COVID-19 Alert Level Rule Reminders

The Government has announced three active community cases, spurring a change in Alert Levels from midnight yesterday. Auckland is now at Alert Level 3, with the rest of the country at Alert Level 2 for at least the next 72 hours. It is important to remind yourself of the rules and guidelines for operating a business under each Alert Level.

Golden Rules for business at Alert Level 3

  • If your business requires close physical contact it cannot operate.
  • We recommend staff work from home if they can.
  • Businesses need to display a QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system. We recommend you make sure that people either scan in or provide their contact details. 
  • Customers cannot come onto your premises — unless you are a supermarket, dairy, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, petrol station, pharmacy or permitted health service.
  • Your business legally must be contactless. Your customers can pay online, over the phone or in a contactless way. Delivery or pick-up legally must also be contactless.
  • Basic hygiene measures legally must be maintained. Physical distancing, hand washing and regularly cleaning surfaces. Workers legally must stay home if they’re sick.
  • Staff legally must remain a minimum of 1 metre apart at all times where practical. We recommend other measures, such as PPE including face coverings, be used where appropriate.
  • Different advice applies to essential healthcare workers, border agencies, courts and tribunal staff, first responders and corrections staff. 
  • You legally must meet all other health and safety obligations.

How to do business safely

Under Alert Level 3, there are restrictions to keep workers safe, limit interaction with customers and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recommend staff work from home if they can.

We recommend businesses self-assess their ability to meet these restrictions and operate safely, just as they would normally to meet their duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Government agencies will not make these decisions for businesses.

Be Contactless

If your business requires close physical contact it can’t operate.

Customers cannot come onto your premises — unless you are a supermarket, dairy, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, petrol station, pharmacy or permitted health service.

Retail is possible through delivery and non-contact collection of goods and prepared food at the door (including the doors of businesses located inside malls).

Customers can pay online, over the phone or in a contactless way. We recommend delivery or pick-up should also be contactless.

For retailers, manufacturers and the service industries, if you did not use personal protective equipment (PPE) before COVID-19, you do not need it now.

Retail and hospitality

Customers cannot come onto your premises — unless you are a supermarket, dairy, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, petrol station, pharmacy or permitted health service.

Retail is possible through delivery and non-contact collection of goods and prepared food at the door (including the doors of businesses located inside malls).

Deliveries

All goods can be delivered, including food. We recommend the delivery be contactless. Alcohol can be delivered if the business has an off-licence.

Contact tracing at your workplace

To stop any future spread of COVID-19, we need to trace the contacts of anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and break the chain of transmission. Contact tracing helps us do that. 

To enable contact tracing all businesses, workplaces and public transport operators legally must display an NZ COVID Tracer QR code for each location and provide alternate contact tracing systems. 

Get more information about what your business needs to do

Get your QR poster

Business.govt.nz has practical advice on different Alert Level restrictions and answers to common questions.

Workplace operations at COVID-19 Alert Levels

WorkSafe also has guidance to help you ensure your business can operate safely, including sector-specific guidance.

Your COVID-19 safety plan — what you need to think about

Golden rules for business at Alert Level 2

  • Reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work.
  • All businesses can operate if they can do so safely. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible.
  • Talk with your staff 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 workers 1 metre apart and customers in retail businesses 2 metres apart.
  • Keep groups of customers at least 1 metre apart, or 2 metres for retail businesses.
  • Businesses are legally required to display a QR code and provide an alternative contact tracing system. 
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged if you are in close contact with others.
  • Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

Hospitality

For dine-in customers, restaurants, cafes and bars legally must:

  • have no more than 100 people in a defined space
  • have customers seated
  • keep groups of attendees separated 1 metre apart
  • have a single server per group, where practical
  • display an NZ COVID Tracer QR code
  • have an alternate contact tracing system for customers and workers.

While we recommend each table having a single server, each server can cover multiple tables. People can order and collect from a counter, except for on-licence and club-licence premises.

Each business can decide if they will allow customers to use reusable cups and containers. If they allow it, we recommend managing food safety risks and adhering to food safety requirements. This applies to all reusable containers, including:

  • personal keep cups
  • in-house reusable coffee cup schemes used by coffee shops.

Advice for eating out and getting takeaways safely

Business.govt.nz has practical advice on different Alert Level restrictions and answers to common questions.

Workplace operations at COVID-19 Alert Levels