Shopping and services

Information on shopping, visiting retail stores and using personal care services.

Shopping and services at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, all shops and services can operate as normal. Do not shop if you are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been to self-isolate. 

All supermarkets, retail stores and businesses legally must display a QR code poster to help you keep track of where you have been. Remember to scan in and have Bluetooth tracing turned on.

Services available at all Alert Levels

You can access the following goods and services at all Alert Levels:

  • Supermarkets
  • Dairies
  • Foodbanks and Meals on Wheels
  • Service stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Some liquor stores
  • Food delivery services — My Food Bag, Hello Fresh
  • Self-service laundries

This can be in person, through friends and whānau or getting deliveries to your home.

Services available at some Alert Levels

Close contact personal care services can operate at Alert Levels 1 and 2. Personal care services include services like:

  • hairdressers
  • spa and massage services
  • beauty therapy
  • tattoo and piercing services.

A cleaner can come into your home at Alert Levels 1 and 2. 

You can get a tradesperson to come into your home for repairs at Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3. At Alert Level 4, you can only ask a tradesperson to carry out urgent maintenance or repairs.

Anyone entering your home will need to follow the rules for the current Alert Level.

Shopping and services at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, all shops and services can operate but with extra safety measures.

Remember to scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app, and turn on Bluetooth tracing.

Guidance for workers

  • All customer-facing staff legally must wear a face covering while serving customers.
  • All workers must be physically separated from customers by 2 metres.

Working safely at Alert Level 2

Guidance for customers

  • All customers legally must wear a face covering in supermarkets and all retail stores.
  • Keep a record of wherever you visit.
  • Follow physical distancing measures.

Supermarkets and retail stores

You can go in-store to shop but you will need to keep 2 metres apart from people you do not know. Retail stores and supermarkets may limit the number of people allowed on their premises to help with physical distancing.

Do not shop if you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been told to self-isolate.

Halal butchers

At Alert Level 2, halal butchers can open and have customers in store. The shop legally must follow physical distancing and contact tracing requirements.

Farmers markets

Farmers markets can open at Alert Level 2, with some restrictions.

  • There are no restrictions on the number of people that can be at a farmers market.
  • Everyone must stay 2 metres away from people they do not know — if physical distancing is difficult, you may need to limit the numbers, or control entry.
  • Markets must display an NZ COVID Tracer QR code, and have an alternative way for customers to record their visit for contact tracing.
  • 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. There is no limit on the number of people that can be seated at any one time for food and drink table service — but tables must be seated 1 metre apart.

Hairdressers, barbers and personal care services

Hairdressers, barbers and businesses providing personal care services, such as massage or beauty treatments can open but with restrictions. 

Workers providing these services legally must wear a face covering while at work and keep 2 metres apart from their clients, except for when close physical contact is needed to provide the service. 

Clients do not need to wear a face covering, but it is encouraged where possible. 

Businesses will also need to make sure they maintain good hygiene practices, and regularly clean and disinfect shared equipment and surfaces.

Businesses can continue to provide beauty and personal care services in people's homes. If the person providing the service is unwell, they should not come into your home.

Try to keep 2 metres away from people you do not know, for example in waiting areas. 

If you are sick or feeling unwell, please call and reschedule your appointment. 

Animal and pet care services

At Alert Level 2, you can use animal and pet care services — for example, doggy daycare, dog grooming, kennels and catteries. You can also sell or adopt pets.

Veterinary services can open. You must wear a face covering when visiting a veterinary clinic.

Home-based services

At Alert Level 2, you can get a cleaner or tradesperson to come into your home. You will need to keep 2 metres away from them at all times, so try to move to a different room while they are working.

Try to minimise physical contact by paying for the service online.

Vehicle and driver licensing (WoFs and CoFs)

From 15 September 2021, WoFs, CoF's, vehicle registrations, vehicle certifications, driver licenses and endorsements that expire during the period 27 July 2021 to 30 November 2021 have been extended until 11:59pm 30 November 2021.

At Alert Level 2, you can renew your driver license and sit a driving test. Mechanics and vehicle testing stations can also open.

Vehicle and driver licensing extensions | Waka Kotahi (external link)

Shopping and services at Alert Level 3

Retail and grocery stores

At Alert Level 3, supermarkets, dairies, butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, petrol stations and pharmacies can have customers on their premises. You can go in-store to shop, but you will need keep 2 metres apart from people outside your household and wear a face covering. This means some smaller stores like dairies may have a "one-in, one-out" policy.

Food banks will be open at Alert Level 3.

All other retail stores can open for contactless pick-up and delivery.

If you are at Step 2 (Auckland)

At Alert Level 3 Step 2 all stores can open to customers. This means you can go in-store to shop but you will need to keep 2 metres apart from people you do not know. Shops may limit the number of people allowed on their premises to help with physical distancing.

You must wear a face covering when going in-store to shop. 

People in Auckland can travel anywhere in their region to go shopping. 

You will not be able to eat or drink inside any retail stores. For example, a food court inside a shopping mall can only open for contactless pick-up or delivery.

Advice for retail businesses at Step 2

Vehicle and driver licensing (WoFs and CoFs)

From 15 September 2021, WoFs, CoF's, vehicle registrations, vehicle certifications, driver licenses and endorsements that expire during the period 27 July 2021 to 30 November 2021 have been extended until 11:59pm 30 November 2021.

This means you can continue to drive your vehicle to access essential services.

Vehicle and driver licensing extensions | Waka Kotahi (external link)

If you are at Step 2 (Auckland)

At Step 2, driver licencing agents can reopen — but not all services will be available. Driving lessons and tests cannot happen at Alert Level 3 — including at Steps 1 and 2.

Driver licencing services available at Alert Level 3 (external link)

Advice for everyone

Halal butchers

Halal butchers can open and have customers in store. You will need to wear a face covering when going in-store to shop.

Some butchers may choose to take online or phone orders to help with physical distancing requirements.

Online shopping

Most goods ordered online can be delivered in a contactless way to your doorstep. Make sure you keep a 2 metre distance from anyone delivering your order.

Hairdressers, barbers and close contact services

At Alert Level 3, businesses offering close contact personal care services cannot open.

Close contact businesses will be open from Alert Level 3, Step 3 — with some restrictions.

Advice for close contact businesses at Step 3

Animal and pet care services

Veterinary services can open. If your pet needs to go to the veterinarian, call ahead to book. Do not go to the veterinarian if you are sick or are self-isolating. You must wear a face covering when visiting a veterinary clinic.

Businesses offering pet care services such as dog walking or dog grooming can operate but cannot have customers on site. Arrange to drop off and pick up your pet in a contactless way.

More information about animal welfare and pet care services at Alert Level 3 | mpi.govt.nz (external link)

Home based services

Plumbers, electricians, and tradespeople can come into your home for repairs. They will need to follow public health guidelines.

Home based cleaners can only work to provide support to vulnerable people — for example disabled people or people with a health condition.

Waste collection

Rubbish collection will continue.

Check with your local council for information about recycling.

Shopping and services at Alert Level 4

Grocery shopping 

At Alert Level 4, supermarkets will continue to stay open to allow people to buy food and groceries. 

Dairies and petrol stations will also remain open. They can sell food and drinks, but it cannot be prepared, packaged or consumed onsite after ordering. For example, petrol stations cannot sell barista coffee, but they can sell hot pre-packaged pies from a warmer.

You can go in-store to shop, but you will need keep 2 metres apart from people outside your household. This means some smaller stores like dairies may have a "one-in, one-out" policy.

You legally must wear a face covering when going to the supermarket, or visiting any store that is open to customers during Alert Level 4.

Liquor stores will close, unless they are within a Licensing Trust Area with a monopoly.

Supermarkets will continue to sell wine and beer.

Food delivery services  

Food delivery from supermarkets, bakeries and uncooked food suppliers is allowed at Alert Level 4.  

This includes supermarket home delivery, uncooked food parcels from charitable organisations and subscription food boxes — for example, My Food Bag or Hello Fresh.

You will not be able to get cooked food delivered — unless you have been referred to a cooked food delivery service by the Ministry of Social Development, a District Health Board, or ACC —  for example, Meals on Wheels.

Ordering, payment and delivery must be contactless and meet general health guidelines such as physical distancing and hygiene. 

Halal butchers

At Alert Level 4, halal butchers cannot open to customers, but they can sell uncooked food through contactless delivery. 

Greengrocers and fishmongers

At Alert Level 4, greengrocers and fishmongers cannot open to customers, but they can sell uncooked food through contactless delivery. 

Food banks 

Food banks will continue to operate at Alert Level 4. Food banks must operate a "one-in, one-out" policy. They can sell food prepared on the premises, but you must take it away to eat later.

Online shopping

At Alert Level 4, some retail stores can sell essential non-food consumer products. These include items to help you work or study from home, items to help you remain healthy and safe while staying in your bubble  — for example, bedding, whiteware or appliances, medicinal and hygiene products and items that help you stay connected with family and whānau.

All orders will be contactless, including payment and delivery.

Find out more information about essential non-food consumer products (external link)

Click and collect

At Alert Level 4, only businesses that are permitted to have customers on their premises can open for click and collect. These include supermarkets, dairies and hardware stores. Hardware stores can open to trade customers only.

Hairdressers, barbers and personal care services 

At Alert Level 4, businesses offering close contact personal care services cannot open.  

Animal and pet care services 

At Alert Level 4, veterinary services can operate but cannot have customers on the premises.  If your pet needs to go to the veterinarian, call ahead and arrange a time to drop off and pick up your pet contactlessly. We recommend you wear a face covering when dropping off and picking up your pet.

Businesses offering pet care services, such as dog walking or dog grooming, cannot operate. 

More information about animal welfare and pet care services at Alert Level 4 | mpi.govt.nz (external link)

Home-based services 

You can have a tradesperson come to your home to do urgent maintenance. The work must be essential to maintaining the necessities of life, or critical to safety. This includes:

  • building or construction work
  • electrical repairs
  • gas, water or waste water work
  • security services — such as locksmiths

Non-urgent repairs or maintenance work should be postponed until Alert Level 4 restrictions have lifted.

Tradespeople and other workers must wear a face covering when they come into your home. 

If you do need a tradesperson to visit, you can keep yourself safe by keeping 2 metres away from them, and reducing physical contact by paying for the service online. 

 Home-based cleaners cannot work.

Waste collection

Rubbish collection will continue.

Check your local authority website for information about recycling.

Postal services

NZ Post will deliver mail and courier drivers will continue to make deliveries. All deliveries will be contactless.

Self-service laundries

Self-service laundries can stay open, but you need to stay 2 metres away from others.

Vehicle and driver licensing (WoFs and CoFs)

From 15 September 2021, WoFs, CoF's, vehicle registrations, vehicle certifications, driver licenses and endorsements that expire during the period 27 July 2021 to 30 November 2021 have been extended until 11:59pm 30 November 2021.

This means you can continue to drive your vehicle to access essential services.

Vehicle and driver licensing extensions | Waka Kotahi (external link)

Getting groceries delivered

If you are sick, or cannot leave home to buy food or essential supplies, you can ask friends, whānau or delivery drivers to drop off goods and groceries for you.

Contact your local supermarket or dairy to find out if they are delivering groceries and how to order. Your supermarket may have reserved some priority slots for people who need to use online shopping. 

You can also use your supermarket's click and collect service, and ask a friend, family member or neighbour to drop off the groceries for you. 

If you get your groceries delivered, remember to stay 2 metres away from those delivering them, wear a face covering and wash and sanitise your hands after you have put your groceries away. 

If you are delivering food for a neighbour, friend or family member, remember to stay 2 metres apart and wear a face covering if physical distancing is difficult.

All deliveries must be local and contactless.

If you need help getting essential supplies

If you need financial help to buy food, you may be able to get help through Work and Income. You do not need to be on a benefit to get help.

Work and Income can help with paying for food, accommodation costs, power and gas bills, heating and medical or dental costs.

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