Primary sector businesses in Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, all primary industries and support services can operate with appropriate measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Alert level 2 – what you need to know

At Alert Level 2, 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 appropriate physical distancing and contact tracing registers. Social gatherings are restricted to 100 people.

To operate in Alert 2, you need to:

  • display entry conditions on COVID-19 posters and COVID-19 QR codes. Encourage all workers and visitors to download and use the NZ COVID Tracer app
  • maintain a contact tracing register wherever workers, contractors or customers interact
  • maintain appropriate hygiene and social distancing rules
  • follow the 3 S's: seat, separate, serve in bars, cafes, and restaurants
  • use alternative ways of working, if possible, to reduce the level of people movement and interaction, such as staggered breaks, shift working and flexible working.

No registration or verification of health measures is required.

Under Alert Level 2, all businesses can operate and interact with the public, so long as they do it in a safe way.

Alert Level 2 - COVID-19

Employer and worker obligations

2000 Recognised seasonal employer (RSE) workers have been approved to travel to New Zealand between January and March 2021 and will transfer directly on arrival to government managed isolation facilities for a 14 day stay.

Once clear to work here, they may need to move to where labour is needed to support continued food production.

Any movement of RSE workers will be carefully managed by their employer. Their employer is fully responsible for the arrangement and safety of their workers while in transit.

RSE COVID-19 information – Immigration

MPI safety guidance for COVID-19 in primary industry [PDF, 228 KB]

If a worker is sick with COVID-19

Businesses should ensure staff who are ill with COVID-like symptoms (cold or flu-like symptoms) do not work.  People with even the slightest cold or flu-like symptoms should call their GP or Healthline (on 0800 358 5453) to get advice on testing. It is important people do not turn up to a GP’s office without calling ahead.

If someone becomes sick with COVID-19 it’s critical they self-isolate, which means stay at home and recover. 

Staying at home - COVID-19

Further help and advice for businesses

The COVID-19 website, Ministry of Transport, and WorkSafe websites are sources of information for businesses, including financial support available.


Ministry of Transport

Workplace operations -

Additional guidance for primary industry businesses is also available.

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

Business owners should also seek advice from to their key sector groups (such as DairyNZ, Beef and Lamb NZ, Restaurant Association of New Zealand, Horticulture New Zealand, Seafood New Zealand), their co-op, and Federated Farmers regarding aspects such as business continuity, animal welfare and labour needs.

Support for the primary sectors during the COVID-19 response

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