It’s been a while since we were last in Alert Level 3 - forgotten what you can and can’t do? Check out the information below and find out more from the Government’s COVID-19 webiste.
The Golden Rules for life at Alert Level 3
- Stay home. If you are not at work, school, exercising or getting essentials then you must be at home, the same as at Alert Level 4.
- Work and learn from home if you can. We still want the vast majority of people working from home, and children and young people learning from home. At-risk students and staff should also stay at home, and they will be supported to do so. Early learning centres and schools will physically be open for up to Year 10 for families that need them.
- Make your business COVID-19 safe. COVID-19 has spread in workplaces, so the quid pro quo of being able to open is doing it in a way that doesn’t spread the virus.
- Stay regional. You can exercise at parks or beaches within your region, but the closer to home the better. Activities must be safe – keep 2 metres away from anybody not in your bubble. Make minimal trips.
- Keep your bubble as small as possible. If you need to, you can expand your bubble a small amount to bring in close family, isolated people or caregivers.
- Wash your hands often with soap. Then dry them. Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
- If you are sick, stay at home and quickly seek advice from your GP or Healthline about getting a test. There is no stigma to COVID-19. We will only be successful if everyone is willing to play their part in finding it wherever it is.
The Golden Rules for businesses at Alert Level 3
- If your business requires close physical contact it can’t operate.
- Your staff should work from home if they can.
- Customers cannot come onto your premises. Unless you are a supermarket, dairy, petrol station, pharmacy or permitted health service.
- Your business must be contactless. Your customers can pay online, over the phone or in a contactless way. Delivery or pick-up must also be contactless.
- Basic hygiene measures must be maintained. Physical distancing, hand washing and regularly cleaning surfaces. Workers must stay home if they are sick.
- If you used PPE in your business before COVID-19, then keep using it in the same way. If you didn’t use PPE in your business before COVID-19, you don’t need it now. This is advice for retailers, manufacturers and the service industries. Different advice applies to essential healthcare workers, border agencies, courts and tribunal staff, first responders and corrections staff.
Visit health.govt.nz for more advice
- You must meet all other health and safety obligations.
Restaurants and shops at Alert Level 3
Alert level 3 means you can once again dig into your favourite takeaways, but no restaurant dining just yet.
Cafes, restaurants and takeaways may open only for contactless pick-up, delivery or drive-through. Liquor stores can only offer contactless pick-up and delivery, if their liquor licence allows delivery.
Food delivery services, such as Delivereasy and Uber Eats, can also operate at alert level 3.
Businesses that require close physical contact, for example hairdressers, barbers, or nail salons, have to remain closed. Farmers’ markets, entertainment and tourist facilities, night clubs, and gyms cannot open. Home cleaners cannot work in clients’ homes.
During alert level 3, customers cannot go onto businesses’ premises, with the exception of supermarkets, dairies, butcheries, fishmongers, greengrocers, petrol stations, pharmacies or a permitted health service.
Customers must maintain physical distancing and wear masks, use hand sanitiser or wash hands regularly, and surfaces must be cleaned often.
Sale of non-food consumer products is allowed, but as with all businesses this must be done in a contactless way. Customers can pay online, over the phone or with contactless payment methods such as Paywave or Apple Pay. Delivery or pick-up must also be contactless.
Building and construction work can resume with the necessary safety measures in place, and plumbers, electricians and tradespeople can work on customers’ property provided the relevant public health measures are met.
Can I go back to work?
At alert level 3, you must still work from home unless that is not possible. If you have to leave your house to work, you must maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from all other staff and not have contact with members of the public.
When at work, you have to adhere to all relevant public health measures such as scanning or signing in when entering your workplace, regularly washing or sanitizing your hands, regularly cleaning surfaces, and wearing a mask if possible.
Are schools, universities and tertiary institutions open?
At alert level 3, all children should learn from home, but schools will be open for children whose parents or carers need to go to work. Play centres and playgroups remain closed.
Schools should provide distance learning options for all tamariki and young people who are learning from home, including those who need to self-isolate and cannot attend school.
Schools may set up bubbles to help maintain physical distancing in the classroom and outside. Parents, carers and whānau who are visitors to the school should keep 2 metres apart from people outside their household.
All tertiary education providers should deliver their courses online. Where online learning is not an option, for example lab work or research, these can be accommodated if public health guidelines are able to be met.
Classes or workshops have to be limited to 20 people per class. Each class is considered a ‘bubble’ and must not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 20.
Student accommodation such as university halls of residence can remain open with physical distancing and extra hygiene measures.
Can I socialise with friends and whānau?
At alert level 3, you must maintain your household bubble. You cannot invite friends and extended family who are not in your bubble to your home.
You may expand your bubble slightly, but this is limited to close family and whānau, bringing in caregivers, or supporting isolated people. Remember to keep your bubble exclusive, and should someone in the bubble feel unwell, they must immediately self-isolate from everyone else.
Gatherings of up to 10 people can go ahead, but only for wedding and civil union ceremonies, as well as funerals and tangihanga. Keep track of where you’ve been by scanning in with the Covid Tracer app.
Keep 2 metres away from people you do not live with, and avoid close physical contact such as hugging, hongi or harirū.
Unfortunately you will not be able to visit friends and whānau living in a rest home or aged care facility until alert level 2.
What are the rules around travel?
During alert level 3, you can travel within your local area, for example going to work or school, and you may use public transport to get there. Strict health and safety requirements still apply, including a requirement to wear a face covering on all forms of public transport.
Most bus services operate on a reduced schedule during alert level 3 and 4, so check the availability of you local service beforehand.
At alert Level 3 travel between regions is heavily restricted.
Can I go tramping, mountain biking and hunting?
Tramping is allowed for day walks on easy trails close to your home. DOC huts and campsites are closed. Check with your local council to see what trails or parks are open before heading out.
Choose low-risk activities so you do not need rescuing or medical care. If you are an experienced surfer, mountain biker or horse rider, you can do these activities at a spot close to you. You can also swim in safe local spots.
Stay within 200 metres from shore if you are kayaking, canoeing, rowing, surfing, wind surfing or paddle-boarding.
During alert level 3 you cannot fly a manned aircraft, hunt in motorised vehicles, participate in water-based activities involving sailing boats, motorised boats or other craft like jet skis, or scuba dive.
You can hunt on both private and public conservation land, but stay within your region and stick to your bubble. You can only hunt on foot - using quad bikes, off-road bikes, helicopters and other motorised vehicles is not allowed. Do not go on an overnight hunting trip.
If you are out hunting, you still need to follow the local regulations.
You can fish from a wharf or the shore, but do not cast off the rocks or fish from a boat. Keep it local and go to your nearest fishing spot.