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What will NZ’s alert level 3 look like? Ardern announces new guidelines

What will NZ’s alert level 3 look like? Ardern announces new guidelines

What will NZ’s alert level 3 look like? Ardern announces new guidelines

The principle of alert level 3, Jacinda Ardern says, is to restrict contact with each other. Ardern likened level 3 to a “waiting room” where we must primarily stay at home if possible.

Level 3 comes with “extra risk and a high level of trust and responsibility. The more distance the better,” says Ardern. She asks people to continue to check in, turn their bluetooth on and keep a note of where they have been and who they have been in contact with.

Can you extend your bubble in level three?

Under level 3, Ardern says people must stay in household bubbles when not at work, school, buying groceries or exercising.

People must stay within their immediate household bubble, but can expand this to reconnect with close family, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people.

Do you have to wear a face mask at level three?

Face masks are now mandatory. You legally must wear a face covering when doing the below:

  • on public transport and at departure points, for example at airports, train stations and bus stops
  • on flights
  • in taxi or ride-share vehicles — drivers and passengers
  • when visiting healthcare facilities
  • if you are a delivery driver to residential addresses
  • inside any Alert Level 3 businesses and services that are open and involve customer contact, for example supermarkets, pharmacies, and takeaways

It’s important to wear your mask properly, make sure you aren’t making these easy mistakes 

Workplaces: employees to work from home if they can

At level three workplaces can re-open but employees must work from home if they can.

All businesses must ensure that workplaces that do open must operate safely. This means:

  • Keeping 1-metre between workers
  • Recording who is working together
  • Limiting interaction between groups or workers
  • Disinfect surfaces
  • Maintain high hygiene standards

Cafes and restaurants open for delivery or contactless pickup at level three

Bars, restaurants and cafes will be closed but unlike level 4, will be able to open for delivery, drive-through and contactless pre-ordered pick up. Customers cannot enter stores.

Retail can also re-open for online shopping and delivery.

Travel extended to regional

Under level 3, travel is still restricted but expanded to regional, rather than local.

Weddings and funerals restricted to 10 or less

Gatherings are limited under level 3, with the restriction of funerals and weddings with up to 10 people allowed. For weddings, ceremonies are only permitted, not receptions.

Recreation: swimming and surfing allowed, but no boating

Under level 3, people are allowed to swim, surf or fish from the shore. Motorised recreation, like boating and jetskis, is not allowed due to safety risks.

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).

When will New Zealand move to level 3?

All of New Zealand will stay at Alert Level 4 until 11:59pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021.

Auckland and Northland regions will likely remain at Alert Level 4 for longer.

The criteria for moving to level 3 is:

  • Community transmission is under control, and the transmission rate is very low.
  • Robust measures at the border stopping new infection.
  • Tracing and testing capacity to shut down any new outbreak.
  • Supplies for, and capacity, in the health system.

For more guidance on alert level 3, visit

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