Skip to content

COVID-19 Protection Framework: Guidance for the primary sector

Te Pou Tarāwaho Ārai KOWHEORI-19

Find out about the Government’s COVID-19 Protection Framework and what it means for the primary sector. 

COVID-19 Protection Framework 

The COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system) introduces a new flexible 3-level approach to managing COVID-19 in the community:

  • Green – used when there’s limited COVID-19 in the community, hospitalisations are at a manageable level, and the health system is ready to respond.
  • Orange – used when there’s increasing community transmission of COVID-19, the whole health system has focused its resources but can manage the outbreak, and there is an increasing risk to the public.
  • Red – used when action is needed to protect the health system and to protect at-risk populations.

The new traffic light system is more flexible than the previous Alert Level system.  It takes into account aspects like vaccination coverage, COVID-19 transmission in communities, and the capacity of the health and disability system.

Testing, contact tracing, and isolation will continue as key tools to minimise any spread of the virus.

COVID-19 Protection Framework: Guidance for the primary sector [PDF, 7.8 MB]

COVID-19 Protection Framework: Guidance for food service, food retail and food manufacturing businesses [PDF, 735 KB]

The COVID-19 Protection Framework – COVID-19

The Protection Framework: What it means for businesses – business.govt.

Regional traffic light settings

All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting at 11.59pm on Sunday 23 January 2022.

Information about life at Red and other settings is available here

Traffic light settings – COVID-19


Seeking help if COVID-19 affects work on my farm, orchard, or vineyard

Sector organisations have been working together to ensure farmers, growers, fishers, and others are supported if a positive COVID-19 case affects their business. 

A key focus has been ensuring they are prepared and have good contingency plans in place. The sector and MPI have developed a detailed checklist to help farmers and growers prepare for a positive COVID-19 case on-farm. 

The checklist enables you to list contact details for key people, daily livestock feed requirements, instructions to operate machinery and essential farm tasks.

There are also checklists for lifestyle block owners and growers.

Rural Support Trusts are providing support to rural communities. You can reach them on 0800 787 254.

For further guidance on workplaces with cases of COVID-19, visit the Ministry of Health website.

Guidance for workplaces that have a case of COVID-19 – Ministry of Health



Frequently asked questions for primary industry businesses working under the framework

Expand all


Frequently asked questions about positive COVID-19 cases within the primary industries

Expand all


Frequently asked questions about vaccinations in the traffic light system

Expand all


Frequently asked questions about positive COVID-19 cases and caring for your companion animals, horses, and lifestyle blocks

Expand all