Safe work practices during Alert Level 3

Under Alert Level 3 there are actions businesses can 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. They are the most important way to stop the spread of infections.

Actions include:

Safety assurances

Under Alert Level 3, all businesses permitted to operate should have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that sets out how they operate safely.

Operating safely – WorkSafe

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. Otherwise 2 metres apart outside home where possible.

Read more on physical distancing rules for this Alert Level

Contact tracing - COVID-19

If a worker is sick with COVID-19

Businesses must check staff health daily prior to start of work and ensure staff who are ill with COVID-like symptoms do not work. Report the situation to the Healthline or local GP. Telephone – do not arrive in person.

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

Self-isolation for close contacts

Anyone who has been identified as a close contact of a suspect or confirmed case will be required to self-isolate, report to their manager, and to not come to work for 14 days.

This includes staff who have returned to reside in a region at a lower Alert Level.

Self isolation for close contacts - Ministry of Health

Travel advice

Travel, including between regions, is allowed for workers travelling to do essential work, including in primary sector businesses. 

Alert Level details  [PDF 274KB]

Regional travel – COVID-19

Some businesses will require an exemption. Information about permitted travel, and what is required, can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE)'s website and will be updated regularly.

Business travel across Alert Level boundaries – MBIE


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.

Ministry of Transport

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. 

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