Coronavirus: New Zealand will move to alert level 2 on Thursday, May 14th

Coronavirus: New Zealand will move to alert level 2 on Thursday, May 14th

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PM Jacinda Ardern announced at 4:00 pm on Monday that New Zealand will move into alert level 2 on Thursday, May 14th.

On Thursday many businesses will be able to open back up and this includes cinemas, retail stores, playgrounds, gyms, shopping malls and community venues can reopen but as long as physical distancing and strict hygiene measures are practised also. Schools will not open until Monday, but bars will be back open in another week.

At Alert Level 2 businesses can operate if they’re able to do so safely.


Engaging with customers

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:

  • bars and cafes
  • hardware, gardening, and clothing retailers
  • butchers, bakeries, and fishmongers.

Hospitality businesses should keep groups seated, separated, and use a single server if possible. This means each group has one server, though servers can each serve more than one table.

Work involving close personal contact

For some businesses, close personal contact is required to deliver a service. This includes:

  • hairdressers
  • home help providers.

These businesses can operate if they have measures like:

  • have robust contact registers, or contact tracing records, in place
  • maintain good hygiene practices
  • minimise contact to the extent possible.

Specific guidance for key sectors are being developed by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment and WorkSafe.

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.

PM Jacinda Ardern shared information for gatherings to be kept small during level 2. She said bars and restaurants, will not be able to take bookings larger than a group of 10 people.

“Parties, big social events or anything designed to be for mixing and mingling won’t be allowed,” she said. 

“Gatherings at home need to be capped at 10. Church and religious events, weddings, funerals, stag dos – all must be limited to 10 for now.


“if you are wanting to head to a restaurant or a bar, they won’t be able to take group bookings larger than 10 people.”

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COVID-19 Coverage

Alert Level 1: PREVENT
*All of New Zealand
*The button below directs to Government Unite Against COVID-19 website.