12 May 2020
The following is adapted from the Government’s COVID-19 website.
Moving to Alert Level 2
Aotearoa will be moving to Alert Level 2 on Thursday 14 May 2020. Until then, we remain at Alert Level 3.
Cabinet has decided to phase in some aspects of Alert Level 2 in order to manage the risk of stepping down Alert Levels.
COVID-19 continues to be spread by close personal contact. Gatherings and social events where people mix and mingle present the highest risk of spreading COVID-19. Some of the biggest COVID-19 clusters have come from these types of events.
Under the first phase of Alert Level 2 gatherings can have up to 10 people. This applies to
- wedding ceremonies,
- funerals and tangihanga,
- religious ceremonies,
- gatherings at home, and
- each group within a restaurant or other venue.
This is a temporary measure that will be reviewed in 2 weeks’ time. It does not apply to large public venues, or playing professional sports, which are controlled environments.
Find out more about gatherings, events, and public venues.
Until 21 May 2020, venues like cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs are restricted to opening for dining, and with groups of 10 seated separately, and served by a single server.
Play it safe - what we should do
We will have more freedom of movement at Alert Level 2, but it’s up to each one of us to keep the rest of Aotearoa safe.
These are the most important things we can do:
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
- Keep your distance from other people in public.
- If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
- If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline and get tested.
- Sneeze and cough into your elbow, regularly disinfect surfaces.
- If you have been told to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
- Keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.
Life at Alert Level 2
Life at Alert Level 2 means we can resume many of our everyday activities — but we have to do so safely.
- Most businesses can open if they can do it safely. This will help to get people back to work.
- We can go in-store at local businesses.
- Tertiary education facilities, schools and early learning centres will be open.
- We can travel between regions.
- Initially gatherings like weddings, funerals, tangihanga, religious ceremonies and social gatherings can have up to 10 people.
- We can safely connect and socialise with close friends and family, in groups of 10.
- We can visit local cafes and restaurants bars and pubs to have a meal.
- We can return to our regular recreation activities, at first keeping to 10 people.
Follow these physical distancing rules:
- Keep your distance in public from people you do not know (ideally 2 metres).
- 1 metre physical distancing in most other environments like cafes, church groups, gatherings, restaurants and retail stores (unless there are mitigating measures).
- Take extra care if you interact with people you don’t know as it won’t be easy to do contact tracing if necessary. These situations include playgrounds, parks, shopping malls or walking along the street.
There will be a few instances at Alert Level 2 where it won’t be practical to maintain physical distancing, so there will be other measures to manage public health risks. Examples include hairdressing, physiotherapists, home help, and public transport.
Gatherings and events
You can attend gatherings in controlled settings outside of your home. Gatherings include:
- funerals and tangihanga
- family events
- religious services
- public meetings.
- have no more than 10 people
- not be longer than 2 hours
- keep high hygiene standards
- record attendees to ensure contact tracing can be conducted if necessary.
You can’t participate in any gatherings if you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you need to be in isolation for any reason.
Many public venues will be open again at Alert Level 2. This includes:
- museums and libraries
- restaurants, cafes and bars (only for dining at first).
- keep groups of attendees 1 metre apart
- not have groups larger than 10 people
- not have more than 100 people in total — this excludes staff.
Hospitality venues can only serve customers if they are there to dine.
Some venues will stay shut if they can’t open safely.
Exercise, sport and recreation
You can do your usual exercise, sport and recreation activities, provided you can do them safely.
This includes activities that were restricted previously, including:
- walking, biking and hunting on public conservation land
- swimming at a public swimming pool - but there will be restrictions
- going to the gym - but there will be restrictions
- boating and motorised watersports
- hunting during duck shooting season — start date to be announced.
Government is working with community sports organisations to work through how sport can be restarted safely.
The Sport New Zealand website has more detailed information about what you can and can’t do during Alert Level 2.
Travel and transport
You can travel, but make sure you do it in a safe way.
COVID-19 is a disease you can spread without knowing you have it. You can travel around the country if you follow good personal health measures. You will need to keep records of what travel services you use and keep track of who you have been in contact with. You should keep your distance from groups of people you don’t know. You should minimise the number of places you stop on the way to your destination.
You must not travel to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings at Alert Level 2.
Tips for minimising risk while travelling:
- Try to limit taking public transport, or use at off-peak times.
- Avoid sitting next to someone you don’t know, or standing.
- If you’re flying or taking other forms of transport that involve bookings, follow the physical distancing instructions from your transport operators.
- You must not travel if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or if you need to self-isolate.