Local rugby players will be boosted by the return of crowds this weekend.
When New Zealand moved to alert level 1 on Tuesday, it meant that crowds could return to the remaining finals footy competitions happening across the region this Saturday.
The Toi Ohomai Baywide Secondary Schools Finals day will take place at Rotorua International Stadium with six games happening on fields one and two.
Rotorua International Stadium Fixtures:
Under-14 Nathan Harris Cup Final: Western Heights High School v Rotorua Boys' High School Navy, F1, 10.30am.
Under-14 Chris Grinter Cup Final: Katikati College v Te Taumata, F2, 10.30am.
Under-15 Hika Reid Cup Final: Rotorua Boys' High School Navy v Mount Maunganui College, F1, 12pm.
Under-15 Tony Marrow Cup Final: Whakatāne High School v Te Taumata, F2, 12pm.
1st XV Bill Hill Cup Final: Katikati College v Trident High School, F1, 1.30pm.
1st XV Sam Cane Cup Final: Whakatāne High School v Pāpāmoa College, F2, 1.30pm.
With free entry there's plenty of opportunity for crowds to return.
Meanwhile, the Central Bay of Plenty Junior Rugby Under-13 final will be played over the back at Westbrook Fields with Ngongotahā taking on Waikite at 11.20am.
Te Teko Under-13s, who have been playing in the Western Bay of Plenty Junior rugby competition this year, will host Rangataua in what looks to be an absolute cracker of a match-up.
The Toi Ohomai Baywide Under-18 Girls 10-a-side finals will be played at Blake Park number one with Te Puke High School versus Whakatāne High School in the Under-18 Girls' Championship final at 11.45am and Te Taumata versus Taupō Nui-a-Tia in the Under18 Girls' Premiership final at 12.45pm.
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These games will double as curtain raisers for the Volcanix home game when they host Taranaki Whio at 2pm, with the Volcanix game being free entry but also streamed live on Facebook for those who can't attend.
Alert level 1 still means a number of things:
• Staying at home if you're sick is especially important. Get tested if you have Covid-19 symptoms.
• Crowd restrictions are lifted, but it's still worthwhile to keep a safe 2m distance from people you don't know while out and about. This will help to minimise the spread of Covid-19 if community transmission returns.
• Keep up good hand washing practices, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and drying thoroughly. Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
• While it's not compulsory to wear face masks, keeping good habits even when at alert level 1 is good practice and it protects both the wearer and anyone in close proximity, especially if you cannot maintain physical distancing with people you don't know.
• We encourage you to continue tracking where you've been and who you've seen to help with contact tracing, if required. You can use the NZ COVID Tracer app when attending venues. You can also add manual entries for places you've been that do not have a QR code poster.