Who can open and how under alert level three

21 April 2020

Who can open and how under alert level three

At Alert Level 3, there are restrictions to keep workers safe, limit interaction with customers and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Who can open

At Alert Level 3, everyone should work from home if they can.

Businesses that require close physical contact cannot open. 

All other businesses can operate, but with restrictions. This includes physical distancing, having extra hygiene measures and contactless options for ordering, pick-up, delivery and payment.

If your business does not have measures in place to operate safely, then you should close.

Guidance for specific businesses at different Alert Levels | business.govt.nz(external link)

Information for businesses and services in primary industries | mpi.govt.nz


Keeping employees and customers safe

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. 

Customers cannot come onto your premises — unless you are a:

  • supermarket
  • dairy
  • food bank
  • liquor store in a Licensing Trust area
  • butcher
  • fishmonger
  • greengrocer
  • petrol station
  • self-service laundry
  • pharmacy
  • a health service
  • bank or financial institution —  in person customer transactions can only happen if online or phone banking options are not possible.
  • hardware or DIY store— these can open to trade customers only.

Customers cannot eat or drink on your premises. 

If you own or run a business where staff cannot work from home, make sure:

  • employees keep 1 metre apart. 
  • customers stay 2 metres apart, including when waiting in line to pick up a contactless order. If your business is allowed customers on site and physical distancing is difficult, you may need to implement a "one-in, one out" policy.
  • you offer flexible working options — for example staggered meal breaks, or staggered start and finish times to reduce the number of people your employees have contact with at work. 
  • you provide hygiene and cleaning products so workers can clean and disinfect shared surfaces, and wash and dry their hands.
  • you display your QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system for people who cannot access a smartphone.

Face coverings

Your employees must wear a face covering at work if they:

  • work at a supermarket, dairy, petrol station, licensing trust, pharmacy, food bank, self-service laundry, hardware store, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, shopping mall, bank or New Zealand Post
  • work in the public-facing area of a court, tribunal or social service provider
  • are a delivery driver to residential addresses — delivery drivers only need to wear a face covering when they are out of their vehicle
  • they are a driver of a taxi, ride-share vehicle, ferry, bus or train used for public transport — this excludes school buses and ferries between the North Island and South Island.

Some people are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Who does not need to wear a face covering


Businesses that cannot open at Alert Level 3

  • Farmers markets
  • Nightclubs
  • Entertainment and tourist facilities where people gather —  for example museums, cinemas, libraries, arcades.
  • Hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Gyms and exercise facilities
  • In-home cleaners
  • Door-to-door sales
  • Driving instructors
  • Outdoor adventure activity operators

Stay up to date on all Alert Level Updates HERE