Workplace operations at COVID-19 alert levels

Guidance about workplace activities at different alert levels. 

All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1. All businesses can operate, provided they can meet the rules to operate safely. Businesses are still required to display the official QR codes for the NZ COVID Tracer app at all alert levels.

All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1. All businesses can operate, provided they can meet the rules to operate safely. Businesses are still required to display the official QR codes for the NZ COVID Tracer app at all alert levels.

For more information, check out the page below.

Travel outside of the Auckland region

We have information on travel across Alert Level Boundaries and how to apply when a boundary is set up.

COVID-19: Business travel across Alert Level Boundaries

Rules for business at Alert Level 3

  • If your business requires close physical contact it cannot operate.
  • We recommend staff work from home if they can.
  • Businesses need to display a QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system. We recommend you make sure that people either scan in or provide their contact details.
  • Customers cannot come onto your premises — unless you are a supermarket, dairy, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, petrol station, pharmacy or permitted health service.
  • Your business legally must be contactless. Your customers can pay online, over the phone or in a contactless way. Delivery or pick-up legally must also be contactless.
  • Basic hygiene measures legally must be maintained. Physical distancing, handwashing and regularly cleaning surfaces. Workers legally must stay home if they’re sick.
  • Staff legally must remain a minimum of 1 metre apart at all times where practical. We recommend other measures, such as PPE including face coverings, be used where appropriate.
  • You legally must meet all other health and safety obligations.

Ministry of Health has advice for essential healthcare workers, border agencies, courts and tribunal staff, first responders and corrections staff.

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

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

Doing business at Alert Level 3(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 do so safely. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible.
  • Talk with your staff to identify risks and ways to manage them.
  • Ask everyone — workers, contractors and customers — with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.
  • Keep workers 1 metre apart and customers in retail businesses 2 metres apart.
  • Keep groups of customers at least 1 metre apart, or 2 metres for retail businesses.
  • Businesses are legally required to display a QR code and provide an alternative contact tracing system.
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged if you are in close contact with others.
  • Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

Unite against COVID-19 has further information on safely doing business at Alert level 2.

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

Operating at Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3

There are rules and information for different business types and industries and how you may operate at Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3.

In all cases, you will need to follow the rules for operating under Alert Level 2 with social distancing, contact tracing and operating safely.

Check it out below.

Businesses are required to display the official QR codes for the NZ COVID Tracer app at all alert levels. Please ensure your QR code is prominently displayed.

Businesses are required to display the official QR codes for the NZ COVID Tracer app at all alert levels. Please ensure your QR code is prominently displayed.

Businesses are required to display the official QR codes for the NZ COVID Tracer app at all alert levels. Please ensure your QR code is prominently displayed.

Contact tracing

To stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to be able to quickly identify and find the people who have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

While NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters are required, alternative contact tracing registers are encouraged for businesses that operate premises where people come into close contact with each other such as food and drink businesses, or hairdressers. 

Find out more about contact tracing and how to get your NZ COVID Tracer code poster.

Contact tracing

Workplace premises only accessed by staff

For example: construction, forestry, manufacturing, research institutions or film studios.

In all cases, the applicable rules for operating under their alert level must be followed.

Visit the MPI site for information specific to primary industries.

Information about COVID-19 and the primary sector(external link) — MPI

Alert Level 2 Alert Level 3
Building and construction work can be done. Building and construction work can be done. For information specific to the building and construction sector visit Building Performance.

COVID-19: Building and construction sector guidance(external link) — Building Performance
Call centres can run from premises. Call centres can run from premises for workers who cannot work from home.
A financial advice firm can open its office. A financial advice firm can open its office for workers who cannot work from home. The firm cannot take in-person appointments with clients.
Food and beverage production and processing firms and their premises can operate. Food and beverage production and processing firms can operate for staff who cannot work from home.
A magazine publisher can open its office. A magazine publisher can open its office for staff who cannot work from home. Production, contactless delivery and retail distribution of magazines can also take place.
A manufacturing plant can operate. A manufacturing plant can operate for staff who cannot work from home and export goods (all freight can be distributed at Alert Level 3). Tradespeople are allowed on premises, as long as there is the ability to contact trace.
Work can be done on film and TV sets. Work can be done on film and TV sets, but the full range of screen production work may not be possible due to limitations (e.g. preventing close personal contact between actors and hair and make-up artists).
Forestry (including wood processing) work can happen. Forestry (including harvest and wood processing) work can happen.
All parts of the wool value chain can operate. All parts of the wool value chain can operate.
Flower growing and distribution can be done. Flower growing and distribution can be done.
Science and research institutions can operate. Science and research institutions can operate from premises for workers who cannot work from home.

 

Workplace premises accessed by the public or customers

For example: retail, hospitality, hairdressers, entertainment venues and gyms.

In all cases, the applicable rules for operating under their alert level must be followed.

Alert Level 2 Alert Level 3
Supermarkets can open. Supermarkets can open.
Pharmacies can open. Pharmacies can open.
Dairies can open. Dairies can open. Prepared food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be consumed by customers onsite. In the case of smaller stores this will likely mean limiting access to one customer at time.
Farmers’ markets can open. Farmers’ markets cannot open.
Petrol stations can open. Petrol stations can open. Prepared food and drink can be bought and sold, but cannot be consumed by customers onsite.
Banks can open and allow customers onto their premises. Some banks may be open with social distancing and contactless interactions.
Green grocers, butcheries, and fishmongers can open as per the rules for retail stores. Green grocers, butcheries, and fishmongers can open to customers. In the case of smaller stores this will likely mean limiting access to one customer at time.
Hardware and DIY stores can open. Hardware and DIY stores can operate and sell all of their goods to any customers via contactless delivery or pick-up. Tradespeople will be able to safely pick up supplies.
Agricultural supply stores and pet stores can open. Agricultural supply stores and pet stores can offer contactless delivery or drive-through.
Lawn maintenance such as golf courses and stadia can operate.  Lawn maintenance such as golf courses and stadia can operate as long as customers are not allowed on premise.
Animal and pet care services, such as dog walking and pet grooming, can operate. Businesses offering animal and pet care services can operate, but cannot have (human) customers on business premises. Contactless delivery or pick-up (between humans) must be used.
Clothing stores can open. Clothing stores can operate through contactless delivery or pick-up. They cannot have physical storefronts open to the public.
Bars, cafes and restaurants can open, subject to physical distancing and conditions on gatherings (eg seated patrons only, no more than 100 people) being met. Premises that serve alcohol with an on-licence must offer table service only. Bars, cafes and restaurants can offer contactless delivery or collection of food and non-alcoholic drinks. They can also operate drive-throughs. They cannot have physical storefronts open to the public, and customers cannot dine on-site.
Nightclubs are unlikely to be able to operate in line with conditions on gatherings. Nightclubs 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 (eg physical distancing and contact tracing registers). Entertainment and tourist facilities cannot open.
Licenced supermarkets can sell alcohol. Other alcohol off-licence holders can also sell alcohol. Sellers must meet all requirements of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act. Licensed supermarkets and Licensing Trust stores in the four Licensing Trust areas with a monopoly can sell alcohol. Open liquor store premises must operate with a one-in-one-out rule.

Off-licence holders whose license enables them to sell and deliver alcohol remotely can do so through contactless delivery and pick-up. All requirements of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, licence conditions/restrictions and requirements for remote sales apply. Limits on quantity of spirits to be sold are recommended.
Mechanics can operate.  Mechanics can operate provided they do not have customers on premise.
General retail stores can operate and allow customers onto their premises.  General retail stores can operate. However, they can’t allow customers onto their premises. Customer interactions should be contactless, including for ordering, payment and delivery.  
Shopping centres/malls can open. Shopping Malls may allow customers on premises so that people can:
  • contactlessly collect goods from stores inside the mall.
  • access those businesses which are allowed to have customers on premises
Hairdressers, barbers, nail salons and non-medical massage services can open. Hairdressers, barbers, nail salons and non-medical massage services cannot open.
Exercise facilities and classes (eg gyms, yoga studios and dance school) can open. Exercise facilities and classes can offer lessons remotely (eg by video), but cannot open their premises.

 

Workers going to customers or a third party premises

For example: couriers, moving house, open homes, client meetings or home repairs.

In all cases, the applicable public health measures must be followed.

Alert Level 2 Alert Level 3
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 landlords and tenants on Tenancy Services(external link)
A real estate firm can open its office for staff who cannot work from home. The firm cannot take in-person appointments with clients.

Open homes cannot take place in person, but they can happen remotely. One-on-one viewings and pre-settlement inspections may be possible. More guidance is available from the Real Estate Authority(external link) and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand(external link).
Couriers and parcel services can operate. Deliveries should be contactless. Couriers and parcel services can operate. Deliveries should be contactless.
Removal/moving companies can operate. Removal/moving companies can operate.
Plumbers, electricians and tradespeople can work on customers’ property (eg in homes). Plumbers, electricians and tradespeople can work on customers’ property (eg in homes). Tradespeople need to ensure the relevant public health measures are met (including contact tracing and PPE, such as masks).
Client-facing workers (such as sales and business development people) can meet with clients in person. Client-facing workers (such as sales and business development people) must meet with clients remotely unless it is an essential service.
Home cleaners can work. Home cleaners cannot work in clients’ homes.
Door-to-door sales should only operate if they are able to meet contact tracing requirements for businesses. Door-to-door sales are not allowed.

 

Workplaces with no premises

For example outdoor tours or driver instruction.

In all cases, the applicable rules for operating under their alert level must be followed.

Alert Level 2 Alert Level 3
Outdoor adventure activities (eg guided walks, kayaking tours, quad bike adventures or scenic flights or boat trips) can operate. Outdoor adventure activities (eg guided walks, kayaking tours, quad bike adventures or scenic flights or boat trips) should not operate.
Driver instruction and licencing can happen. Driver instruction and licencing cannot happen, other than aspects of applications that may be done remotely.

Rules for business at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1 everyone can return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want.

It's still important to keep basic hygiene measures, 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.
  • Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses must be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  • If you’re concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  • People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.
Taxi and ride-share drivers are required to wear face coverings. Face coverings are also mandatory for anyone traveling on public transport and on all flights nationwide.

Taxi and ride-share drivers are required to wear face coverings. Face coverings are also mandatory for anyone traveling on public transport and on all flights nationwide.

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