Meeting friends and whānau

Advice about meeting friends and whānau safely, and going to private social gatherings.

Meeting friends and whānau at Alert Level 1

There are no restrictions on the number of people you can invite to your home or gather with in a public place. You can travel to meet friends and whānau in another town or city.

You can do your part to keep you, your whānau and friends safe and reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. We encourage you to:

  • keep a record of the friends and whānau you visit
  • not visit or invite others to your home if you or someone in your household is feeling unwell
  • regularly wash your hands with soap and water
  • get vaccinated, and encourage friends and whānau to get vaccinated too. 

Visiting a rest home or aged residential care facility

You can visit your friends and whānau in a rest home or care facility. There are no restrictions on the number of visitors, and visitors do not have to be from the same household bubble.

Please do not visit a care facility if you are unwell, have symptoms of COVID-19, are self isolating or are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.

Meeting friends and whānau at Alert Level 2

You can get together with friends and whānau but gatherings are limited to 100 people in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Social gatherings include:

  • having guests over to your home
  • family events
  • weddings
  • funerals and tangihanga
  • faith-based services and places of worship
  • community club and sport activities
  • celebration events like birthday parties or stag dos.

Workers providing services to a social gathering are not included in the indoor and outdoor gathering limits.

Funerals, tangihanga and last rites at Alert Level 2

Weddings and civil union ceremonies at Alert Level 2

Faith-based gatherings at Alert Level 2

Private social gatherings at Alert Level 2

Visiting friends and whānau in another town

You can travel to other regions that are at Alert Level 1 or 2 to visit friends or whānau or attend a social gathering. If the gathering is in an Alert Level 2 region, the indoor and outdoor gathering limits apply.

Remember to keep a record of who you have been in contact with, and what transport services you used. 

When you are out and about, try to keep a 2 metre distance from people you do not know. 

If you cannot physically distance, we encourage you to wear a face covering.

Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to keep up healthy habits to keep you, your whānau, and your community safe.

Venue hire

If you have hired a venue for a gathering, you still need to follow the indoor and outdoor gathering limits.

If you are meeting friends or whānau at a cafe or restaurant, you will need to follow the establishment's safety measures.

Visiting a rest home or aged residential care facility

You can visit friends and whānau in a rest home or aged care facility, but there may be restrictions. 

You may have to complete a health check before you visit, and visiting hours may be limited. Facilities may also limit the number of visitors. Please check with the facility or rest home before you visit.

When visiting a rest home or care facility, remember to scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app, wash or sanitise your hands and wear a face covering.

Meeting friends and whānau at Alert Level 3

Keep your bubble as small as possible. Your household bubble is the group of people you have day-to-day, physical contact with.

At Alert Level 3, it includes the people you live with and, if necessary, isolated people or caregivers — as long as everyone in the bubble agrees.

You cannot invite other friends, whānau and extended family who are not in your bubble to your home. Indoor gatherings are not permitted at Alert Level 3, including at Steps 1 and 2.

You can get together with friends and whānau to attend a wedding, civil union, funeral or tangihanga but there are some restrictions.

Visiting a rest home or aged residential care facility

You will not be able to visit friends and whānau living in a rest home or aged care facility. We encourage you to connect with them virtually.

You can apply for an exemption to visit whānau on compassionate grounds, such as visiting those whānau who are in palliative care. You will need to talk to the healthcare provider about an exemption.

Meeting friends and whānau at Alert Level 4

At Alert Level 4, we all need to stay in our household bubble. You cannot invite friends, whānau or extended family to your home. Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe.

If you want to talk to a friend, call or video chat with them.

You can drop off groceries to others, but drop the groceries at the door. Always keep a 2 metre distance.

Children can travel between the homes of separated parents.

If you live alone, you may arrange with another person living alone or a household to be part of your household bubble. This arrangement must be exclusive between you and the other household.

Events or gatherings cannot go ahead. This includes birthday parties, weddings, funerals and tangihanga.

Visiting a rest home or aged residential care facility

You will not be able to visit friends and whānau living in a rest home or aged care facility. We encourage you to connect with them virtually.

Family visits on compassionate grounds — for example a palliative situation, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Visits will be by appointment only. Contact the care provider about arranging a compassionate visit.

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