What you need to know
Alert Level 2 is not life as normal. You can still go to work and school, but you should:
- keep your distance from other people in public
- wash your hands
- sneeze and cough into your elbow
- keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen
- wear a mask if you can.
People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home.
We'll continue to:
- keep tight controls in place at our borders
- test for COVID-19
- find and self-isolate anyone who is unwell, as well as their close contacts.
Businesses can open to the public if they are following public health guidance, which include physical distancing and record keeping.
No more than 100 people at gatherings, including weddings, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga.
If you're unwell
- If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
- If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline and get advice about being tested.
- If you have been told to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
At Alert Level 2, you can leave home, but you should follow public health measures and consider others around you.
Keep your distance when out and about:
- 2 metres in public and in retail stores, like supermarkets and clothes shops.
- 1 metre in most other environments like workplaces, cafes, restaurants, and gyms.
At Alert Levels 2 the risk of COVID-19 being present in the community is higher. You should wear masks in situations where physical distancing is not possible, like on public transport or in shops.
Gatherings, events, and public venues
Events at home and outside of your home can have up to 100 people:
- family events
- religious services
- funerals and tangihanga
- private functions, like a birthday at a hired premises.
Play it safe — keep surfaces clean, wash your hands, and maintain safe physical distancing where possible.
A person in charge of a social gathering, should ensure records are kept for contact tracing purposes, except where every person in a gathering knows each other. This includes in your home, community hall, or other space.
You should not participate in any gatherings if you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you need to be in isolation for any reason.
Many public venues can open at Alert Level 2. This includes:
- museums and libraries
- restaurants, cafes and bars.
All public venues should keep records to enable contact tracing.
Exercise, sport and recreation
You can do your usual exercise and recreation activities, provided you can do them safely.
This includes activities that were restricted previously, including:
- walking, biking and hunting on public conservation land
- swimming at a public swimming pool, but there will be restrictions
- going to the gym, but there will be restrictions
- boating and motorised watersports.
Community sports are limited to groups of 100 in a defined space. A sports field can have multiple defined spaces by keeping:
- people in groups of up to 100
- groups separate either through consistent 2m physical distancing when outdoors or barriers.
These groups are prevented from intermingling or sharing common facilities at the same time.
Professional leagues can go ahead at Alert Level 2 because they take place in controlled workplaces. The details for these events will be developed with Sport New Zealand and WorkSafe.
High Performance Sport New Zealand activities can take place at Alert Level 2 using a controlled workplace approach in consultation with WorkSafe.
Workplaces and businesses
At Alert Level 2 businesses can operate if they’re able to do so safely.
Golden rules for business at Alert Level 2:
- Do everything you can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work — we all have a part to play in keeping each other safe.
- COVID-19 is still out there. Play it safe.
- All businesses can operate if they can do so safely. Alternative ways of working are still encouraged where possible.
- Talk with your workers to identify risks and ways to manage them.
- Ask everyone, workers, contractors and customers, with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.
- Keep groups of customers at least 1 metre apart, or 2 metres for retail businesses.
- Keep contact tracing records of anyone who will have close interaction for example workers, contractors or customers. Retail businesses are not required to keep contact tracing records.
- Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
Engaging with customers
At Alert Level 2 businesses can have customers on their premises.
Retail businesses, including malls, markets, and takeaway shops:
- need to keep customers 2 metres apart
- do not need to keep records of customers to enable contact tracing.
There is no maximum number of customers allowed in a store, as long as they can keep 2 metres apart at all times.
Services can also be provided on customers’ premises, for example, cleaning and home help.
For dine-in customers, restaurants, cafes and bars should:
- have customers seated
- keep groups of attendees separated 1 metre apart
- have a single server per group, where practical
- keep records of all customers and workers to enable contact tracing
People can order and collect from a counter, except for on-licence and club-licence premises.
Businesses can operate with defined, separated areas. The 100 person maximum applies per area, as long as intermingling in common spaces, such as entrances, exits and toilets, can be prevented. This also applies to separate businesses that operate from the same location.
Work involving close personal contact
For some businesses, close personal contact is required to deliver a service. This includes:
- home help providers.
These businesses can operate if they have public health measures in place like:
- keeping contact tracing registers
- keeping customers 1 metre apart, including while they’re waiting
- good hygiene practices
- disinfecting surfaces in between customers.
Doing business safely
Businesses should maintain hygiene measures, including physical distancing, hand washing and regularly cleaning surfaces.
All businesses are encouraged to use alternative ways of working if possible.
If workers have symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay home.
Travel and transport
You can travel, but make sure you do it in a safe way.
You can travel to other regions that are at Alert Level 2. You should not travel to regions at a higher Alert Level.
- keep records of what travel services you use and who you have been in contact with
- keep your distance from groups of people you don’t know
- minimise the number of places you stop on the way to your destination.
Tips for minimising risk while travelling:
- If you can, try to avoid travelling on public transport at peak times. Consider alternative ways of travelling, like cycling or walking.
- While waiting for public transport avoid standing close to strangers, and avoid sitting next to someone you don’t know when on board. Follow the instructions from your transport operators.
- Maintain good hygiene – wash your hands often, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
- Keep track of your journey, including where and when you boarded and where you’re sitting.
- If you can, try to take public transport at off-peak times.
- Avoid sitting or standing next to someone you don’t know.
- If you’re flying or taking other forms of transport that involve bookings, follow the physical distancing instructions from your transport operators.
- You must not travel if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or if you need to self-isolate.
Early learning services, schools and tertiary education facilities are open to all ages. It is safe to attend all forms of education. Additional public health measures are in place. It is important that all learners can continue their education.
On the advice of public health officials, any educational facilities connected to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 must close on an individual or group basis to allow contact tracing, and then potentially for a further 14 days.
Early learning services and schools
All Early Learning Centres and schools will be physically open, including Years 11 to 13. Distance learning will be available for those unable to attend school, for example where people are self-isolating.
Early learning services and schools are safe environments for children, young people and staff. Additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.
Tertiary education facilities are open.
Tertiary education is a safe environment for students and staff to return to at Alert Level 2. Tertiary education facilities will implement public health requirements and physical distancing as appropriate for the context, and will work closely to ensure a safe environment where students can continue their learning. They will need to maintain distance learning capability to help manage within these constraints, and ensure safety of staff and students at risk of COVID-19.
Workplace-based learning will be conducted within the specific rules applicable to the relevant industry.
Self-isolation, quarantine and testing
At Alert Level 2, people who are a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, or who are a close contact of a case, should self-isolate for 14 days, or until cleared by a doctor.
People arriving from overseas will continue to be placed in managed isolation for 14 days, or quarantine if they are showing symptoms.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested — contact your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.