- September 13, 2021
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Those outside Auckland and Northland will be moving down to alert level 3 on Wednesday and that undoubtedly comes as a relief for many.
While a lower alert level comes with a few more freedoms, a number of restrictions are still in place to keep everyone safe during this time.
It has been a while for many since alert level 3.
Over the past year, Auckland has moved back and forth between higher and lower levels in response to outbreaks, but the last time the South Island was in level 3 was from April 27 to May 13 last year.
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There is a possibility that some of the rules might be amended for alert level 3 this time around, but according to the information currently on the Unite Against Covid-19 website, here’s what you can and can’t do at alert level 3:
At alert level 3, you must still work from home unless that is not possible.
People who return to work must follow public health guidance. Because the Delta variant is more infectious and moves faster, additional precautions have been added to help businesses operate safely.
These include all employees and visitors having to wear face coverings, keeping record of people visiting through the Covid Tracer app or physical record, and maintaining a distance of two metres from others.
According to a Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet spokeswoman, the full details of all public health measures businesses need to have in place to operate at level 3 will be published ahead of the alert level change at midnight on Tuesday.
At alert level 3, all children should learn from home, but schools will be open for children whose parents or carers need to go to work. Play centres and playgroups remain closed.
Schools should provide distance learning options for all tamariki and young people who are learning from home, including those who need to self-isolate and cannot attend school.
Schools may set up bubbles to help maintain physical distancing in the classroom and outside. Parents, carers and whānau who are visitors to the school should keep 2 metres apart from people outside their household.
All tertiary education providers should deliver their courses online. Where online learning is not an option, for example lab work or research, these can be accommodated if public health guidelines are able to be met.
Classes or workshops have to be limited to 10 people per class. Each class is considered a ‘bubble’ and must not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 10.
Student accommodation such as university halls of residence can remain open with physical distancing and extra hygiene measures.
Alert level 3 means you can once again dig into your favourite takeaways, but no restaurant dining just yet.
Cafes, restaurants and takeaways may open only for contactless pick-up, delivery or drive-through. Liquor stores can only offer contactless pick-up and delivery, if their liquor licence allows delivery.
Food delivery services, such as Delivereasy and Uber Eats, can also operate at alert level 3.
Businesses that require close physical contact, for example hairdressers, barbers, driving instructors, tattoo parlours, or nail salons, have to remain closed. Farmers’ markets, entertainment and tourist facilities, night clubs, and gyms cannot open. Home cleaners cannot work in clients’ homes.
During alert level 3, customers cannot go onto businesses’ premises, with the exception of supermarkets, dairies, butcheries, fishmongers, greengrocers, petrol stations, pharmacies or a permitted health service.
Customers must maintain physical distancing and wear masks, use hand sanitiser or wash hands regularly, and surfaces must be cleaned often.
Sale of non-food consumer products is allowed, but as with all businesses this must be done in a contactless way. Customers can pay online, over the phone or with contactless payment methods such as Paywave or Apple Pay. Delivery or pick-up must also be contactless.
Building and construction work can resume with the necessary safety measures in place, and plumbers, electricians and tradespeople can work on customers’ property provided the relevant public health measures are met.
At alert level 3, you must maintain your household bubble. You cannot invite friends and extended family who are not in your bubble to your home.
You may expand your bubble slightly, but this is limited to close family and whānau, bringing in caregivers, or supporting isolated people. Remember to keep your bubble exclusive, and should someone in the bubble feel unwell, they must immediately self-isolate from everyone else.
Gatherings of up to 10 people can go ahead, but only for wedding and civil union ceremonies, as well as funerals and tangihanga. Keep track of where you’ve been by scanning in with the Covid Tracer app.
Keep 2 metres away from people you do not live with, and avoid close physical contact such as hugging, hongi or harirū.
Unfortunately you will not be able to visit friends and whānau living in a rest home or aged care facility until alert level 2.
During alert level 3, you can travel within your local area, for example going to work or school, and you may use public transport to get there. Strict health and safety requirements still apply, including a requirement to wear a face covering on all forms of public transport.
Most bus services operate on a reduced schedule during alert level 3 and 4, so check the availability of you local service beforehand.
At alert Level 3 travel between regions is heavily restricted.
For essential workers, travel in and out of an alert level 3 region is only allowed for specific reasons. If you need to travel to a region that is at a different alert level for work purposes, you will need to check that your reason for travel meets the criteria.
If not, you have to apply for a travel exemption through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
Tramping is allowed for day walks on easy trails close to your home. DOC huts and campsites are closed. Check with your local council to see what trails or parks are open before heading out.
Choose low-risk activities so you do not need rescuing or medical care. If you are an experienced surfer, mountain biker or horse rider, you can do these activities at a spot close to you. You can also swim in safe local spots.
Stay within 200 metres from shore if you are kayaking, canoeing, rowing, surfing, wind surfing or paddle-boarding.
During alert level 3 you cannot fly a manned aircraft, hunt in motorised vehicles, participate in water-based activities involving sailing boats, motorised boats or other craft like jet skis, or scuba dive.
You can hunt on both private and public conservation land, but stay within your region and stick to your bubble. You can only hunt on foot – using quad bikes, off-road bikes, helicopters and other motorised vehicles is not allowed. Do not go on an overnight hunting trip.
If you are out hunting, you still need to follow the local regulations.
You can fish from a wharf or the shore, but do not cast off the rocks or fish from a boat. Keep it local and go to your nearest fishing spot.
Visit the Covid-19 outdoors website for more information.
Correction: Classes or workshops have to be limited to a bubble of 10 people per class, not 20, as previously reported. Story updated August 28, 10.55am.
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