Business travel across an Alert Level boundary

Business and work travel across Alert Level boundaries is strictly limited to stop the spread of the virus.

Latest update — 5pm on 21 September 2021

We have updated this page with the rules for business travel across the boundary.

The permitted reasons for travelling across the Alert Level 3 and 2 boundary are the same as for the Alert Level 4 and 2 boundary.

Travel is restricted across the Alert Level boundary

Business or work travel across Alert Level boundaries is strictly limited. These Alert Level boundaries are an important way to manage the risk of the virus spreading, so we keep our loved ones and communities safe.

You may only travel across the Alert Level boundary if that travel is permitted. Your employer also needs to make sure you have acceptable evidence that you are permitted to cross the boundary.

Travel into and out of Northland

Travelling into and out of Northland is a little more difficult while it shares a boundary with Auckland.

Find out more about travelling into and out of Northland

Permitted business travel across Alert Level boundaries

The following reasons for business or work travel are permitted.

If your business travel is permitted

If your business travel across the boundary is permitted, you are already allowed to cross the boundary. You do not need to apply for an exemption to travel.

Your employer needs to make sure:

  • they have systems in place to ensure the least number of workers needing to travel do so
  • they minimise the public health risks to anyone travelling as much as possible
  • you have appropriate evidence to travel.

Evidence to travel across the boundary

You should have evidence to travel across the boundary

The Business Travel Document can be used as evidence of your right to travel across the boundary. Having one makes crossing the boundary quicker and easier.

Get your Business Travel Document (external link)

Other evidence of your purpose of travel is also acceptable, for example, freight or delivery vehicles could provide delivery dockets. Find examples of evidence in the permitted travel section on this page. You should also have a form of photo ID.

Every person travelling should carry evidence — you may not be able to cross the boundary if you do not have it.

Make sure you have printed copies of your evidence, or electronic copies on your device.

You cannot use Business Travel Documents from previous Alert Level lockdowns

You cannot use Business Travel Documents from previous Alert Level lockdowns, for example from February 2021. You must register for new ones. 

Travel safely

If you are travelling to an area at a lower Alert Level, make sure you follow safety precautions if you stop, such as:

  • wearing a face covering
  • maintaining 2 metres physical distance from others
  • regularly washing or sanitising your hands.

Remember to keep a record of where you have stopped, using the NZ COVID Tracer app or a physical record.

If your business travel is not permitted

If your reason for travelling is not permitted but you think you have an essential reason to travel for work, you can apply for an exemption.

Requests will need to meet criteria.

Apply for a business travel exemption

Nominate an authorised person who will apply on behalf of the business. They should understand the business travel operations, like who needs to travel, which boundaries they need to cross and why their travel is essential.

Employees cannot register. The authorised person needs to apply for them.

Note that exemption applications will not be processed until a Health Order is in place.

Apply for an exemption to cross the Alert Level boundary (external link)

Testing of workers when crossing Alert Level boundaries

Travel across the Alert Level boundaries is restricted to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Workers who are moving around create more risk of transmission of the virus than people who are staying at home. This additional testing will provide assurance that travel is being done safely.

The Government is introducing a requirement for most workers who need to cross Alert Level boundaries to get tested.

Most employers must allow workers to be tested or examined 

Most employers of workers who need to cross Alert Level boundaries for work must have a process in place to allow workers to be tested for COVID-19. This includes allowing workers to undergo testing, medical examination, or both, during their work hours.

Getting tested or examined

Most workers crossing the Alert Level boundary must now carry:

  • evidence that they have had a COVID-19 test (you do not need evidence of a negative result — you just need evidence you have been tested), or
  • a medical certificate confirming they do not have COVID-19 symptoms and, for a particular physical or other need, are unable to have a COVID-19 test.

Workers must get tested or be examined in the 7 days before they cross the Alert Level boundary.

Workers also must still carry evidence of their reason to cross the Alert Level boundary, for example the Business Travel Document, work order or employer letter. There are police check points to stop unnecessary travel.

There is no cost for workers who get a test for this purpose. Testing is available at community testing sites around Auckland or at GPs, and saliva testing is an option. Workers do not need to stay home or stay away from work while they wait for their test result.

Find testing locations in your area | (external link)

Find out more about the testing options | (external link)

Evidence of a test or examination

A text message that confirms completion of a test will be sent to the worker. This will be automatically generated at the location where the test was taken, and can be shown as evidence.

Paper confirmation will also be available from testing centres that do not use the automated system, for example GP practices. This can also be shown as evidence of a test.

If the worker has had an examination instead of a test, they must have an electronic or paper copy of the medical certificate.

Travelling across the boundary for personal reasons

If you want to cross the boundary for personal reasons, you will need to check if your reason for travelling is permitted.

Travel within an Alert Level area

The information on this page is about business travel permissions when crossing an Alert Level boundary.

Find information about permitted movement within your Alert Level area:

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