New Zealand’s Chef de Mission Nigel Avery claims the COVID-19 protocols in place at Birmingham 2022 are "unfair" ©Getty Images

New Zealand’s Chef de Mission Nigel Avery has expressed his displeasure over Birmingham 2022's COVID-19 policy due to fears of athletes spreading the virus during the Commonwealth Games here.

Avery claimed he was concerned about Birmingham 2022’s "unfair" protocols that may let athletes compete if they test positive for COVID-19.

A series of measures have been put in place by Birmingham 2022 including athletes having to produce negative test results before leaving and upon arrival in the English city.

But those infected by COVID-19 could be allowed to compete once Birmingham 2022 officials have assessed the risk of that positive case, according to a report by New Zealand publication Newshub.

Avery has urged members of his delegation to take necessary actions should they test positive for COVID-19.

"Human nature, being as it is, at a critical event like this, some people may think 'well, if I have to say I'm sick and test positive, I'm out'," Avery told Newshub.

"So what we're saying is you have an obligation, not just from a health perspective, but your team-mates."

However, Avery said he was wary of others infected by the virus coming in to contact with his athletes and officials.

"It would seem [unfair]," said Avery.

"I guess it depends on the nature of the competition.

"If it's a multiple-day situation and our affected athlete had to carry on.

"If it was a one-and-done thing, it may have no bearing.

"So I guess the whole big word in this [is] - it depends."

New Zealand's men's hockey team are among 233 athletes that are set to represent the country in Birmingham ©Getty Images
New Zealand's men's hockey team are among 233 athletes that are set to represent the country in Birmingham ©Getty Images

Like the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, COVID-19 countermeasures for Birmingham 2022 have been set out in playbooks.

It is understood that versions of the playbook have been sent out to athletes and officials, but the documentation has yet to be issued to the media.

insidethegames has contacted Birmingham 2022 for comment.

A total of 233 New Zealand athletes are set to compete in 19 sports at Birmingham 2022 scheduled to be held from July 28 to August 8.

At 75, Sue Curran is poised to become New Zealand’s oldest Commonwealth Games athletes in history when she competes in the lawn bowls.

Driver Maggie Squire is the youngest member of the New Zealand team at 16 and is among 140 athletes that will be participating at the Games for the first time.

"It's a pretty exciting team," added Avery, a former weightlifter who was New Zealand’s flagbearer during the Opening Ceremony at Manchester 2002 - when England last staged the Commonwealth Games.

"[The organising is] I think like a swan.

"Gliding majestically on the surface but paddling frantically underneath."