On 16 April, the government announced that many, but not all businesses can start to open under Alert Level 3. Alert Level 3, the date for which has not yet been announced, will see many significant restrictions on New Zealanders’ movements retained, but will permit aspects of the economy to reopen in a safe way that will allow the economic recovery to begin, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.

This will open up the possibility for some businesses operating in the construction and trades, hospitality, retail and e-commerce to trade, although operations may be limited.

Safety first

People must work from home if they can. Where that is not possible businesses may re-open but must comply with health and safety requirements around physical distancing and contactless engagement with customers. Businesses only accessed by the staff, and without a customer facing function, such as building and construction or forestry can open under strict health and safety and physical distancing rules.

Businesses that are accessed by the public or customers such as retail, hardware stores and restaurants can open but only for online or phone purchases and contactless delivery or click and collect.

Businesses must take health measures to keep their workers safe.

In summary:

  • Workers must work from home if they can
  • Workplaces must operate safely – keeping one metre between workers, recording who is working together, limiting interaction between groups of workers, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining high hygiene standards
  • Retail and hospitality businesses can only open for delivery and contactless pre-ordered pick up – customers cannot enter stores
  • Supermarkets, dairies and petrol stations can continue to allow customers into their stores, with the same restrictions and measures in place as Alert Level 4
  • Businesses cannot offer services which involve face-to-face contact or sustained close contact (e.g. hairdressing, massage, house cleaning, or door-to-door salespeople)
  • Other in home services can be delivered if it is safe to do so (like tradespeople for repairs or installations) – keep two metre separation from those in the house
  • Most workers will not require PPE to stay safe at work. Incorrectly used PPE can create more risk. Good hygiene measures like hand washing with soap and water, physical distancing, sneeze and cough etiquette, and wiping down surfaces is the best defence against COVID-19.

Timing

We will move to Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28 April. Watch for updates at beehive.govt.nz.

More about operating your business at Alert Levels 1-4