The New Zealand government has announced a return to Level 3 for the Auckland area and Level 2 for the rest of the country. Here’s a reminder about what each of the alert level means.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is reinforcing that most businesses can operate, but that safe working practices are critical to operating within Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3 and that businesses must self-assess what they need to do to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.  
Under Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3 there is no distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. 
Under Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3, businesses should take active steps to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, just as they would do normally with any other risk under the Health and Safety at Work Act. At Alert Level 3 everyone should work from home if they can.  
The key difference between Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3 is that in Alert Level 3 customers must not enter the premises of most businesses. In Alert Level 3, interactions with customers must be contactless, including for ordering, payment, and pick-up or delivery.  At Alert Level 3, business cannot offer services that involve close physical contact, for example hairdressing.
The only exceptions for customers to enter premises are supermarkets, dairies, petrol stations, pharmacies, licensing trusts, and permitted health services. However, these businesses must manage the number of customers to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. In smaller premises, such as dairies, this may require a one in one out policy.  
Under Alert Level 2, customers may enter premises provided measures are taken to ensure the safety of customers and workers and that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is managed. 
At Alert Level 2 there are specific restrictions in place for hospitality businesses, including keeping groups of attendees seated and separated 1 metre apart, and served by a single person. More information on these rules are on
All businesses must display a government issued QR code for use with the NZ COVID Tracer App by 19 August and have systems in place to support contact tracing.  
For any business that needs support to cover leave of employees who can’t come into work because Ministry of Health guidelines recommend they stay at home, and can’t work from home, can access the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme via the Work and Income website.

For Auckland this means cafes, bars, restaurants and other foodservice businesses must close their doors, however contactless delivery and pick up is still allowed.

The move to Level 3 for Auckland will last until 26th August and will then be reviewed. The area covered by Alert Level 3 is the Auckland super city – from Wellsford in the north to Pukekohe in the south. Police roadblocks will be established to prevent people travelling into and out of Auckland.

Now is a timely reminder to use the Government’s tracer app and adopt the QR code system, to ensure all businesses can contact trace. 

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich said in a statement to FGC members: “There is no doubt we will get through this pandemic. The work you all do as suppliers and as part of the food and grocery sector is essential to all New Zealanders.”

QR codes mandatory for all businesses under Alert Levels 2 and 3
The latest Order includes a requirement during Alert Levels 2 and 3 for all businesses and services:

  • to display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR codes
  • have systems and processes in place to otherwise support contact tracing.

If you have not already generated an official QR code poster for each of your premises, you will need to get your posters through the webform at:
To use the webform, you will need:

  • a valid New Zealand driver licence so your identity can be verified
  • the address details for each of your premises
  • your email address
  • an email address and contact phone number for each of your locations.

If your business has a large number of premises or the person filling in the form does not have a driver licence, they can also get your official QR codes by sending a completed template to the NZ COVID Tracer support team at

Please note you need to create a separate poster for each of your premises or unique locations but can print as many copies of each poster as you need for each premises. Print your posters in A4 and in colour (if possible).

Make sure to put your posters on display in prominent locations next to every entrance. Please see Tips displaying your NZ COVID Tracer poster for further guidance.

You can find further information about the QR codes on the Ministry of Health website. Further information about the requirements and restrictions for businesses during Alert Levels 2 and 3 can be found on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Please reach out to the FMCG Business team if you have any news or announcements to share. To connect with our wide-reaching audience across print, digital and social platforms please contact or

Kia Kaha!

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