Workplace operations at COVID-19 Alert Levels

Guidance about workplace activities at different Alert Levels. 

3-step plan for Alert Level 3

Alert Level 3 restrictions are being eased in three steps.

Alert Level 3 – Steps 1 to 3(external link) — covid19.govt.nz

The most important thing to remember is that Auckland is at Alert Level 3.

Auckland is currently at Step 2.

At Step 2, retail can open, with customers keeping 2 metres apart. Staff and customers are required to wear face coverings. Outdoor organised exercise classes, like yoga and bootcamps, can expand to 25 people (including instructors), with 2-metre physical distancing required.

At Step 2, customers cannot enter business premises to consume food, regardless of whether they are seated indoors or outdoors, or if they are bringing their own food.

Alert Level 3 – Steps 1 to 3: Advice for businesses(external link) — covid19.govt.nz

Rules for business at Alert Level 2

  • Reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work.
  • All businesses can operate if they can meet public health requirements. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible.
  • Businesses must display NZ COVID Tracer QR codes. Most businesses must also provide alternative ways people can record their visit and take steps to ensure that, as far as is reasonably practicable, people record their visit.

Read more about mandatory record keeping to support contract tracing

  • Ask everyone — workers, contractors and customers — with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.
  • Keep workers 1 metre apart from each other and from customers. Keep groups of customers at least two metres apart (or one metre apart for customers in cafes, bars, restaurants and event facilities).
  • Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
  • Face coverings are required by customers and workers in most customer-facing situations.

Read more about face covering requirements

  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

More information on safely doing business at Alert Level 2:

Doing business at Alert Level 2(external link) — covid19.govt.nz

COVID-19: Personal protective equipment for workers(external link) — Ministry of Health

See the table below for guidelines on operating at different alert levels

Travelling for work

People can travel using public or private transport for any reason within the Alert Level 2 area.

You should travel in a safe way, and you must scan in and wearing a mask on public transport. You should not travel if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test, or if you need to self-isolate.

Crossing an Alert Level boundary

Business or work travel across Alert Level boundaries is strictly limited. See Business travel across Alert Level Boundaries for more information.

Travel during COVID-19(external link) — covid19.govt.nz

Personal travel is administered by the Ministry of Health.

COVID-19: Face covering requirements for workers and customers

Face coverings are required for many workers and customers in customer-facing roles. Find out the rules and obligations for businesses

Find out more about face covering requirements

Rules for business at Alert Level 3

Rules and guidelines under Alert Level 3

  • If your business requires close physical contact it cannot operate.
  • Staff should work from home if they can.
  • Businesses need to display a QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system. Mandatory record keeping requirements will be in place from 11.59pm, 7 September.
  • Your business must be contactless. Your customers can pay online, over the phone or in a contactless way. Delivery or pick-up must also be contactless.
  • Basic hygiene measures must be maintained eg physical distancing, handwashing and regularly cleaning surfaces. Workers must stay home if they’re sick.
  • If your business is permitted to have customers on premises, staff must remain a minimum of 1 metre apart (and 2 metres from customers and any other person) at all times where practical. We recommend other measures, such as PPE including face coverings, be used where appropriate.
  • For all other businesses and services, customers and clients should not enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact and—
    • does not involve entering a building; or
    • involves entering a shopping mall, but not entering an individual store; or
    • involves entering a building, but only to access a PO Box (including an in-person collection service at a PO Box lobby) or an in-person collection service at a Card to Call counter operated by New Zealand Post Limited
  • You must meet all other health and safety obligations.

Travelling for work

  • People can travel using public or private transport to get to their workplace premises within the Alert Level 3 area.

Crossing an Alert Level boundary

  • Business or work travel across an Alert Level Boundary is strictly limited.
  • You may only travel across an Alert Level Boundary if that travel is permitted. You also need to make sure your workers have acceptable evidence that they are permitted to cross the boundary.

Unite against COVID-19 has further information on safely doing business at Alert Level 3.

Travel during COVID-19(external link) — covid19.govt.nz

Doing business at Alert Level 3(external link)(external link) — covid19.govt.nz

COVID-19: Personal protective equipment for workers(external link)(external link) — Ministry of Health

Guidelines for operating at different alert levels

This guidance helps businesses understand if they can open or operate at different alert levels. It also covers some unique rules that apply to certain business types.

However all businesses must apply all the relevant Alert Level rules in order to open or operate safely. These rules can include keeping contact records, ensuring face coverings are worn, maintaining physical distancing and regularly disinfecting surfaces.

Keeping contact records

Face coverings

Our guidance covers businesses that normally:

Guidance for businesses that normally have customers on site

Alert Level 4 Alert Level 3 Alert Level 2
Agricultural supply stores and pet stores cannot open but can offer contactless delivery.

For guidance on accessing animal health and welfare services, please refer to the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Agricultural supply stores and pet stores can open.

Businesses must ensure customers do not enter the workplace except to collect the goods through a method that minimises physical contact.

For guidance on accessing animal health and welfare services, please refer to the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Agricultural supply stores and pet stores can open.
Bars, cafes, restaurants and licensed clubs cannot operate. At Alert Level 3 and at Steps 1 and 2, bars, cafes, restaurants and licensed clubs can offer contactless delivery or drive-through collection of food and non-alcoholic drinks. They cannot allow customers onto their premises and customers cannot dine onsite.

Bars, cafes, restaurants and licensed clubs can open.

Customers must be seated.
Customers (or groups of customers) must be separated by 1 metre.

Premises that serve alcohol with an on-licence must offer table service only (customers should remain seated when ordering and receiving food and drink), and customers should only stand when entering, paying, using the bathroom, or leaving.

All other premises must ensure that customers remain seated unless ordering or collecting food and drink, entering, paying, using the bathroom, or leaving.

All staff must wear face coverings while serving customers. However, entertainers do not need to wear a face covering if they comply with the 2m distancing rule.

Customers do not need to wear a face covering while eating or drinking.

Car parking buildings should close unless their operation is necessary to maintain Alert Level 4 and/ or exempt businesses or services. Car parking buildings can operate with customers and clients on premises.

Appropriate health and safety, contact tracing, and physical distancing measures must be in place for both workers and customers.

Food or drink can be purchased on premises in a contactless way (e.g. click and collect), but customers must not consume this onsite.
Car parking buildings can operate.
Banks and certain critical financial institutions such as lenders, credit unions, insurers and money transfer operators can open to customers for critical services where remote access is not possible.

More detail can be found at:

Replacement Notice — Exemption of Persons from Requirements of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021(external link) — New Zealand Gazette
Banks and certain critical financial institutions such as lenders, credit unions, insurers and money transfer operators can open to customers for critical services where remote access is not possible.

At Step 2, all financial institutions can open to customers, with measures to keep people safe, including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.
Banks and financial institutions can open and allow customers onto their premises.
Dairies can open. Food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be prepared, packaged or consumed onsite after ordering. For example, barista coffee cannot be sold; but hot pies can be sold from a warmer.

In the case of smaller stores, Alert Level 4 requirements will likely mean limiting access to one customer at a time.
Dairies can open. Prepared food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be consumed by customers onsite. Dairies must ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken. Dairies can open.
Entertainment and tourist facilities cannot open. Entertainment and tourist facilities cannot open. Entertainment and tourist facilities (such as cinema, theatres, art galleries, mini golf, arcades, bungee jumping, or bowling alleys) can open, with measures to keep people safe including 1m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.

For more advice on events and entertainment, please see:

Events and entertainment at Alert Level 2(external link) — covid19.govt.nz.
Exercise facilities and classes can offer lessons remotely (eg by video) from their home, but workers cannot access their premises. Exercise facilities and classes can offer lessons remotely (eg by video), but cannot open their premises.

At Step 1, outdoor exercise classes not on premises (eg, yoga or bootcamps in a public park) can operate. These classes should be limited to 10 people, including the instructor. At Step 2, classes can be up to 25 people, including the instructor. Everyone must stay 2 metres apart.

Premises also include outdoor areas owned by the business running the classes. Businesses cannot hire any private facility for the purpose of running in-person classes. This means that a gym’s carpark cannot be used to run classes and a café or private carpark can’t be hire out for the purpose of running in-person classes.
Exercise facilities and classes (eg gyms, yoga studios and dance school) can open.

All workers should wear face coverings. Customers do not need to wear face coverings.
Farmers’ markets and other markets that occur on a regular basis (more than once a month) cannot open. Farmers’ markets and other markets that occur on a regular basis (more than once a month) cannot open.

At Step 2, these markets can open, with measures to keep people safe including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.

There are no restrictions on the number of people that can be at these markets.

Everyone — including workers – must wear a face covering.

Food vendors must continue to offer contactless pick-up or delivery options only. Food or drink can be purchased on premises in a contactless way, but customers must not consume this onsite.
Farmers’ markets and other markets that occur on a regular basis (more than once a month) can open, with measures to keep people safe, including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers. There are no restrictions on the number of people that can be at a farmers market.

Everyone — including workers – must wear a face covering.

If the market sells food and drinks for people to eat on site, everyone must be seated to be served.
Financial advisors must work from home. A financial advice firm can open its office for workers if it can ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken. Customers and clients cannot enter the workplace. A financial advice firm can open its office.
General retail stores and clothing stores can operate online for the purpose of delivering 'essential' consumer products only. They cannot allow customers onto their premises. Customer interactions should be contactless, including for ordering, payment and delivery. Customers must not collect goods from stores. General retail stores and clothing stores can operate but must ensure that no customers or clients enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact.

At Step 2, general retail stores and clothing stores can have customers on premises, with measures to keep people safe, including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.
General retail stores and clothing stores can operate and allow customers onto their premises, with measures to keep people safe, including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.
Green grocers, butcheries, bakeries and fishmongers cannot open to customers but can sell uncooked food products and bakery products via contactless ordering payment and delivery, eg online or by phone. At Step 1, green grocers, butcheries and fishmongers can open to customers, provided their premises are indoors and have a fixed location.

At Step 2, all green grocers, butcheries and fishmongers can open to customers.

At Step 1, bakeries can operate, but must ensure that no customers or clients enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact.

At Step 2, bakeries can have customers on premises, with measures to keep people safe including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.

Prepared food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be consumed by customers onsite. Businesses must ensure Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken.
Green grocers, butcheries, bakeries and fishmongers can open as per the rules for retail stores.
Hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, tattoo parlours, beauty parlours and non-medical massage services cannot open. Hairdressers*, barbers*, nail salons, tattoo parlours, beauty parlours and non-medical massage services cannot open.

*From 25 November, hairdressers and barbers in Auckland can open so long as they require My Vaccine Passes from customers. As this is for My Vaccine Pass holders only, children under 12 cannot use this service until New Zealand moves into the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

These hairdressers and barbers will need to:
  • Operate with My Vaccine Passes and scan each customer’s pass with the NZ Pass Verifier app
  • Take bookings only, no walk-ins
  • Staff must all be fully vaccinated
  • Operate in a similar way to Alert Level 2: Staff must be wearing face coverings, 1-metre physical distancing must be in place between chairs, and customers can remove their mask during their haircut.
Hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, tattoo parlours, beauty parlours and non-medical massage services can open.

Workers are excepted from physical distancing requirements where they need to have physical contact with the customer to carry out their service.

Customers and workers providing services to them must wear face coverings.
Hardware and DIY stores cannot open to customers but can open to tradespeople to maintain other Alert Level 4 businesses or services. The 2 metre physical distancing rule must be adhered to, so contactless pickup is advised. They can also sell essential products to any customers via contactless delivery. Hardware and DIY stores can operate and are permitted to have trade customers in-store.

All other customers may not enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact. Businesses must ensure Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken.

At Step 2, all customers are permitted in-store, with measures to keep people safe, including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.
Hardware and DIY stores can open.
Licensed supermarkets can sell alcohol.

Licensing Trust stores in Mataura, Invercargill, Waitākere and Portage can be open for customers, but only for the sale of alcohol under an off-license.

Food and drink must not be served for consumption on premises.

Off-licence holders can sell alcohol remotely through contactless delivery.
Licensed supermarkets can sell alcohol.

Licensing Trust stores in Mataura, Invercargill, Waitākere and Portage can open to customers, but only for the sale of alcohol under an off-licence and must ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken.

Food and drink must not be served for consumption on premises.

Off-licence holders can sell alcohol remotely through contactless delivery and pick-up.
Licenced supermarkets can sell alcohol. Other alcohol off-licence holders can also sell alcohol.
Mechanics can operate for urgent repairs if necessary to maintain Alert Level 4 services. Mechanics can operate but must ensure that no customers or clients enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods or vehicles through a method that minimises physical contact.

At Step 2, mechanics can open to customers with measures to keep people safe, including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.
Mechanics can operate.
Nightclubs cannot operate. Nightclubs cannot open. Nightclubs can open for seated service only, as per the rules for bars.

Dance floors must be closed.

Essential non-food consumer products can be sold via contactless ordering, payment and delivery. Customers must not collect goods from stores. Sale of both essential and non essential non-food consumer products is allowed. Businesses must ensure Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken and that no customers or clients enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact.

At Step 2, sellers of both essential and non-essential non-food consumer products can open to customers with measures to keep people safe, including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.
Sale of non-food consumer products is allowed.
Pet care services necessary to maintain existing boarding of animals in pet care, or for long-term care when no other alternatives are available can operate. Businesses offering animal and pet care services can open, provided that it is for the purpose of animal health and welfare, and must ensure Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken.

Businesses may also offer other animal care services, such as dog-grooming, so long as the animal is transferred contactlessly.

Businesses must ensure all other customers do not enter the workplace except to collect goods (eg, animal feed) through a method that minimises physical contact.

At Step 2, customers can enter any retail premises to collect goods (eg animal feed), provided that the premises have measures to keep people safe, including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.

For guidance on accessing animal health and welfare services, please refer to the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Animal and pet care services, such as dog walking and pet grooming, can operate.
Petrol stations, including any stores operating out of them, can open. Food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be prepared, packaged or consumed onsite after ordering. For example, barista coffee cannot be sold; but hot pies can be sold from a warmer. Petrol stations, including any stores operating out of them, can open. Prepared food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be consumed by customers onsite. Petrol stations can open.
Pharmacies can open. Pharmacies can open. Pharmacies can open.
Public facilities (such as libraries and museums) cannot open. At Alert Level 3 and at Step 1, public facilities (such as libraries and museums) cannot open.

At Steps 2 and 3, public facilities can open, with measures to keep people safe including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.

For more information on Level 3 steps, please see:

Alert Level 3 — Steps 1 to 3: Advice for businesses(external link) — covid19.govt.nz
Public facilities (such as libraries and museums) can open, with measures to keep people safe including 2m physical distancing and contact tracing registers.
A real estate firm cannot open its office. Staff must work from home.

Open homes cannot take place.

A real estate firm can open its office for staff workers, but cannot open to customers or clients.

Real estate or property relocation services including removal/moving companies, and housing services provided by landlords and managers, may be provided in a person’s home. The only people who can be present for real estate and property relocation services in the home are:

  • the minimum number of workers needed to provide the service
  • current residents of the property
  • people from a single place of residence inspecting the property for the purpose of relocation, and/or
  • people from a single place of residence planning to relocate their place of residence or business premises to the location.

One-on-one viewings and pre-settlement inspections may be possible. It might not be possible to meet Alert Level 3 distancing requirements if attempting to hold an open home.

Workers providing property relocation services (including property inspection services) may only travel across Alert Level boundaries to arrange relocation for a person’s principal home or place of residence.

COVID-19: Information for real estate licensees(external link) – Real Estate Authority

A real estate firm can open its office.

Open homes can take place in person, subject to conditions on contact tracing and physical distancing.

Property management functions may be carried out in person.

COVID-19: Information for real estate licensees(external link) – Real Estate Authority

COVID-19 information for landlords and tenants(external link) – Tenancy Services
Shopping malls and marketplaces cannot open. Shopping malls may allow customers on premises so that people can:
  • enable goods to be collected through a method that minimises physical contact
  • enable access to other businesses or services to which persons may have access to.

At Step 2, shopping malls and marketplaces can open. For information on markets that are not in established marketplaces, see ‘Farmers markets and other markets’.

Food courts inside shopping malls must continue to offer contactless pick-up or delivery options only. Food or drink can be purchased on premises in a contactless way, but customers must not consumer this onsite. 

Shopping centres and marketplaces can open.

For information on markets that are not in established marketplaces, see:

Farmers markets and other markets
Supermarkets can open.

Prepared food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be consumed by customers onsite.
Supermarkets can open.

Prepared food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be consumed by customers onsite.
Supermarkets can open.

 

Guidance for businesses that normally only have workers on site

Alert Level 4 Alert Level 3 Alert Level 2
Building and construction related to nationally important infrastructure, and immediate health and safety risks, and resourcing consenting necessary for the above purposes. Building and construction work can be done provided Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken, including no close personal contact with clients (2 metre physical distancing).

COVID-19: Building and construction sector guidance(external link) — Building Performance
Building and construction work can be done.
Call centres can only run from premises for Alert Level 4 businesses or services where this is ‘necessary’ to maintain the Alert Level 4 business or service. Call centres can run from premises if they can ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing hygiene measures are taken. Call centres can run from premises.
Film and television sets (other than for news) cannot operate. Work can be done on film and TV sets. Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures must be taken. This means the full range of screen production work may not be possible (eg close personal contact between actors and hair and make-up artists should not occur). Work can be done on film and TV sets.
Flower growing and distribution cannot operate. Flower growing and distribution can be done.

Businesses must ensure Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken and that no customers or clients enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact.
Flower growing and distribution can be done.
Food and beverage production and processing firms can operate with staff on premise. Food and beverage production and processing firms can operate and must ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken. Food and beverage production and processing firms and their premises can operate.
A magazine publisher cannot open its office. A magazine publisher can open its office for workers if it can ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken. Production, contactless delivery and retail distribution of magazines can also take place A magazine publisher can open its office.
Manufacturing production firms can operate if they are an Alert Level 4 business or service, or if their work is necessary to maintain other Alert Level 4 businesses or services. A manufacturing plant can operate if it can ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken. A manufacturing plant can operate.
Nurseries can operate and turf maintenance (eg golf courses, sports grounds) can happen for minimum operations necessary to maintain condition or value. Nurseries can operate and turf maintenance (eg golf courses, sports grounds) can happen. Businesses must ensure that appropriate Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken and that no customers or clients enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact. Nurseries can operate and turf maintenance (eg golf courses, sports grounds) can happen.
Science and research institutions involved in the COVID response, civil defence, biosecurity and public health (and limited other services) can have staff operate on premise. Science and research institutions can operate from premises, but cannot open to customers or clients, and must ensure Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken. Science and research institutions can operate.

Guidance for businesses that normally enter customers’ homes, vehicles or workplaces

Alert Level 4 Alert Level 3 Alert Level 2
Driver instruction and licencing cannot happen, other than aspects of applications that may be done remotely. Motorcycle driver instruction and licencing can occur. 2m physical distancing must be maintained at all times, and no customers can enter the workplace (eg, training must occur outside the workplace).

Other driver instruction and licencing cannot happen, other than aspects of applications that may be done remotely.
Driver instruction and licencing can happen.
Home cleaners cannot operate.

Commercial cleaning may be able to operate in limited circumstances. All businesses should have strict health and hygiene measures in place.
Home cleaners can work if this is for persons who require assistance because of sickness or disability. If they are going into someone’s home to work, they must take a QR code with them for the customer to scan or have an alternative way of recording their visit. Home cleaners can work.
Security services, including locksmiths, can provide services on customers’ property.

Work can only occur at people’s homes where needed to address a risk to health or safety.
Security services, including locksmiths, can carry out work on customers’ property (eg in homes) if they can ensure that appropriate Alert Level 3 distancing, contact tracing and hygiene measures are taken. Locksmiths can operate.
Pest controllers can carry out work on customers’ property (eg in homes) however operations should be limited to work that is immediately necessary. Strict health and hygiene measures and record keeping systems and processes need to be in place. Pest controllers can carry out work on customers’ property (eg in homes) if they can ensure that appropriate Alert Level 3 distancing, contact tracing and hygiene measures are taken. Pest controllers can operate.
Plumbers, electricians, builders, tradespeople and utility workers can carry out work on customers’ property (eg in homes) to address immediate risks to health and safety.

Strict health and hygiene measures and record keeping systems and processes need to be in place.
Plumbers, electricians and tradespeople can work on customers’ property (eg in homes). Tradespeople need to ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing, contact tracing and hygiene measures are taken. Plumbers, electricians and tradespeople can work on customers’ property (eg in homes).
Delivery and in-home installation, maintenance and repair of goods that are necessary to support a person’s health and safety (such as kitchen appliances) can be done.

Strict health and hygiene measures and record keeping systems and processes need to be in place.
In-home installation and repair services can be offered. Tradespeople need to ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing, contact tracing and hygiene measures are taken. In-home installation and repair services can be offered.
Removal/moving companies cannot operate. Removal/moving companies can operate if they can ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken.

Businesses can relocate your business premises on a permanent or long-term basis.

They can also leave home to arrange relocation, including to inspect the property or potential property.
Removal/moving companies can operate.
Union services can operate as long as it is necessary to enable the union to provide a service and the provision of the service cannot be reasonably delayed. Union services can operate but must ensure that appropriate Alert Level 3 distancing measures are taken. Union services can operate.

Guidance for businesses that have no fixed premises, or which move premises.

Alert Level 4 Alert Level 3 Alert Level 2
Client-facing workers (such as sales and business development people) must meet with clients remotely unless it is an Alert Level 4 service. Client-facing workers (such as sales and business development people) can operate if they can ensure that Alert Level 3 distancing and hygiene measures are taken. Client-facing workers (such as sales and business development people) can meet with clients in person.
Cooked food delivery services where referred by MSD, DHB or ACC (ie. Meals on wheels) can operate (contactless delivery is encouraged). Cooked food delivery services can operate with contactless delivery or pick up. Cooked Food delivery services can operate.
Couriers and parcel services can operate. Deliveries should be contactless. Couriers and parcel services can operate. Deliveries should be contactless. Couriers and parcel services can operate. Deliveries should be contactless.
Contactless delivery of uncooked food can occur. Contactless delivery of uncooked food can occur. Contactless delivery of uncooked food can occur.
Freight and logistics services can transport both essential and non-essential products, including to distribution centres at a different alert level. Retailers in Alert Level 4 areas should only supply essential products to customers. Freight and logistics services can transport both essential and non-essential products, including to distribution centres at a different alert level.

Retailers in Alert Level 3 areas can sell and deliver both essential and non-essential products. This includes providing non-essential products to customers in other Alert Level areas.
Freight and logistics service can transport both essential and non-essential products, including to distribution centres at a different alert level.

Retailers in Alert Level 2 areas can sell and deliver both essential and non-essential products. This includes providing non-essential products to customers in other Alert Level areas.
Outdoor adventure activities cannot operate. Outdoor adventure activities (eg guided walks, kayaking tours, quad bike adventures or scenic flights or boat trips) cannot operate. Outdoor adventure activities (eg guided walks, kayaking tours, quad bike adventures or scenic flights or boat trips) can operate.
Telecommunications network operators can do essential maintenance and repair works, and upgrade capacity in their networks. Stores can sell essential products to customers via contactless delivery. Telecommunications network repairs, maintenance and upgrades can be done. Stores can operate but must ensure that no customers or clients enter the workplace except to the minimum extent necessary to collect goods through a method that minimises physical contact. Telecommunications work can be done. Retail stores can be open.

If you have a question about Alert Level settings for businesses please call Freephone 0800 424 946.

For more information on health and safety obligations or the definition of an Alert Level 4 business or service read the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order. 

COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 11) 2021(external link) – Legislation.govt.nz

Freephone

If you have a question about Alert Level settings for businesses, and you cannot find the information above, please email AL4BusinessServices@mbie.govt.nz.

Rules for business at Alert Level 4

At Alert Level 4 you and your employees need to stay home unless you provide an Alert Level 4 service or business. Even if you are running an Alert Level 4 service or business, you are encouraged to have your employees work from home if possible.

Having non-essential businesses operating during Alert Level 4 increases the odds of transmission, with workers moving in an out of their home bubbles, connecting bubbles and therefore increasing the potential chain of infection. We encourage businesses to carefully consider whether they really need to be operating, and what the minimum level of operations required are.

If your business is an Alert Level 4 business or service and your employees can’t work from home, then they can go into work, provided you are following health and safety guidelines. If you can’t meet health and safety obligations then employees can’t go into work and your workplace must remain closed.

You can’t apply to be an Alert Level 4 business or service.

More information on safely doing business at Alert Level 4:

More information on safely doing business at Alert Level 4(external link) — covid19.govt.nz

COVID-19: Personal protective equipment for workers(external link) — Ministry of Health

Further guidance on Alert Level 4 rules

See the table below for guidelines on operating at different alert levels

Essential non-food consumer products

Reliance will be placed on businesses to determine which products are essential. We expect businesses and consumers to act responsibly.

Any provision of essential non-food consumer products should be by online order with contact-less delivery only.

When determining which non-food consumer products are essential, businesses can refer to the relevant Health Order and consider which products are necessary during the duration of Alert Level 4 for people to:

  • remain healthy and safe while isolating
  • work or study from home
  • stay in communication with whānau and friends and remain up to date with news and health information. 

COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) Amendment Order (No 3) 2021(external link) — New Zealand Legislation

Categories of non-food consumer products that are essential include:

  • necessary clothing, footwear and bedding
  • urgently required white ware and appliances: such as fridges, heaters, washing machines and dryers, vacuum cleaners, fans and dehumidifiers
  • urgently required cooking, cleaning and laundry equipment
  • medicinal and hygiene products: such as medication, PPE, first aid products, soaps, shampoos, moisturisers and hand sanitisers
  • urgently required items for transport maintenance: such as bike and automotive parts and repair kits
  • materials for urgent home repair
  • urgently required communication devices: such as mobile phones, computer equipment, modems and internet equipment, televisions and radios
  • urgently required educational materials and books
  • urgently required home office equipment.

Categories of non-food consumer products that are not essential include: 

  • exercise, sporting and outdoor recreation equipment: such as weights, indoor training machines, sports rackets and balls, and pool products
  • entertainment and hobby products: such as gaming consoles, knitting wool, trampolines and swings
  • beauty products: such as make up.

Producing essential products in Alert Level 4 regions for supply to lower Alert Level regions

An Alert Level 4 business cannot produce non-essential products for delivery to Alert Level 3 regions, even if it is already manufacturing essential products.

However, many products have both essential and non-essential uses and it can be difficult for manufacturers and retailers to identify or control how the products may be used. Alert Level 4 businesses should have systems and processes in place, to the extent reasonably available, to ensure the manufacture of products are for essential purposes only.

The practical difficulties for Alert Level 4 businesses of confirming final use are acknowledged. Reliance is placed on businesses to act responsibly.

Click and collect services

During Alert Level 4, only business that are permitted to have customers in the workplace are able to provide click and collect services. These include supermarkets, dairies and hardware stores (for trade customers only).

In some cases, customers are also permitted to access vets and other animal care services for animal health and welfare reasons. For more information, visit the Ministry for Primary Industries’ website:

COVID-19 (coronavirus) information and advice(external link) – Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)

Businesses operating click and collect services must also follow safe operating practices, as set out in the Public Health Order.

Picking up equipment from work

In limited circumstances persons may go to their work premises to carry out necessary activity to enable employees to work remotely, such as picking up laptops or specialised equipment.

If traveling to site, employees should:

  • only be on site for the minimum amount of time to carry out essential operations
  • maintain compliance with the 1-metre distancing rule for workers, and the 2-metre distancing rule for all other persons
  • wear a face covering if possible
  • record their entry to the location via QR code or an alternative contact tracing system.

Rules for business at all Alert Levels

It's important to keep up basic hygiene measures at all alert levels, including washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow.

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow, wash your hands, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  • Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing.
  • Businesses must help people keep track of their movements by displaying the NZ COVID Tracer app QR code for contact tracing.
  • If you’re concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  • People have had different experiences. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

Mental health and wellbeing support

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