Doing business at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, businesses need to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work.

Golden rules for business at Alert Level 2

  • All businesses can operate if they can do so safely. However, we encourage alternative ways of working if possible. 
  • Talk with your workers about how you will keep them and others safe from exposure to COVID-19.
  • 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. 
  • We recommend workers wear a face covering if they 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.
  • Follow all other health and safety obligations.

Engaging with customers

At Alert Level 2, businesses can have customers on their premises. Services can also be provided on customers’ premises, for example, cleaning and home help

Retail

Retail businesses, including malls, markets and takeaway shops legally must:

  • keep customers 2 metres apart
  • display an NZ COVID Tracer QR code. 

There is no limit on the number of customers allowed in a store, as long as they can keep 2 metres apart at all times.

Public facilities

Public facilities include:

  • swimming pools and gyms
  • libraries
  • museums.

There is no limit on the number of people that can be inside a public facility, if people can safely be 1 metre apart. 

All public facilities legally must display an NZ COVID Tracer QR code for each  location and also legally must have an alternative contact tracing system.

Event facilities

Event facilities include:

  • cinemas, theatres, stadiums, concert venues 
  • conference venues 
  • casinos.

Event facilities can have up to 100 people within any defined space. They also need to assess how many people can safely be inside the premises and still maintain 1 metre physical distancing. This may mean the facility needs to have less than 100 people in a defined space.

All event facilities legally must display an NZ COVID Tracer QR code for each  location and also legally must have an alternative contact tracing system.

Hospitality

For dine-in customers, restaurants, cafes and bars legally must:

  • have no more than 100 people in a defined space
  • have customers seated
  • keep groups of attendees separated 1 metre apart
  • have a single server per group, where practical
  • display an NZ COVID Tracer QR code
  • have an alternate contact tracing system for customers and workers.

While we recommend each table having a single server, each server can cover multiple tables.

People can order and collect from a counter, except for on-licence and club-licence premises.

Businesses can decide if they will allow customers to use reusable cups and containers. This include personal keep cups and in-house reusable coffee cup schemes.

If you decide to allow resuable cups, we recommend managing food safety risks and adhering to food safety requirements. 

Advice for eating out and getting takeaways safely

Advice for going out to a bar or night club

Defined space

A defined space is a single indoor or outdoor space separated from other spaces.

If a place has more than 1 defined space, then people should not intermingle between the defined places. This includes when entering, leaving or using the toilet. It does not include workers.

This also applies to separate businesses that work from the same location. 

Indoors

An indoor space is a single space if there are walls that substantially divide that space from other spaces. The walls can be permanent or temporary.

Outdoors

An outdoor space is a single space if there:

  • are walls that substantially divide that space from other spaces — the walls can be permanent or temporary, or
  • is at least 2 metres between all people in that space and any other people (outside that space).

Work involving close personal contact

For some businesses, close personal contact is required to deliver a service. This includes:

  • hairdressers
  • home help providers.

These businesses can operate if they have public health measures in place including:

  • keeping contact tracing registers 
  • keeping customers 1 metre apart, including while they are waiting 
  • good hygiene practices
  • disinfecting surfaces in between customers.

Get free COVID-19 resources

You can order free printed resources through our website to help your workplace or business operate safely. This includes posters, signs and stickers.

Order free posters, signs and other resources

Further information and resources for businesses

Business.govt.nz has sector specific information for businesses that can operate during different Alert Levels

Workplace operations at COVID-19 Alert Levels (external link)

WorkSafe has guidance on operating safely at all alert levels, including setting up a COVID-19 safety plan.

Your COVID-19 safety plan (external link) 

The Public Service Commission has detailed guidelines for State services.

State services guidelines during COVID-19 (external link)

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