Frequently asked questions in Alert Level 2

Find answers to the latest questions about working under Alert Level 2 restrictions.

Who can operate under Alert Level 2 in the primary sector?

Under Alert Level 2, all primary sector businesses can operate in a safe way.

What will be expected of businesses?

Under Alert Level 2 all businesses may open, but physical distancing applies, along with other appropriate public health requirements (e.g. physical distancing and having contact tracing registers). 

More information is available at WorkSafe.


Food businesses

What about scheduled food verification?

It’s very important that food verification services continue during the COVID-19 response to make sure food safety is managed properly.

We have set up a Remote Check System of Food Act 2014 businesses. This means that Food Act verifiers, who have completed the necessary Remote Check training, can complete scheduled verifications with food businesses off-site, via a phone call or using online technology such as Skype.

For more information, verifiers can visit the Food Verifiers Academy. Food businesses owners/managers can contact their verifier or email

Food Verifiers Academy

Can I make changes to my food business under Alert Level 2?

Yes. However, there are requirements food businesses must follow to ensure their food is safe and suitable for consumers. 

There’s a pre-evaluated template for businesses (including egg producers, honey/dairy processors, and dual operator butchers) wanting to add on packaging, labelling and delivery.

Food safety in Alert Level 2

What safety assurances does MPI need?

Under Alert Level 2, all businesses can operate and interact with the public in a safe way. This includes physical distancing and keeping contact tracing registers, along with other appropriate public health requirements.

Physical distancing - COVID-19

Contact tracing - WorkSafe

For New Zealand food service and retail businesses, operating under the Food Act 2014, there is guidance to help keep their customers and staff safe during COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 Safe Practice Guidance for Food Service and Retail Businesses [PDF, 791 KB]

Guidance on COVID-19 safety measures for primary industry and food businesses at Alert Level 2 [PDF, 228 KB]

When can I hire new employees?

You can hire employees at any alert level. You can carry out in-person interviews at Alert Level 2, and must follow social distancing guidelines.

Read more on social distancing rules for this Alert Level - COVID-19

Can I travel for work?

At Alert Level 2, you can travel for work. Take appropriate safety measures like keeping a record of where you stop and who you have come into contact with.

When can I meet with new or existing clients?

You can meet clients in person at Alert Level 2. You must follow social distancing guidelines and stay 2 metres away from people you don't know in public.

Can cellar door and gate sales be held during Alert Level 2?

Yes, sales of primary produce direct to consumers can be done with appropriate measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19. The key focus at Alert Level 2 is on maintaining social distancing and contact tracing. Customers will be allowed on the premises of all businesses but appropriate safety measures must be followed.

Can independent butchers, bakeries and greengrocers operate?

Yes, all primary industries and support services can operate with appropriate measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The key focus at Alert Level 2 is on maintaining social distancing and contact tracing. Customers will be allowed on the premises of all businesses.

Can I fish recreationally?

Yes, recreational and other non-commercial fishing can be undertaken at Alert Level 2, including from a boat. You must follow hygiene and social distancing guidelines.

Fisheries rules and restrictions are still in place. People can find out about the fishing rules for their region on our website or by downloading the fishing app.

Our fishery officers will be patrolling throughout NZ to protect our fisheries. They will do this in a way that keeps themselves and others safe.

You can call us on 0800 4 POACHER if you see anyone breaking the fishing rules.

Fishing app

Last reviewed: