Here are the public health requirements that apply to all businesses and services operating under Alert Level 2. This information is based on the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 11) 2021.

Requirements to support contact tracing

Displaying QR codes

 Government QR codes must be displayed in all workplaces (with these exceptions)(external link).

QR codes must also be displayed in vehicles used for public transport services (with these exceptions)(external link).

Systems and processes for contact records

Workplaces must also have other recordkeeping systems and processes in place to enable a contact record to be kept of workers and other people.

The following businesses and services must have record-keeping systems in place to enable a record to be kept of all workers entering the workplace:

  • public transport stations
  • supermarkets, and
  • petrol stations, including any businesses operating out of a petrol station.

All other businesses and services must have record-keeping systems in place to enable a record to be kept of all people aged 12 or older entering the workplace.

Contact records collected solely for purpose of enabling contact tracing must be kept for 60 days, and then disposed of. Businesses and services must meet Privacy Act 2020 requirements for contact recordkeeping. More information is available at: Office of the Privacy Commissioner | Guidance on mandatory record keeping for contact tracing(external link).

Specified businesses and services must have systems and processes for the contact record rule

From 15 September 2021 specified businesses and services(external link) operating at Alert Level 2 must have systems and processes in place to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that everyone 12 years or older who enters the workplace:

  • scans the workplace’s QR code or otherwise makes their own contact record, or
  • provides a contact record that the workplace collects.

More information on how to meet this requirement is available at Contact tracing — business.govt.nz(external link)

Only the following specified businesses and services need to comply with the contact record rule for people 12 years or older who are not their workers:

  • a court or tribunal
  • a Category A social service with a public area
  • a health service, including a pharmacy
  • an indoor public facility (for example, a museum, library, or swimming pool)
  • an indoor event facility (for example, a cinema, theatre, concert venue, conference venue, or casino)
  • an indoor exercise facility (for example, a gym)
  • a cafe, restaurant, bar, club, soup kitchen, or other food and drink business(external link)
  • a close-proximity business or service (for example, a massage or hairdressing service or a professional or semi-professional sport).

Supporting workers and other people to wear face coverings

The responsibility to wear a face covering is on the individual rather than a business or a service.

Businesses and services should encourage their workers to wear a face covering when required to do so under COVID rules. If necessary, they could provide the face coverings.

Making sure workers have face coverings and wear them when required also helps businesses and services meet their Health and Safety at Work 2015 (HSWA) primary duty of care.

Everyone who is in the parts of premises of businesses and services that are open to the public must wear a face covering if the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 11) 2021 Schedule 6(external link) requires this.

In addition, everyone in the indoor public areas of the following businesses and services must wear a face covering:

  • a court or tribunal, except that a judicial officer may exercise discretion regarding the use of face coverings in the room where the hearing is held
  • a Category A social service, including a customer service counter
  • premises operated by New Zealand Post Limited, including a customer service counter, and
  • a public area of a local authority, central government agency, or the New Zealand Police.

Everyone must wear a face covering at arrival and departure points for public transport services, such as bus stops, train stations, and airports.

Everyone on the premises of a health service who is not a patient or one of the health service workers must wear a face covering, except for pharmacies where everyone must wear a face covering.

Workers must wear a face covering when:

  • delivering goods to a residential house when they are not in their vehicle
  • working at a social gathering
  • working with customers and clients on the premises of a food and drink business(external link), and
  • working with customers and clients of a close-proximity business or service (other than professional or semi-professional sport).

The face covering requirement does not apply if:

  • there is an emergency
  • wearing a face covering is not safe
  • removal of a face covering or not wearing a face covering is otherwise required by law.

The face covering requirement also does not apply when the person:

  • is communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication
  • is asked to remove the face covering to check identity
  • is under the age of 12 years
  • has a physical or mental illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable
  • needs to remove the face covering to take medicine, or
  • needs to remove the face covering to eat or drink.

Requirements for physical distancing on public transport and work premises

Workplaces

Businesses and services must have systems and processes in place to:

  • maintain compliance, so far as is reasonably practicable, with the 1 metre physical distancing rule for all workers while they are in the workplace or working for the business or service
  • maintain compliance, so far as is reasonably practicable, with the 2 metre physical distancing rule for anyone else entering the workplace or using its services, and
  • mitigate, so far as is reasonably practicable, the risks of spreading COVID-19 that arise to the extent that physical distancing is not fully maintained (for example, through regular cleaning of surfaces or the installation of plastic barriers).

There are exceptions. If Schedule 6(external link) states that the 1 metre physical distancing rule applies to a business or service of that kind, the business or service must have systems and processes in place to maintain compliance, so far as is reasonably practicable, with the 1 metre physical distancing rule rather than the 2-metre physical distancing rule.

When workers in a close-proximity business or service are required to have physical contact with, or be in close proximity to, people to carry out the service, the physical distancing rules do not apply.

Education entities do not need to have systems and processes in place to maintain compliance with the physical distancing rules for people who are ordinarily at the education entity for the purposes of receiving, or providing, or assisting in or supporting the receipt or provision of, education services. But they must have systems and processes in place to mitigate the risks that arise, so far as is reasonably practicable, such as regularly cleaning surfaces.

Customers and clients at food and drink businesses

These requirements are for customers and clients at food and drink businesses, but businesses should encourage customers and clients to comply with them. Food and drink businesses include restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, and soup kitchens.

All customers at the business or service must be seated at a table, except when:

  • entering premises, using a toilet or bathroom, paying, or departing from premises, or
  • ordering or collecting food or drink, but only if doing so at premises other than on-licence premises or club premises.

Customers must be seated at a table in a number that does not exceed any maximum number for social gatherings. Customers must also comply, so far as is reasonably practicable, with the 1 metre physical distancing rule when not seated.

These requirements do not apply to:

  • accommodation services selling or providing food or drink for residents, including room service
  • businesses or services providing food or drink to their workers
  • vending machines that are located and used within a workplace
  • cinemas and theatres selling food or drink to customers or clients when they are seated inside the cinema or theatre.

Individuals on public transport services within an Alert Level 2 area

People who work for a public transport service, use its services, or enter its workplace are not required to comply with either the 1 metre or 2 metre physical distancing rules. The exception is if the vehicle travels between or through alert level areas.

Passengers must remain seated in a public transport service vehicle when it is moving, so far as is reasonably practicable. There is an exception for the following public transport services:

  • air transport
  • a small passenger service vehicle, and
  • any public transport service where the service supplies all passengers with a confirmation of their guaranteed seat on booking, including the Cook Strait ferry or interregional buses.

Public transport services that travel between or through alert level areas

The following requirements only apply to public transport services that travel between or through alert level areas. School transport services are exempt from these requirements.

Public transport services (other than aircraft or small passenger vehicles) must have systems and processes in place, so far as is reasonably practicable, for people to comply with the 1 metre physical distancing rule for all people in the vehicle.

Aircraft and small passenger vehicle public transport services must have systems and processes in place to maintain physical distancing, so far as is reasonably practicable, for everyone in the vehicle.

Public transport services must have systems and processes in place to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that passengers remain seated when the vehicle is moving. The exceptions to this requirement are:

  • air transport
  • a small passenger service vehicle, and
  • any public transport service where the service supplies all passengers with a confirmation of their guaranteed seat on booking, including the Cook Strait ferry or interregional buses.

Travelling across alert level boundaries for work

Travel between alert level areas is only permitted if the travel is for a specified purpose under clause 18(external link), which includes work for an Alert Level 4 business or service.

People travelling for work into or out of the Alert Level 4 area must carry evidence of the purpose of their travel and their destination. In addition, from 17 September 2021, people travelling for work into or out of the Alert Level 4 area must carry:

  • evidence that, no more than 7 days before their journey began, they had a COVID-19 test administered, or
  • a certificate that verifies that they were examined by a medical practitioner no more than 7 days before their journey began and that they were determined to have particular physical or other needs that made it inappropriate for them to undergo a COVID-19 test, and they did not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

Businesses and services must have systems and processes in place, so far as is reasonably practicable, to:

  • minimise travel of its workers between regions or alert level areas
  • mitigate the risks of spreading COVID-19 that arise from its workers travelling between regions or alert level areas.

In addition businesses and services must:

  • have systems and processes in place, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that their workers are not required to travel into, out of, or through the Alert Level 4 area unless the worker has evidence of having had a COVID-19 test administered no more than 7 days before the worker’s journey began, and
  • not prevent their workers from reporting for and undergoing testing, medical examination, or both during their working hours, if testing and medical examination are available during those hours.

Work-related requirements for social gatherings

Workers who are providing services for a social gathering are not counted as part of the number limit for the gathering. Workers must wear a face covering when working a social gathering. 

Businesses and services responsible for a social gathering must not exceed the number limit for that gathering:

  • 50 people in an indoor defined space, and
  • 100 people in an outdoor defined space.

Businesses and services responsible for a social gathering must ensure there are systems and processes in place to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, everyone 12 years or older who attends the social gathering

  • scans the QR code for the social gathering or otherwise makes their own contact record, or
  • provides a contact record that is kept by one of the people responsible for or attending the social gathering.

This does not apply if everyone 12 years or older at the social gathering knows, and can identify for the purposes of contact tracing, everyone else 12 years or older who is a participant in the social gathering.