Safe work practices during Alert Level 3
Under Alert Level 3 there are actions businesses need to take to protect workers by limiting interactions and reducing the spread of COVID-19.
It is necessary to follow basic hygiene measures to keep yourself and your co-workers from COVID-19. These are the most important ways to stop the spread of infections.
- limit the number of people on site so everyone can safely stay 1 metre apart
- offer flexible working arrangements, for example, staggered meal breaks, or staggered start and finish times to help with physical distancing
- clean and disinfect your workplace regularly
- provide employees with handwashing facilities
- have personal protective equipment (PPE) available for employees to use
- encourage workers to wear a face covering if physical distancing is difficult. If your employees interact with customers or members of the public, they legally must wear a face covering while at work.
- display your QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system for workers and customers to use
- Operating safely – WorkSafe
- Guidance on face masks - Ministry of Health
Under Alert Level 3, all businesses permitted to operate should have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that sets out how they operate safely.
For New Zealand food service, retail and manufacturing businesses, operating under the Food Act 2014, there is guidance to help keep their customers and staff safe during COVID-19 Alert Level 3.
Additional guidance for primary industry businesses is also available.
Contact tracing and physical distancing
At Alert Level 3, businesses must take measures to allow contact tracing. This includes keeping track of all people (staff and customers) on workplaces. This guidance may change over time.
Businesses also need to be aware that physical distancing requirements in the workplace apply: people should keep 1 metre in controlled environments such as workplaces. Outside of your home, you legally must keep a 2 metre distance from people at all times, as much as possible.
If a worker is sick with COVID-19
If an employee, customer, or visitor becomes a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case, and has been at your workplace while potentially infectious, there are standard processes that will be followed.
Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are known as cases and will be directly managed by a local public health unit.
Remember, at any time, an employee who feels unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 should be encouraged to go home and to seek help by calling their GP (doctor) or call Healthline for free, on 0800 358 5453.
Self-isolation for close contacts
Anyone who has been identified as a close contact of a suspect or confirmed case will be required to isolate/quarantine, either at home or in a managed facility, for 14 days from last exposure.
If COVID-19 symptoms develop, get an additional test immediately.
If you are a business that requires travel across the alert level boundary for work, information about permitted travel, the Business Travel Register, and exemptions is available on MBIE’s website.
The Business Travel Register will generate Business Travel Documents for workers to display at checkpoints. This includes a QR code, which enables Police at the cordon to verify the document digitally against the travel register.
It’s important to note that you cannot use the same travel documentation used during previous alert level events and must apply again.
Businesses and workers need to continue to comply with the Government’s COVID-19 alert level settings and observe any protocols for their particular industry.
Ministry of Transport provides guidance on private and public transport and freight. The movement of all freight is permitted at Alert Level 3, including the ability of business and customers to send, distribute and receive freight. All freight can enter and leave the country.
Further help and advice for businesses
The COVID-19 website is a source of information for businesses relating to essential services and on financial support available.
Business owners should also seek advice from key sector groups (such as DairyNZ, Beef and Lamb NZ, Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Forest Owners Association, Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association), their co-op, and Federated Farmers regarding aspects such as business continuity, animal welfare and labour needs.