Tonight's ANZ Premiership match between the Southern Steel and Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic will be played behind closed doors.
As first reported by NZME, the game, which is set to tip off at 7.15pm in Dunedin, will no longer be open to the public, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement that gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Netball NZ Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said while it was disappointing for all fans, the decision was based on the message from Government this afternoon.
"This decision is in the best interest of public health and wellbeing, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, our volunteers," Wyllie said.
Steel co-captain Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit said the team was disappointed the game had been closed to the public but safety was paramount.
"This is a really challenging time for everyone and we respect the decision which has been made. While we were excited to be launching our season in front of our loyal fans, this is best to keep everyone safe," Selby-Rickit said.
All fans with the tickets to the game will be given refunds by contacting Ticket Direct.
The season got under way last night with two matches played in front of crowds, but now, for the season to continue, it looks as if fans will be unable to attend any future matches in New Zealand's premier netball competition.
Additionally, New Zealand Cricket has cancelled the last two rounds of the domestic four-day Plunket Shield competition as a precaution against the spread or transmission of the virus.
Chief Executive David White said the difficult decision was taken after expert medical advice received today, and following the New Zealand government's decision on Saturday to tighten border controls.
"The strong consensus within NZC is that extra measures need to be taken to safeguard both the health and well-being of the New Zealand cricket family and the wider public interest," said White.
"The medical advice we're receiving is that we need to take a lead on this matter.
"We're informed the risk is very real; the pace of change is great – and we have a duty of care to not only our staff and players but our communities as well."
White said the decision had not been taken under "mass gathering" concerns but, rather, under concerns over the heightened risk of transmission in areas such as airports, planes and hotels.
In contrast, advice from both NZC's Chief Medical Officer and the Ministry of Health emphasising the absence of person-to-person transmission in localised environments meant club and amateur cricket could continue to be played.
"The current advice is that there is no reason why community cricket should not continue unless, or until, there is new information to hand," he said.
Wellington, who had a healthy lead atop the Plunket Shield ladder, were awarded the title.