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

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 often with soap and water before and after you leave home.
  • take the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage friends and whānau to get vaccinated. 

Visiting a rest home or aged residential care facility

At Alert Level 1, 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

At Alert Level 2, you can get together with friends and whānau but gatherings are limited to 100 people. This includes people who usually live in your house.

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 100 person limit.

Funeral and tangihanga requirements

Advice for religious communities

Visiting friends and whānau in another town

At Alert Level 2, 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 100 person limit applies.

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 good health behaviours to keep you, your whānau, and your community safe.

Contact tracing

The person organising the gathering legally must:

  • make sure there are less than 100 people attending
  • record attendees to make sure contact tracing can happen. You do not need to do this if everyone at the gathering knows each other. If attendees do not all know each other, everyone attending legally must sign in using the NZ COVID-Tracer app or provide their details in a contact tracing register.

Venue hire

If you have hired a venue for a gathering, you still need to follow the 100 person limit.

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

At Alert Level 2, 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 if needed.

Meeting friends and whānau at Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3, you legally must stay in your household bubble. You cannot invite friends, whānau and extended family to your home.

You can extend your household bubble to 2 or more homes to bring in close whānau, caregivers, or people who live alone or may be isolated. Everyone who is over 18 needs to agree to the extended bubble. Keep your extended bubble close and small. If you have an extended bubble arrangement you can invite those people to your home.

It’s important to protect your bubble if you extend it. If anyone in your bubble feels unwell, they should self-isolate from everyone else within your bubble. Even if you or people in your bubble have been vaccinated, it's important to self-isolate and call Healthline or your GP for advice. 

You can get married, or attend a wedding or funeral or tangihanga. Weddings, and funerals and tangihanga are limited to 10 people. 

Keep 2 metres away from people you do not live with. Avoid close physical contact such as hugging, hongi or harirū.

Keep track of where you have been. The person organising the wedding, funeral or tangihanga legally must record attendees to make sure contact tracing can happen if needed.

Do not attend a wedding, funeral or tangihanga if you are feeling unwell. Stay home and call your Healthline or your GP for advice.

Funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 3

Advice for religious communities at Alert Level 3

Visiting a rest home or aged residential care facility

At Alert Level 3, 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'll need to talk to the healthcare provider about an exemption.

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