Working under Alert Level 4

24 Aug 21

During Alert Level 4 there are a limited number of businesses and services that can continue to operate.

Under Alert Level 4 workplaces can only open if they are an Alert Level 4 business or service (as set out in schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9)), or they are exempt.

It is up to businesses to check if they meet the criteria of an Alert Level 4 business or service.

Businesses that can have customers on their premises

During alert level 4 the following businesses can open to customers:

  • supermarket, dairy or food bank;
  • pharmacy;
  • liquor store (only Licensing Trust stores in the 4 Licensing Trust Areas with a monopoly can sell alcohol);
  • petrol station;
  • self-service laundry;
  • banks and financial institutions;
  • hardware store, for trade customers only;
  • health service;
  • accommodation service;
  • court or tribunal;
  • social and community-based service to maintain critical wellbeing or crisis support;
  • emergency service;
  • Parliamentary services;
  • passenger services, including public transport by road, rail, air or sea;
  • school hostel.

Businesses and services that can operate under alert level 4

In addition, the following businesses or services are defined as Alert Level 4 businesses or services:

  • uncooked food delivery services and cooked food delivery services where referred by the Ministry of Social Development, a District Health Board or the Accident Compensation Corporation (for example, Meals on Wheels);
  • Sale of essential non-food consumer products (via online delivery);
  • Building, construction, and maintenance services required to address immediate risks to health and safety or for nationally important infrastructure;
  • Entities with statutory responsibilities for building and resource consenting that are necessary to enable essential building, construction, and maintenance services;
  • Primary industries (food and beverage processing, packaging, and production for both domestic consumption or export, plus the relevant support services) and veterinary and animal health and welfare services;
  • Scientific services (including research organisations);
  • Entities required to provide distance or online learning for primary and secondary education;
  • Key utilities, which means utilities that provide for the production, supply, sale, distribution, or disposal of:
    • electricity;
    • gas;
    • water;
    • wastewater (for example, sanitation);
    • waste (for example, rubbish collection and recycling);
    • liquid or solid fuel; or
    • telecommunications;
  • Key communications, meaning news and broadcast media. This includes delivery of newspapers for non-English-language material audiences or communities that have limited access to digital connectivity and are hard to reach due to physical location;
  • Foreign Government (maintaining critical operations at foreign missions based in New Zealand) ;
  • Security services (including locksmiths);
  • Pest management services;
  • Essential elements of pulp and paper plants;
  • The following business and services:
  • Tiwai Point aluminium smelter:
  • Methanex:
  • NZ Steel
  • Services for deceased persons or tūpāpaku including for example funeral homes, crematoria or cemeteries; and
  • Businesses or services necessary to maintain other alert level 4 businesses or services.

Essential products?

When determining which non-food consumer products are essential, businesses should consider which products are necessary during the duration of Alert Level 4 for people to:

  • Remain healthy and safe while isolating;
  • Work or study from home; and
  • Stay in communication with whānau and friends and remain up to date with news and health information.

Helpful links

Schedule 2 – COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021

Operating at alert levels

What Alert Level 4 means for you


Want to know more?

If you have any questions about your status as an Alert Level 4 business or service, please contact our specialist Employment Team.

PDF version: here.