Covid-19 Alert Level 3

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Operating at Alert Level 3


While it is far from perfect, there is some good news for the retail sector when the nation is ready to move to Alert Level 3, which is effective from Tuesday 28 April 2020.

In Alert Level 3, retailers will be allowed to be operational, but not open. Businesses must take health measures to keep their workers safe.


Here are the key facts you must know:


  • Workers must work from home if they can
  • Workplaces must operate safely - maintain physical distance between workers, recording who is working together, limiting interaction between groups of workers, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining high hygiene standards
  • Retail and hospitality businesses can only open for delivery and contactless pre-ordered pick up - customers cannot enter stores
  • Supermarkets, dairies and petrol stations can continue to allow customers into their stores, with the same restrictions and measures in place as Alert Level 4
  • Businesses cannot offer services which involve face-to-face contact or sustained close contact (e.g. hairdressing, massage, house cleaning, or door-to-door salespeople)
  • Other in home services can be delivered if it is safe to do so (like tradespeople for repairs or installations) - keep two metre separation from those in the house
  • Most workers will not require PPE to stay safe at work. Incorrectly used PPE can create more risk. Good hygiene measures like hand washing with soap and water, physical distancing, sneeze and cough etiquette, and wiping down surfaces is the best defence against COVID-19.

Business operations must be undertaken safely, meaning that businesses must maintain at least one metre social distancing within their workplaces. Workplaces must also implement and maintain good hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitiser and regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces. Businesses must record who is working together and limit interaction between different groups of workers. In Alert Level 3, employees who can work from home must continue to do so.

You can find high-level details on what workplace activities are permitted at different alert levels on business.govt.nz. Also available to you is information about what approach WorkSafe will be taking as the work health and safety regulator.


What should my business be planning for in order to be operational at Alert Level 3?


  • have I completed a COVID-19 Safety Plan?
  • how can you start fulfilling online orders safely?
  • can you fulfil orders from home, or minimise the staff at work?
  • what distancing and hygiene arrangements do you need to put in place in your distribution centres?
  • do you have arrangements with a courier service to deliver goods for you?
  • how can you manage click and collect arrangements safely - will you need to manage queues or have phone-based check-in system?
  • if you don't already sell online, can you easily set up an online sales platform? Please check out Harper Digital and Shopify who can help.

Does your business operate under the Food Act 2014?


MPI has released guidance for businesses which operate under the Food Act 2014, including butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, delicatessens, cafes, restaurants, takeaways, food service, manufacturers, food transporters, cheesemakers, winemakers and horticultural growers. Additionally, there is update material available for food businesses who are wishing to safely expanding retail capacity. You can find out more here.


Alert Level 3 resources for your business



If you have questions, take a look at our FAQ's page, or get in touch with our Advice Service on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia) or email us on advice@retail.kiwi.

Keep up to date with advice and guidance on COVID-19 on our website.





Updated on 29th April 2020.