Local travel

Advice for travelling locally, including public transport, how to travel safely and other ways of travel.

Wearing face coverings on public transport and aircraft

At Alert Level 2 and higher

You need to wear a face covering on public transport and aircraft. 

At Alert Level 1 

You need to wear a face covering when travelling into, out of or through Auckland on public transport or aircraft.

Transport during Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, you can travel but try to do it in a safe way.

Public transport operators legally must display QR code posters 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.

You're not legally required to wear a face covering unless you're travelling into, out of or through a region at Alert Level 2 or higher. There is still a risk of COVID-19 returning to the community at Alert Level 1. We encourage you to continue using a face covering on public transport.

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

Transport during Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, you can travel, but make sure you do it in a safe way:

  • Follow hygiene practices.
  • Keep records of what travel services you use.
  • Keep track of who you have been in contact with. 
  • Keep your distance from groups of people you don’t know, where possible.
  • You legally must wear a face covering on public transport. At other times, consider wearing a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distance from people you don't know.
  • Minimise the number of places you stop on the way to your destination.

Do not travel to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings at Alert Level 2.

Public transport

Tips for minimising risk on public transport:

  • Avoid sitting or standing next to someone you don’t know, where possible.
  • Don't travel if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test or if you need to self-isolate.

You legally must wear a face covering on public transport. There are some situations when you do not have to wear them. 

Face coverings on public transport information

Private vehicles

You can use a private vehicle for transport. Please take care around anyone cycling or walking. Slow down and save lives.

Walking, cycling and active transport

Walking and other active transport like cycling or scootering are fine.

Keep a 2 metre distance from other pedestrians. Take extra care if you need to step out into the street as there will be more traffic at Alert Level 2.

Taxi and ride-sharing services

If you’re healthy and don't have COVID-19 related symptoms, you can use taxis and ride-sharing services to travel anywhere in New Zealand.

Guidelines when travelling by taxi or ride-share:

  • Stay home if you're sick.
  • Wash your hands before and after travelling.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Keep a record of which service you travelled with and when.  
  • Apart from the driver, only travel with people you know, for example friends and family.
  • Minimise the number of stops on the way to your destination.
  • Consider wearing a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distance from people you don't know. Drivers of taxis and ride-sharing services need to wear a face covering.

Transport during Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3, travel is still restricted and is only allowed for permitted movement in your local area — for example going to work or school, shopping, or getting exercise.

You are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when you're outside your home and in a place where it’s hard to stay 2 metres away from other people, like in shops.

Don’t travel outside of your region unless your local area crosses a regional boundary.

Your local area means the area near your home that you regularly visit for essential services. What is considered local will differ depending on where you live. City dwellers may have a supermarket or dairy close by. If you live rurally, you may need to take a drive to reach these.

Remember, any unnecessary travel may spread COVID-19.

Public transport

You can use public transport to travel within your local area, but only for the following reasons:

  • accessing local services and businesses
  • going to work or school, but only if you can't stay at home
  • low-risk exercise in your local area
  • visiting people in your extended bubble
  • travelling to permitted gatherings.

You legally must wear a face covering on public transport. There are some situations when you do not have to wear them. 

Face coverings on public transport information

Private vehicles

We recommend you only travel in your car with people from your bubble.

If you have to drive for essential reasons, please take care around anyone cycling or walking. Slow down and save lives.

Walking, cycling and active transport

Walking and other active transport like cycling or scootering are fine, provided you keep a 2 metre distance from anybody outside of your bubble.

Taxi and ride-sharing services

If you don't have COVID-19 related symptoms, you can use taxis and ride-sharing services for only for the following reasons:

  • accessing local services and businesses
  • going to work or school for those who have to
  • low-risk exercise in your local area
  • visiting people in your extended bubble
  • travelling to permitted gatherings.

You are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when you're in a taxi or ride-share.

Transport for those who are unwell

To help limit the spread of any virus, we recommend those who are unwell stay at home.

If you're unwell and must travel, private transport is required. If that's not possible, call Healthline for guidance first on 0800 358 5453.

Driver licences, warrants of fitness and certificates of fitness

All driver licences, warrants of fitness (WoFs), certificates of fitness (CoFs) and some vehicle certifications that expired on or after 1 January 2020 have been extended until 10 October. 

This recognises that during Alert Level 4 and Alert Level 3, through no fault of their own, many New Zealanders were unable to keep these documents up to date.

This extension allows vehicle users extra time to allow them to get up to date. All vehicle inspection sites are now open and to ensure your vehicle remains safe to use, we recommend renewing your WoF or CoF as soon as possible.

Taxi and ride-sharing specific practices to prevent the spread of the virus

As well as general hygiene guidance, there are some specific requirements while travelling in a taxi or ride-share. Please also follow any requests from the driver.

Personal hygiene

Where possible, use hand sanitiser before and after you enter or exit a vehicle. When you get home, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and dry them thoroughly.

Physical distancing

Physical distancing between the driver and passengers is important, even in smaller vehicles. If you're a passenger, sit in the rear passenger seats only — avoid sitting in the front passenger seat next to the driver. Sit as far as possible from the driver. If you’re the sole passenger, sit in the rear left-hand side passenger seat, diagonally opposite the driver. The maximum number of passengers is the number of passenger seats in the back of the vehicle. Most cars normally have 3 rear passenger seats.

Face coverings

You’re strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when you’re in a taxi or ride-share.

Drivers of taxis and ride-sharing services need to wear a face covering.

Contact tracing

Please follow any requests for providing contact tracing information if not already provided, for example, electronically through an app or booking system.

More details about transport restrictions (external link)

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