Wear a face covering when leaving your home

In general, face coverings should be worn whenever you can. Especially if it is hard to physically distance. The Delta variant is more transmissible by droplets, so face coverings are a way we can protect ourselves and each other.

Alert Level 1

We encourage you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distance from others, like in crowded indoor places.

You must wear a face covering when:

  • on public transport
  • on flights.

Alert Level 2

We encourage you to wear a face covering and keep 2 metres distance from others when leaving your home.

If you are around people you do not know, it is a good idea to wear a face covering.

You must wear a face covering when:

  • on public transport and at arrival and departure points, for example airports, train stations and bus stops
  • on ferry services carrying passengers between the North and South Islands
  • on flights
  • in taxis or ride share vehicles
  • visiting a healthcare or aged care facility
  • inside a retail business, for example supermarkets, shopping malls, pharmacies, petrol stations, indoor marketplaces and takeaway food stores
  • at a farmer's market
  • inside a vet clinic
  • inside public venues, such as museums and libraries, but not at swimming pools
  • visiting the public areas within courts, tribunals, local and central government agencies, social service providers, and premises operated by NZ Police.

When you do not need to wear a face covering

In general, face coverings should be worn whenever you can. If you are around people you do not know, it is a good idea to wear a face covering.

We know people want to do the right thing, in these locations you are not required to wear a face covering, but we strongly encourage you to if possible.

Hospitality venues

People cannot eat while wearing a face covering. As a customer at a cafe or restaurant you will be seated and separated. You are not required to wear a face covering, but are encouraged to wear one when you are not eating or drinking. For example, when entering the premises or getting up to go to the bathroom. Employees must wear a face covering.

Close contact businesses

If you are going to a barber, beauty therapist, hairdresser or accessing another close contact business, a face covering can become impractical. You are encouraged to wear one if possible, but it is not required. Employees must wear a face covering.

Exercising

When exercising you do not need to wear a face covering. This includes outside, at a gym, group exercise or dance class.

Education

You do not need to wear a face covering at schools or tertiary education facilities, but we strongly encourage anyone 12 and over to wear a face covering.

You also do not need to wear a face covering when at special interest education, such as music lessons, art groups and girl guides. But you are strongly encouraged.

Other events

You do not need to wear a face covering at these events, but we strongly encourage you to.

  • At worship or faith-based gatherings. If you are singing, for example in a church choir, you do not need to wear a face covering.
  • At a funeral or tangihanga.
  • At a party or private social gathering, for example a wedding.
  • At a public event or entertainment facility, for example stadiums, cinemas and casinos.
  • At a performance. Performers do not need to wear a face covering when on stage, but we encourage you to wear one when backstage. People in the audience are encouraged, but can take it off to eat and drink.

Alert Level 3

We encourage you to wear a face covering and keep 2 metres distance from others when leaving your home. At Alert Level 3 you must still stay in your household bubble.

You must wear a face covering when:

  • on public transport and at arrival and departure points, for example airports, train stations and bus stops
  • on ferry services carrying passengers between the North and South Islands
  • on flights
  • in taxis or ride share vehicles
  • visiting a healthcare facility, unless you are a patient
  • inside a retail business that is open, for example supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, and takeaway food stores
  • inside a vet clinic
  • visiting the public areas within courts, tribunals, local and central government agencies, social service providers, and premises operated by New Zealand Police
  • in an indoor setting at a high school, for example a classroom and assemblies. This includes students in Years 9 to 13 and staff
  • attending a viewing at a funeral home.

When you do not need to wear a face covering

When exercising you do not need to wear a face covering, but we encourage you to take one with you if physical distancing is difficult.

Alert Level 4

We encourage you to wear a face covering and keep 2 metres distance from others when leaving your home. At Alert Level 4 you must stay home.

You must wear a face covering when:

  • on public transport and at arrival and departure points, for example airports, train stations and bus stops
  • on ferry services carrying passengers between the North and South Islands
  • on flights
  • in taxis or ride share vehicles
  • visiting a healthcare facility, unless you are a patient
  • inside a retail business that is open, for example supermarkets, pharmacies, and petrol stations
  • visiting the public areas within courts, tribunals, local and central government agencies, and social service providers
  • attending a viewing at a funeral home.

When you do not need to wear a face covering

When exercising you do not need to wear a face covering, but we encourage you to take one with you if physical distancing is difficult.

Exemptions for face coverings

There are some situations where a face covering does not need to be worn. We also know that some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face covering. Please be mindful of this. They still have the right to access businesses and services.

In general, face coverings should be worn whenever you can. The Delta variant is more transmissible by droplets, so face coverings are a way we can protect ourselves and each other.

If you are around people you do not know, it is a good idea to wear a face covering.

Who does not need to wear a face covering

Request an exemption card for face coverings

If you cannot wear a face covering, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed.

You can request a card from:

You should only request an exemption card if you have a disability or health condition that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable.

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