Working safely at Alert Level 4

Find out what your employer needs to do to keep you safe at work at Alert Level 4.

Who can go to the workplace

At Alert Level 4, you must work from home. 

You can go to work at your workplace if you are employed by a business that is authorised to provide goods or services at Alert Level 4. 

This includes:

  • supermarket workers
  • service station attendants
  • dairy owners and shop assistants who work in a dairy
  • courier and delivery drivers
  • first responders — for example paramedics 
  • healthcare workers, including those who work in a pharmacy
  • retirement home and aged care workers
  • taxi and ride-share drivers
  • freight and transport workers
  • veterinary service providers
  • workers who provide essential care for animals
  • hardware store workers
  • funeral directors
  • tradespeople  for example plumbers, builders and electricians if they are carrying out urgent repair or maintenance
  • mechanics carrying out urgent repairs
  • mental health, addiction, support and social workers
  • security service workers, including locksmiths
  • cleaners working in an accommodation facility
  • dairy farmers
  • pest controllers
  • horticulture workers
  • any one working in an accommodation facility

Not all businesses that operate at Alert Level 4 are allowed customers and clients in the workplace. Talk to your employer if you are unsure if you are an Alert Level 4 worker.

Find out which businesses and services can operate at Alert Level 4

Follow these rules to keep everyone safe

  • If your work involves interacting with customers or members of the public, you legally must wear a face covering while at work. Some people are exempt from wearing a face covering. Who does not need to wear a face covering (external link)
  • Limit physical interaction with workmates and customers as much as possible.
  • Keep track of where you have been by using the NZ COVID Tracer app.
  • Wash and sanitise your hands often
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you feel unwell at work, let your employer know so you can go home.
  • Get the vaccine when you are offered one. 

If you are feeling worried or anxious about going into your workplace, talk to your employer.  

When to stay home

If you are an Alert Level 4 worker, and:

  • you have been at a location of interest at the time and date specified, or
  • you live with someone who has been at a location of interest

You legally must stay home and follow public health guidelines. Do not go into work. 

What to do if you have been at a location of interest (external link)

You should also stay home if you are unwell. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on getting a COVID-19 test.

If you cannot work from home while isolating or while you wait for the results of a COVID-19 test, your employer can apply for financial assistance for you so you can continue to get paid.

Financial support if you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test

Financial support if you need to isolate

Keep checking locations of interest

If you are an Alert Level 4 worker, it is very important that you keep checking the locations of interest so you can isolate immediately if you visited them at the relevant times. This is to stop the spread of the virus further.

Locations of interest are places where someone confirmed with COVID-19 has visited.

You are a contact if you have been at a location of interest at the specified time.

Check the locations of interest and follow the health advice of the Ministry of Health.

Locations of interest in New Zealand | health.govt.nz (external link)

Going into someone's home to work

At Alert Level 4, you can go into someone's home to work if you are a tradesperson — for example a plumber, electrician or locksmith. You can only do urgent repair or maintenance work — if it is critical to safety, or to maintain the necessities of life.

You must wear a face covering when going into someone's home to work.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you are a carer looking after children in someone's home.

You should stay 2 metres apart from everyone in the home. We recommend having online payment options to minimise physical contact.

If you go into someone's home to work, you must keep a record of your visit to support contact tracing. This includes recording:

  • the date and time you arrive and leave a customer's home
  • your customer's contact details.

Do not go into someone's home if you are unwell, or if the clients you visit are unwell.

Travelling to work at Alert Level 4

If you are an Alert Level 4 worker and you are permitted to leave home to work. You can use public or private transport to get there.

You may be asked to show who you work for so you can prove you have a reason to travel. We recommend your employer provide you with a letter to confirm:

  • your name
  • that you are providing an Alert Level 4 business or service, and
  • your destination.

Public transport services may have limited capacity at Alert Level 4. You will not be permitted to stand so everyone can safely distance. If you need to use public transport to get to work, we recommend you talk to your employer about flexible working options.

Public transport at Alert Level 4

You legally must wear a face covering on all public transport, including at departure points such as train stations or bus stops.

Working from home

If you are working from home, your employer should:

  • continue to pay you your normal pay
  • support you to have all the equipment you need to work from home
  • keep in regular contact with you
  • make sure you have opportunities to stay connected with your workmates

It's important to look after your mental health and wellbeing while you are working from home. 

Advice on staying mentally healthy when working from home | worksafe.govt.nz (external link)

Picking up equipment from your workplace to work from home

You can travel to your workplace to collect equipment to help you work from home. Make sure you check with your employer about the rules for entering the workplace premises.

When going into your workplace, you should:

  • plan what you need so you limit your time on the premises
  • safely physically distance from other people who may be in the workplace
  • wear a face covering if possible
  • scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Do not go into your workplace if you are unwell, have been asked to isolate or if you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.

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