New Zealand could restart professional sport within days

PETER PARKS / AFP

Professional sports in New Zealand could resume as early as next week, when the country decides whether to ease the coronavirus restrictions further.

That's according to Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson, who added that "the paramount concern is that a return to competitive sport is done safely".

The country, which has 1,489 positive cases and 21 deaths so far, will decide on Monday whether to move from 'Level 3' to 'Level 2'.

"Moving to Alert Level 2 continues to expand the opportunities for sport and recreation and reintroduces the opportunity for competitive sport – both at a local and professional level," Robertson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) welcomed the decision, adding that it had plans for 10 rounds of domestic games for the country's five Super Rugby teams.

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