Alert Level 3 restrictions announced

Alert level 4 restrictions are still in place until Thursday 23 April at least – whether the level may change then will be announced on Monday 20 April.

When we drop to Alert Level 3 (and level changes will be cautious) the new restrictions have been announced.


It is vital that everyone knows we are still under Alert Level 4, and all Alert Level 4 restrictions remain in place.

Under Alert Level Three we will still have significant restrictions on our day-to-day lives. The risk of COVID-19 will have diminished, but not gone away.

If we are successful in controlling COVID-19 under Alert Level 3 we will be able to move down to Alert Level 2, where there are far fewer restrictions.

Personal movement

People must stay within their immediate household bubble, but can expand this to reconnect with close family / whanau, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people. It’s important to protect your bubble once it’s been extended. Keep your bubble exclusive and only include people where it will keep you and them safe and well. If anyone within your bubble feels unwell, they self-isolate from everyone else within your bubble.

Examples to help explain these measures

If a relative or loved one lives locally, and is currently alone you can extend your bubble to include them. If you are returning to work and need to establish child care or other care arrangements for those already in your bubble, a care provider can join your bubble.

What is a bubble?

A bubble is your household – the people you live with. Under Alert Level 3, you can slightly extend your bubble. For example, you can bring in a caregiver you might need, or children who might be in shared care. Or, if you are living alone, or a couple who wants the company of another one or two people. These people do not need to live in the same household, but must be local. Always keep your bubble exclusive, and keep it small.

Workers and businesses

Most, but not all businesses can start to open under Alert Level 3. They must take health measures to keep their workers safe.

  • 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.

More detailed guidance for sectors will be made over the coming days.

Examples to help explain these measures

If you run a takeaway business, you can reopen it if you have pre-ordered contactless pick up, or can do home delivery.

A real estate agent can open, but people should work from home if they can. The agent can enter peoples homes, but not have customers in the office. You cannot run an open home. Construction businesses can start work again but strict hygiene measures must be put in place – and office staff who can work from home should do so.

When will businesses that involve close personal contact be allowed to open?

Right now, the risk of transmission from people providing services that require close personal contact (e.g. hairdressers, manicurists, beauticians, domestic cleaners, personal trainers, gymnasiums) is too great. These businesses can resume under Alert Level 2, with appropriate health measures in place.

Recreation

The most important principals here are to stay close to home, stay two metres away from people not in your bubble, and don’t do activity that could get you hurt and require medical care or rescuing (putting essential workers at risk).

You can do activities that are local, which you can do safely, and which do not involve interacting with other people, or equipment touched by other people. You should go to your nearest beach or park, not your favourite one. Staying overnight at a bach or holiday home is not permitted.

(Jacinda Ardern said no motorised recreation like boats, but swimming and surfing is ok).

Education

Under Alert Level 3 it will be safe for Early Learning / Education Centres and schools to open for children up to and including year 10, with appropriate public health measures in place. All young people in years 11-13 will continue to learn at home.

Physical attendance at school is voluntary, but all children not at school should be learning by distance. Schools will be a safe place for children to go to learn if their parents need to return to work, or the children cannot learn at a distance. Children who are able to, should remain home and learn via distance.

Most tertiary education will be through distance learning. Tertiary education facilities may open for limited activities involving small stable groups (up to 10 people who do not change). Campus research that can’t be done off campus such as lab work, and practical hands on learning, such as trades courses, where the learning can happen in small groups with appropriate physical distancing. Courses where close contact is unavoidable will remain online only.

Travel and transport

Travel is still restricted, and is only allowed for permitted movement in your local area – e.g. for going to work or school, shopping, or getting exercise.

Public transport will still be available. You can use it to travel to work or school, but be aware there will be limited capacity. You should sit 2 metres away from other people on public transport.

Regional travel is allowed for permitted movement, with some exceptions – our Alert Level 3 table [PDF, 1.5 MB] has more detail.

Other travel should not be undertaken. The risk of transmitting the disease is too high. This is not a time to take a holiday, travel between regions to celebrate birthdays or travel from one side of a city to the other to go to a supermarket when there is a suitable one in your local area.

Gatherings

Gatherings prevent a very high risk of transmitting COVID-19, and acceptable gatherings are very limited. Up to 10 people can gather for:

  • Funerals and tangihanga
  • Wedding ceremonies (not receptions).

Examples to help explain these measures

For those holding a wedding ceremony, the limit means there can only be the couple, the celebrant, a couple of witnesses and family. Most people will still need to attend through video conferencing. Those who do attend must keep themselves and others safe. Keep a list of those who attend, stay at least 2 meters apart and wash hands regularly.


The above is edited. Full details: https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-3/

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/alert-level-3-restrictions-announced