New Zealand is still in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic and at Alert Level 3 today, 11th May 2020, which means we have to continue to comply with all Level 3 restrictions.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

However, following a review of the current situation, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that a move to Emergency Level 2 is anticipated on Thursday, 14th May 2020.

Detailed information on what business, travel and events will look like at Alert Level 2 when we move to it, can be found at https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-2/ .

We can move to Alert Level 2 when we’re confident there is no community transmission and that the disease is contained. When we do, we’ll have measures in place to track and stop any new transmission and stamp out any outbreaks.

These are the most important things that you can do:

  • COVID-19 is still out there. Play it safe.
  • 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.
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  • 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.

Controls at Alert Level 2

Alert Level 2 is not life as normal, some restrictions and other measures remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission.

  • We need to maintain physical distancing.
  • We will keep tight controls in place at our borders.
  • Our wide-scale testing will continue.
  • We will find and self-isolate anyone who is unwell and their close contacts.
  • There will be measures in place to allow some safe travel and socialising.
  • Only small, controlled gatherings will be permitted.
  • Physical distancing, hygiene standards and contact registers will make businesses safe. 

Gatherings and events

You can attend gatherings of no more than 10 people, provided public health measures (see conditions below) can be maintained.

You can have friends and family over to your home, but play it safe — keep surfaces clean, wash your hands, and keep the numbers low so you can practice safe distancing.

Additional conditions on gatherings:

  • Physical distancing and infection prevention and control requirements must be met.
  • All gatherings should record attendees to ensure contact tracing can be conducted if necessary.
  • Hospitality guidelines regarding alcohol consumption need to be strictly adhered to.
  • You can’t participate in any gatherings or events if you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you need to be in isolation/quarantine for any reason.

Workplaces and businesses

At Alert Level 2 businesses can operate if they’re able to do so safely. At Alert Level 2 businesses can have customers on their premises if they can meet public health requirements. This means businesses should:

  • Have good contact registers, or contact tracing records, in place to record everyone who you interact with on your premises
  • Maintain physical distancing of 1 metre between groups of customers.

Services can also be provided on customers’ premises, for example, cleaning and home help.

This means that most businesses can open their premises to the public, including:

  • Hardware, gardening, and clothing retailers
  • Butchers, bakeries, and fishmongers.

Doing business safely

The key public health requirements stay the same at Alert Level 2. Businesses should maintain hygiene measures, including physical distancing, hand washing and regularly cleaning surfaces.

All businesses are encouraged to use alternative ways of working if possible. This means businesses that don’t normally have customers on their premises could continue to have staff work from home.

If workers are sick with symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay home.

Self-isolation advice if you’re unwell

Golden rules for business at Alert Level 2

Do everything you can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work — we all have a part to play in keeping each other safe. 

  1. COVID-19 is still out there. Play it safe.
  2. All businesses can operate if they can do so safely. Alternative ways of working are still encouraged where possible.
  3. Talk with your workers to identify risks and ways to manage them.
  4. Ask everyone, workers, contractors and customers, with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.
  5. Keep groups of customers 1 metre apart.
  6. Keep contact-tracing records of anyone who will have close interaction (workers, contractors or customers).
  7. Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
  8. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

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.

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