All you need to know about ‘Alert Level 4’
Staying at home — what it means
We need your support to protect New Zealand and eliminate COVID-19.
Everyone must now stay home in their bubble.
You can only leave home for essential personal movement, like to:
- shop for groceries
- access necessary healthcare
- get a COVID-19 test or vaccination
- exercise in your local area
- go to work if you are an Alert Level 4 worker and you cannot work from home.
Only make physical contact with those in your household bubble.
If you live alone, you may arrange with another person living alone or a household to be part of your household bubble. This arrangement must be exclusive between you and the other household.
Do not worry, at Alert Level 4 you can access all the essentials you need, including medicine and food.
Permitted personal movement
Personal movement at Alert Level 4 is limited, except for the permitted reasons. If you are leaving home for one of the permitted reasons, you do not require any other form of approval. You should carry some evidence of your reason to leave your home.
Wear a face covering
We encourage you to wear a face covering and keep 2 metres distance from others when leaving your home. Especially if it is difficult to maintain physical distance from others.
You legally must wear a face covering when:
- on public transport and flights, and at departure points, for example airports, train stations and bus stops
- you are a driver or passenger in a taxi or ride-share vehicle
- visiting a healthcare facility
- inside retail businesses that are still open, such as supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations
- visiting courts and tribunals, Government agencies and social service providers with customer service counters.
Food shopping, food banks, and services
Food shopping and food banks
Supermarkets, dairies, pharmacies are open, and you can go in store to shop. Dairies will operate a strict “one-in, one-out” policy. Dairies and petrol stations can sell food and drinks, but it cannot be prepared, packaged or consumed onsite after ordering. For example, petrol stations cannot sell barista coffee, but they can sell hot pies from a warmer.
Food banks are open. They will operate on a strict “one-in, one-out” policy.
If possible, try to send 1 person per household to do the shopping, and make sure you practise 2 metre physical distancing and good hygiene while out. Wear a face covering when out shopping.
Grocery food deliveries — such as My Food Bag and Hello Fresh — will continue, as long as the food is not pre-cooked. All deliveries must be contactless.
Whole-food contactless deliveries such as butchers, bakeries and greengrocers can continue.
Takeaway services must close.
Click and collect
At Alert Level 4, only businesses that are permitted to have customers on their premises can open for click and collect. These include supermarkets, dairies and hardware stores. Hardware stores can open to trade customers only.
Some services are continuing at Alert Level 4, including:
- rubbish collection — check your local council website for recycling
- postal services and courier delivery
- self-service laundries
- petrol stations.
Public transport, regional air travel and ferries are mostly restricted to those involved in Alert Level 4 services and freight.
Some public transport will be available for essential personal movement, like going to the supermarket, doctor or a vaccination appointment.
- Shopping and services at Alert Level 4
- Public transport at Alert Level 4
- Alert Level 4 businesses and services
Getting food and essential supplies delivered
If you are sick, or cannot leave home to buy food or essential supplies, you can ask family, whānau, friends or neighbours to drop off goods and groceries for you.
All deliveries must be local and contactless.
If you are delivering supplies, remember to stay 2 metres apart and wear a face covering.
If you get your supplies delivered, remember to stay 2 metres away from those delivering them, wear a face covering and wash and sanitise your hands after you have put the supplies away.
You can also use your supermarket’s click and collect service, and ask a local friend, family member or neighbour to drop off the groceries for you.
Contact your local supermarket or dairy to find out if they are delivering groceries and how to order. Your supermarket may have reserved some priority slots for people who need to use online shopping.
Public spaces, gatherings, funerals and tangihanga
Places where the public gather must close
All public facilities must close. This includes:
Indoor and outdoor events cannot go ahead
Events, including family and social gatherings cannot go ahead. This includes parties, funerals and tangihanga, and weddings.
Funerals and tangihanga
Funeral directors can continue working at Alert Level 4. However, you cannot gather together for funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 4.
This may be a challenging time for you and your family. If you ever feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional.
For support if you need to talk, you can call or text 1737. It is free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to talk with a trained counsellor.
- Meeting friends and whānau at Alert Level 4
- Public events and entertainment at Alert Level 4
- Funerals and tangihanga at Alert Level 4
Meeting friends and whānau
You can only have physical contact with your household bubble. You cannot invite friends and whānau to your home, and events and gatherings cannot go ahead.
Shared custody and childcare
During Alert Level 4, tamariki (children) whose parents or caregivers have a:
- shared care arrangement or,
- a court order under the Care of Children Act 2004 saying who has the day to day care of a child at specified times can continue to go between 2 homes to form a shared bubble.
Your shared bubble can include 2 households at most, and the other household must be in the same or adjacent district.
If you are working for an Alert Level 4 business or service and you cannot work from home and you have no available options for childcare, you can extend your household bubble to include a carer for your children.
Learn more about shared custody and childcare during Alert Level 4
Sport, exercise and recreation
- You can go for a walk, run or bike ride in your local area. Exercise is good for your mental health.
- If you do, it must be on your own, or with your household bubble.
- You can drive to a place to exercise — for example to a park but you should stay close to where you live. Do not travel too far.
- Keep a 2 metre distance from others.
- Do not do activities that may require search and rescue services. For example, do not go swimming, surfing, boating, hunting or tramping.
- If you are unwell, do NOT go outside.
Work and business
Only certain businesses may remain open to the public at Alert Level 4.
Some other businesses and services can operate at Alert Level 4 without customers on their premises. If a business is not sure if it provides Alert Level 4 services or products, it should close.
If you are a business or worker in a non-Alert-Level-4 business, you may still work — as long as this is from home. If you cannot work remotely, you must stay home.
Travel and transport
At Alert Level 4, all types of transport and travel are restricted. Only travel for essential personal movement, like to get food or medicine, to get tested or vaccinated, or to go to work if you are an Alert Level 4 worker.
Permitted movement at Alert Level 4
All permitted movement at Alert Level 4
Public transport, taxis, and ride-sharing services
You can use public transport, taxis and ride-share services for transport for essential personal movement.
Public transport at Alert Level 4
Private vehicles and active transport
You can use a private vehicle for essential personal movement. You should only travel in your vehicle with people from your household bubble.
You can use active transport like walking and biking if you keep a 2 metre distance from anyone not in your household bubble.
If you are unwell or at risk
You should not travel if you:
- have been requested to self-isolate
- have symptoms of COVID-19
- are awaiting a COVID-19 test result.
If you are unwell or at-risk, you should not leave your home at all.
If you are unwell and you need to travel, you should use private transport if possible. If private transport is not available, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.
International air travel
Visitors and tourists can still use international air services to travel home but commercial flights have been impacted.
You can still travel to New Zealand, and managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) is still operating.
Do not go to the airport unless you have a ticket. If you do not have ticket, contact a travel agent or airline directly. If you cannot get a ticket, please contact your country’s embassy.
Domestic air travel
Air travel is strictly limited at Alert Level 4.
Regional travel at Alert Level 4
Travelling over Alert Level boundaries
At Alert Level 4, travel between regions is heavily restricted.
All schools and early childhood education centres are closed.
Schools will be providing information directly to all parents about what this means for them.
Healthcare and emergencies
Health and medical facilities will remain open while we are at Alert Level 4.
You can still get medical help if you need it. This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline, GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support services.
However, if you need to see a doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first.
Most consultations will happen over the phone or by videoconference to stop any risk of COVID-19 spreading by person-to-person contact.
If there is another emergency while we are at Alert Level 4, you should do what you would normally do.
Family, whānau and sexual violence
Family, whānau and sexual violence can escalate at this time.
If you are not safe, you can leave your bubble. Family violence and sexual violence support lines are open for people to call, email or text. If someone is in danger, call 111.
Help and support is available if you are experiencing violence
The COVID-19 vaccination programme has resumed, though some vaccination sites may still be closed.
If you have a vaccination booked please go as planned – unless you have been contacted and told it has been cancelled. When booking appointments remember to stay local and book as close to home as possible.
Vaccination sites will operate under Alert Level 4 conditions. This means you legally must wear a face covering to your appointment.
Physical distancing requirements at the sites means there might be fewer people vaccinated. The reduced capacity means we may need to postpone some appointments. If we need to postpone your appointment you will be contacted by the Ministry of Health, your DHB, or healthcare provider.
If you do not hear anything, please come to your appointment as scheduled.
If you are having trouble with money, there may be support for you.
Wellbeing and COVID-19-related support
Find services and contact information for when you need help.
If you feel you are not coping, or you have concerns for others, it is important to talk with a health professional. There are helplines available if you need help.
You can also find support, advice and information about COVID-19, or you can contact us directly for help with your enquiries.
Advice for at-risk and older people
People at higher risk in particular should stay at home and ask others to pick up supplies for them. You just need to ask them to leave supplies at the door, rather than come in.
You are at high risk if you are over 70, have a compromised immune system or have underlying health conditions.
Alert Level 4 advice for at-risk people
The Ministry of Health has updated its information for older people who live alone or in a retirement village on creating a support bubble/buddy during Alert Level 4.
Advice for older people and their family and whānau | health.govt.nz