Safe work practices during Alert Level 4
Alert Level 4 businesses and services need to take steps to ensure you protect your workers, including social distancing in the work place, and also considerations about transporting goods and stock.
Safety assurances – 25 August 2021
Alert Level 4 businesses or services should have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that sets out how they operate safely.
This is a guide for New Zealand food retailers and food manufacturers that can provide a service that is contactless, including payment and delivery:
- petrol stations,
- food banks,
- fishmongers, and
- food manufacturers
Additional guidance for primary industry businesses is also available.
If you provide an Alert Level 4 business or service, there are steps to take to ensure you protect workers by limiting interactions and reducing the spread of COVID-19. These include social distancing in the work place, providing face masks, and also considerations about transporting goods and stock.
For specific industry advice, also see
- Guidance for the seafood industry at Alert Level 4 - Seafood New Zealand
- Advice for farmers and agricultural industry
- Advice for orchards and horticultural industry
Safe social distancing in workplaces
Workplaces should have a minimum social distancing of 2 metres.
Where 2-metre distancing of workstations cannot be reasonably maintained on processing lines, in accordance with Ministry of Health advice, MPI expects that measures be put in place for workers at stations between 1 and 2 metres.
Workers must wear face masks.
Alternative ways of working to keep employees safe include shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, and flexible leave arrangements.
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.
If your business cannot meet all Alert Level 4 rules to operate safely, your workers should not go into work.
Travelling to work at Alert Level 4
If your employees need to go into the premises or work on site, they can use public transport to commute.
Employees may be asked to show who they work for so they can prove they have a reason to travel. We recommend you provide your employees with a letter to confirm who they are, and their role.
Everyone legally must wear a face covering on all public transport, unless they have an exemption.
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.
For information about testing of essential workers crossing the Alert Level boundary, visit the COVID-19 website.
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.
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 35 85 453.
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 to their key sector groups (such as DairyNZ, Beef and Lamb NZ, Horticulture New Zealand), their co-op, and Federated Farmers regarding aspects such as business continuity, animal welfare and labour needs.