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Here's what you need to know

The information on this webpage reflects the best information we have in a rapidly changing situation, we will continue to update it as we get more information (last updated 22 September, 10am).

Rest of New Zealand
Who can open?

Retailers who can operate safely under strict public health guidelines can open to the public (see below).

Hospitality business may only open to the public if groups are seated, separated, and use a single server if possible. Table service is also required, including for payment.

Businesses that requires close personal contact (e.g. beauty services and hairdressers), must have a robust contract tracing system, maintain good hygiene practices and minimise contact to the extent possible. We recommend the use of masks in these businesses.

No restrictions.

Can employees come to work?

Workers can continue to go into workplaces.

Workplaces must operate safely under public health guidelines.


Contact tracing
  • You must display an official QR code.
  • All retailers, except supermarkets and petrol stations, must have another register available for those people who do not have a phone or do not want to scan a QR Code. This might be digital or paper based.
  • Retail workers or managers are not required to make people scan the QR Code or sign their name in the register as a prerequisite to enter the store.

You must display an official QR code.

Social distancing

Two metres between customers, and between customers and staff. We suggest a maximum of one person per four square metres in store.

One metre between staff members.

Limit the number of people in your premises so distancing can be maintained.

No formal requirements.

Face Masks

You should wear face coverings in situations where physical distancing is not possible, like on public transport or in shops.

No formal requirements.

Social groups and public venues

No more than 100 people are permitted at public venues, gatherings, or events (10 people until 11.59 Wednesday 23 September).

Ensure records are kept for contact tracing purposes.

No limit.

Public health requirements

All workplaces must implement and maintain good hygiene practices including:

  • frequent handwashing,
  • use of hand sanitiser,
  • regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces,
  • record who is working together and limit interaction between different groups of workers,
  • keep records to allow contact tracing, where required,
  • recommend that face masks to be worn if social distancing is not possible,
  • ask everyone, workers, contractors and customers, with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.

No formal requirements, but we recommend that you encourage:

  • frequent handwashing,
  • use of hand sanitiser,
  • regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces,
  • ask people with cold or flu like symptoms to stay away from your premises.

*The Auckland region is everything in the Auckland Council boundary - from Wellsford in the north to Pukekohe in the south.

If you need advice, please get in touch with our Advice Service on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia) or email us on

Find the latest Government information about COVID-19 here.

Frequently asked questions

Under the Health & Safety Work Act 2015 you are required to provide your employees, contractors and customers with the highest level of protection from workplace health and safety risks, so far as reasonably practicable. This included following all public health guidelines.

The latest guidance from Worksafe on meeting the Health and Safety requirements for Level 2 is and 3 is available here.

Most businesses will have developed a COVID-19 safety plan when we moved out of lockdown in May, and though not mandatory, it is a good idea to have another look at this document and update it if required. A plan template is available to download here.

If a staff member does not want to come into work because of Coronavirus have a discussion with them around the current situation, what you are doing to protect your staff, the current Ministry of Health recommendations, and whether you require them to work. You may be able to reach an agreement. If you need help, get in touch with our Advice Service on 0800 472 472 or email

The Leave Support Scheme is available for employers to pay their employees who can't work under the following circumstances:

  • They are at higher risk if they get COVID-19, and Ministry of Health guidelines recommend they stay at home while public health restrictions are in place
  • They have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 and must self-isolate for 14 days (as required by Ministry of Health guidelines)
  • They have tested positive for COVID-19 and are required to remain off work until they've been cleared by a health professional to be released from self-isolation, or
  • They have household members who are at higher risk if they get COVID-19 and the Ministry of Health recommends the employee also remains at home to reduce the risk to them.

To be eligible your business must have either:

  • experienced a minimum 30 per cent decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month when compared to the same month last year, or a reasonably equivalent month for a business operating less than a year, and that revenue loss is attributable to the COVID-19 outbreak; or
  • had your ability to support your employee due to the COVID-19 public health restrictions negatively impacted.

Support is available for 14 days, and if the leave is required for longer you must re-apply every 14 days.

If your employee is accessing COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme, you are not required to use their leave entitlements to top up their income. However, you are able to offer and negotiate with your employee if they would like to use any form of paid leave.

Example: Your employee earns $1,000 a week before tax and is required to self-isolate. They are entitled to $585 a week from the Government's leave payments. They ask you to use annual leave they have accrued to make up the other $415 in order to receive an income consistent to what they would receive if they were working their normal hours.

If you need to cut hours or reduce staff numbers, it's critical that you're following a proper process and staying on the right side of the law. Get in touch with our Advice Service on 0800 472 472 or email

Westpac's Chief Economist is releasing weekly commentary briefings each Friday - take a look.

We are also keeping track of how retail businesses are faring in our regular Retail Radar reports.

The Commerce Commission has released some guidance for businesses which have had to cancel services and events.

Yes, you can see the WorkSafe approved guidance here.

We're here to help you - so ask us first

Please contact our Advice Service should you require any assistance. You can ring us on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia) or send us an email on

Updated on 21st September 2020.