Eating out and getting takeaways safely

You can get takeaways at Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3. You can go to cafes, restaurants and bars at Alert Levels 1 and 2.

Eating out and getting takeaways safely at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, cafes, restaurants and bars can have as many people on their premises as they want. There is no requirement for dining-in customers to be seated, separated and have a single server. 

Cafes, restaurants and bars legally must display a QR code poster to help you keep track of where you’ve been. We recommend you use the NZ COVID Tracer app to do this, or another way that works for you.

Stay safe at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, we still need to play it safe. We all need to be ready in case COVID-19 comes back into the community.

To be ready at Alert Level 1:

  • maintain good hygiene
  • stay home if you’re sick
  • get tested if you have cold or flu symptoms
  • keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.

Get more advice on living at Alert Level 1, including keeping your distance, wearing face coverings and contact tracing for businesses

Eating out and getting takeaways safely at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2 cafes, restaurants and bars can open and have customers on their premises. They legally must meet requirements to keep their customers safe.

Delivery, drive-through or contactless pick-up may still be available.

  • If you have cold or flu symptoms, stay home.
  • Keep physical distance from people you don't know.
  • We encourage wearing a face covering.
  • Follow the establishment's safety measures.
  • Wash your hands when you get home.

The 3 S's will be in place if you're dining in.

  • Seated — customers legally must be seated.
  • Separated — keep at least 1 metre apart from other groups.
  • Single server — each group will have only 1 server, where practical.

Advice for going out to a bar or night club

Counter service

You can order and collect food from the counter in cafes or fast food restaurants that don’t hold an on-licence or club licence.

If you’re dining in, once you have ordered or collected your food, you must return to your seat. You must stay seated unless you’re using the bathroom or paying for your meal.

On-licensed and club-licensed premises must continue to adhere to the 3 S's at all times, with a requirement to use table service.

Getting takeaways safely at Alert Level 3

Food businesses can open at Alert Level 3, but only for takeaway, delivery or drive through.

If you are picking up food in person, make sure you do this as safely as possible. You won't be allowed to enter the store, and need to maintain a 2 metre distance from others. You are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.

Don't go out to get takeaways if you're sick with cold and flu symptoms. You must self-isolate at home and ask someone else to pick food up or get it delivered. 

Tips to follow

Before you go

  • Order ahead — online or over the phone.
  • We recommend food outlets not accept orders made at the store.
  • Only arrive to pick up your food when it's ready, to avoid waiting around.

Picking up food and drinks

  • Send only 1 person from your bubble.
  • Pay online, or use a contactless payment method, like payWave, PayPass or Apple Pay.
  • If you're using cash or touch the EFTPOS machine, don't touch your face until you have thoroughly washed and dried your hands.
  • If the business allows you to use reusable containers like personal keep cups or has an in-house reusable coffee cup scheme, make sure to wipe the cup before and after you use it.
  • Don’t wait with people in a crowd. You need to maintain a 2 metre distance from anyone not in your bubble, even if you're waiting in a queue.
  • Be respectful to the staff — they may be dealing with high volumes.
  • Get it and go — make your visit as quick as possible.

When you get home

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before eating.
  • Enjoy!

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