Alert Level 3

Alert Level 3 information on travel, personal movement, exercise, education, work, business and gatherings.

If you're unwell

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about being tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate you legally must do so immediately.

Get tested if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms — tests are free

COVID-19 symptoms

Self-isolation, quarantine and testing

If you get a COVID-19 test, your medical professional will advise you on whether you need to self-isolate while awaiting the test result. You should always stay home if you are feeling unwell.

Guidance on self-isolation at home (external link)

Maintain good hygiene

It’s important that you use basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces.

How to practise good hygiene and stay healthy

Keep track of where you’ve been

Use the NZ COVID Tracer app if you can. This helps with rapid contact tracing if it’s required.

How to keep track of where you’ve been

Businesses legally must display the NZ COVID Tracer QR code poster.

Get your NZ COVID Tracer QR code poster

Travel and personal movement

At Alert Level 3, you legally must stay within your household bubble whenever you're not at work or school. You can expand this to:

  • connect with close family and whānau
  • bring in caregivers, or
  • support isolated people.

It’s important to protect your bubble. Keep your bubble exclusive and only include people where it will keep you and them safe and healthy. If anyone within your bubble feels unwell, they legally must immediately self-isolate from everyone else within the bubble.

Physical distancing

Keep your distance when outside your home.

You should keep a distance of at least:

  • 2 metres in public and retail stores, like supermarkets
  • 1 metre in controlled environments, like workplaces and schools.

Maintaining physical distancing

Face coverings

At Alert Level 3, the risk of COVID-19 being present in the community is higher.

You legally must wear a face covering: 

  • on public transport 
  • on domestic flights 
  • if you are a taxi or ride-share driver. While it’s not compulsory for passengers to wear them, we strongly encourage you to. 

You're strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when you're outside your home and in a place where it’s hard to keep your distance from other people. 

Face covering advice and requirements

You can travel locally

You can travel within your local area, for example going to work or school, shopping, or getting exercise. Your local area means the area near your home that you regularly visit for essential services. What is considered local will differ depending on where you live. City dwellers may have a supermarket or dairy close by. If you live rurally, you may need to take a drive to reach these.

Public transport can continue to operate with strict health and safety requirements.

Travel between regions is restricted

At Alert Level 3 travel between regions is heavily restricted.

If there is an Alert Level 3 boundary, we will publish information on this website about which travel is permitted.

Gatherings and events

Gatherings of up to 10 people can go ahead, but only for:

  • wedding and civil union ceremonies
  • funerals and tangihanga.

Physical distancing and public health measures legally must be maintained.

Public venues

Public venues legally must close at Alert Level 3. This includes libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds and markets.

Exercise, sport and recreation

Now is not the time to take up new activities, or expose yourself or your bubble to any risk. You can do low-risk recreation activities in your local area.

How to exercise and do recreational activities safely at Alert Level 3

Workplaces and businesses

At Alert Level 3, there are restrictions to keep workers safe, limit interaction with customers and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recommend staff working from home if they can.

How to do business at Alert Level 3

Golden rules for business at Alert Level 3

  • If your business requires close physical contact it cannot operate.
  • We recommend your staff work from home if they can.
  • Businesses need to display a QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system. We recommend making sure 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, hand washing and regularly cleaning surfaces. Workers legally must stay home if they are sick.
  • Staff legally must remain a minimum of 1 metre apart at all times where practical. Other measures, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) including face coverings, we recommend being used where appropriate.
  • Different advice applies to essential healthcare workers, border agencies, courts and tribunal staff, first responders and corrections staff. You can get further advice  from the Ministry of Health (external link).
  • You legally must meet all other health and safety obligations.

Travelling in or out of an Alert Level 3 area for business

Travel across Alert Level 2 and 3 areas is strictly limited to stop the spread of the virus. You may need to seek additional permission to complete travel across Alert Level areas.

If there is an Alert Level 3 boundary, we will publish information on this website about which travel is permitted.

Resources for business

You can order free printed resources through our website to help your workplace or business operate safely. 

Get free COVID-19 resources

Financial support

If you’re having trouble with money, there may be support for you.

Financial support information


Children and young people should learn from home at Alert Level 3.

Any child who does not have supervision at home from an appropriate person can attend their service or school.

Education at Alert Level 3

At-risk people

People are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 if they're older or have an underlying medical condition. We recommend people at higher risk stay at home other than for essential personal movement at Alert Level 3.

Advice for at-risk people

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