

New Zealand's coronavirus total rises to 451, two people in intensive care

However, there is still some confusion over how far people can take their “bubble” away from home.

Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management director Sarah Stuart Black said while travelling short distances is allowed, there are concerns around people requiring help after getting into trouble.

“If that means you can go for a walk by walking outside the front door, great. If you need to drive a short distance to get somewhere, that's fine too,” Ms Stuart Black said.

“The challenge we have is when people might drive themselves to a place that if they get into trouble, someone else will have to come to help them which exposes more risks.”

The risk lies not just around getting in trouble, authorities say, but being aware of the pitfalls when you're out, such as touching contaminated surfaces, which can linger for up to 72 hours.

Strict rules are also in place for people walking their dogs, with dog walkers encouraged not to let their pets interact.

There are currently 451 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.