New Zealand is at COVID-19 Alert Level 1.

Information and guidance will be updated as the response to COVID-19 evolves.

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Alert Level 1 information

Well done New Zealand. These past few months have been a challenge for us all, and the fight against COVID-19 is not yet over. Let’s finish the job we’ve started and locking in the COVID-19 gains we’ve made.

Alert Level 1 sees everyone being able to return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want. If you're unwell though, please stay home. 

This material is intended to be read in conjunction with information about COVID-19 Alert Level 1 contained on, or linked from, the uniteforrecovery.govt.nz(external link) website.

Make sure you are familiar with the Golden Rules for everyone at Alert Level 1

  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  5. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  6. If you’re concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  7. Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
  8. Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
  9. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  10. People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

For further information see uniteforrecovery.govt.nz(external link) 

Travelling at Alert Level 1 and safe travel tips

Is travel restricted under Alert Level 1?

There are no restrictions on travel across New Zealand under Alert Level 1. If you're unwell though, please stay home. 

Physical distancing will not be required at Alert Level 1.

We recommend you travel in a safe way: so remember to follow the Golden Rules for Alert Level 1, and follow our safe travel tips such as keeping track of your journey and daily interactions, and practicing good hygiene (e.g. regularly wash your hands).

For further information see uniteforrecovery.govt.nz(external link) 

How do I stay safe while travelling?

We all need to remain vigilant in the battle against COVID-19. When you’re travelling, we recommend you:

  • Follow the Golden Rules
  • Keep a record of where you go and your interactions, and use the NZ COVID Tracer app and QR codes if these are available to you.
  • Practice good hygiene and follow Ministry of Health advice; this includes washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and don’t touch your face
  • Plan ahead, and allow yourself extra time to ensure your journey is as comfortable as possible,
  • If you’re unwell, or may have COVID-19, please stay home. You should not travel if you: have been requested to self-isolate/quarantine, have symptoms of COVID-19, or are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

You also cannot travel, if the travel would breach an order/direction made under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 or the Health Act 1956. This will likely be the case if: you have arrived in New Zealand from overseas in the last 14 days, or you have otherwise individually received (from a Medical Officer of Health) a direction under s 70(1)(f) of the Health Act 1956.

For further information see uniteforrecovery.govt.nz(external link) 

Border controls

Will border controls remain in place in Alert Level 1?

Controls at the borders remain at Alert Level 1 for those entering New Zealand, including health screening and testing for all arrivals, and mandatory 14-day managed quarantine or isolation. For more information see International travel (Unite for the Recovery website)(external link)

Physical distancing

Is physical distancing required while I’m travelling at Alert Level 1?

At Alert level 1, physical distancing is not required.

It’s still important to follow the “Golden Rules” for Alert Level 1, and our safe travel tips.

Contact tracing

What is contact tracing and why is it important?

To stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to keep track of people’s movements. This will be helpful if the Ministry of Health needs to undertake contact tracing.

Contact tracing is an important part of the response to COVID-19. As more people travel, the number of opportunities to come in contact with COVID-19 increases.

How can I support contact tracing?

Recording where you have been and who you may interact with on a day-to-day basis is crucial as we continue in our fight against COVID-19.

You can help by recording as much information during Alert Level 1 about where you have been. Travel safely by:

  • Downloading and using the NZ COVID Tracer app and QR codes.
  • Carrying a notebook or mark in your phone / device information about your journey.                                                                                   
  • Recording the bus, train or service number, stop or station and time of travel e.g. number 12 service at 12.55pm
  • Using an electronic ticketing card where possible, and keeping your card registration and contact details up to date
  • Recording details about what seat are you on, who you travelled with, what stop you get off at and any other places you stop or services you took to get to your destination.

For further information see uniteforrecovery.govt.nz(external link) 

Cleaning

Are vehicles, vessels, aircraft and places like terminals still going to be cleaned regularly at Alert Level 1?

Operators are advised to continuing cleaning their premises or vehicles in accordance with Ministry of Health guidance(external link), which includes regular cleaning of high-touch areas and shared surfaces. 

It’s still important that you practice good hygiene and follow Ministry of Health guidance when you’re travelling. This includes washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or using hand sanitiser regularly, and coughing and sneezing into your elbow. Check the Golden Rules for Alert Level 1 and our safe travel tips.

For further information see uniteforrecovery.govt.nz(external link) 

Public transport

Can I use public transport at Alert Level 1?

Anyone can use public transport at Alert Level 1. Physical distancing is no longer required.

You should not travel on public transport if you’re unwell. Remember to follow our safe travel tips and the Golden Rules for Alert Level 1.   

Buses, trains, ferries and associated facilities will continue to be cleaned and disinfected regularly, in accordance with Ministry of Health guidance.

Personal transport (including rental vehicles, small passenger services, rideshare and car-share)

Will there be any limits on using personal transport when travelling at Alert Level 1?

There are no restrictions on domestic travel at Alert Level 1. We recommend you follow the Golden Rules and our safe travel tips.

Can I car pool, e.g. to get to school or work?

Yes you can. It’s still advised that keep a record of who you travelled with and when to assist with contact tracing, if required.

My WOF / Registration is expired – can I drive my car?

All Warrants of Fitness (WoFs) and Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), driver licences, and vehicle certifications that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be deemed current. You do not need to display a current licence (rego) for up to six months. Visit the NZTA website for updates
(external link)

Recreational flying and boating

Can I participate in recreational flying and boating activities?

Yes you can, but remember to travel safely, follow the Golden Rules and our safe travel tips. Please refer to the:

Shared micromobility schemes (e-scooter and bike rental by the minute/hour)

Will I be able to rent an e-scooter or bike at Alert Level 1?

Shared e-scooter and bike schemes are able to operate, provided they comply with all public health guidance (including cleaning guidance).

If you rent a shared e-scooter or bike, it is important that you practice good personal hygiene. This includes washing your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser as soon as possible after use.

Alert Level 2 information

You can also visit the COVID-19 website for Alert Level 2 information on travel and transport(external link)

Key principles for public transport and private transport at Alert Level 2

Travel Safely and Track Your Journey

  • Keep your distance from people you don't know
    • plan your journey ahead of time
    • try to keep a 2m distance while waiting for services
    • while on board, follow signage about where you can sit, and avoid sitting next to someone you don't know well
    • follow the guidance of the driver, crew and operators
    • stay kind, stay calm and play it safe
    • you can sit next to people you know – keep the seat next to you empty. 

  • Practice good hygiene all the time – wash your hands often, sneeze or cough into your elbow

  • Keep track of your journey – including where you’re sitting if possible.

 

Is travel still restricted under Alert Level 2?
There are no restrictions on travel across New Zealand under Alert Level 2 including for recreation and tourism, but do it in a safe way. You do not need approval to travel.

How do I ‘keep it safe’ while travelling?
COVID-19 is still out there, so we all need to remain vigilant. Remember that you can spread the disease without knowing you have it. When travelling, keep your distance from people you don’t know well, maintain good hygiene and track your journey.

We recommend you travel safe, track your journey and follow these safe travel tips:

  • Plan your journey well ahead of time.
  • Keep your distance. Try to keep 2m from others while waiting for services; follow on-board signage, and instructions from the crew or transport staff about approved seating configurations for the vehicle, aircraft or vessel you are travelling on, and don’t sit next to someone you don’t know well – keep the seat next to you empty.
  • Continue to practice good hygiene and follow Ministry of Health advice; this includes washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water (for example, after taking public transport), cough and sneeze into your elbow, and don’t touch your face.
  • Keep a record of where you go, and try to minimise the number of places you stop on the way to your destination.
  • Don’t travel if you’re unwell.
  • Don’t travel to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings. Guidance on gatherings at Alert Level 2 can be found at www.covid19.govt.nz(external link)
  • Operators will also be asked to support contact tracing where possible, please be helpful. Travellers are advised to keep a record of any services they use and where they sat on the vehicle.
  • Be kind to the driver, crew and operators of your service. 
  • Think about what other measures you can take to keep the risk down, e.g. consider walking or cycling or travelling on public transport at off-peak times. Keep away from large groups of people, and minimise the number of places you stop on the way to your destination.

Also remember that physical distancing and contact tracing requirements may reduce the number of people who can travel on buses, ferries or trains, so please be patient.  

Be mindful that roading maintenance and construction projects resumed under Alert Level 3. When driving through worksites, be patient and respectful and look out for the workers safety and wellbeing.

If you’re sick, or may have COVID-19, stay home. You should not travel if you: have been requested to self-isolate/quarantine, have symptoms of COVID-19, or are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

You also cannot travel, if the travel would breach an order/direction made under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 or the Health Act 1956. This will likely be the case if: you have arrived in New Zealand from overseas in the last 14 days, or you have otherwise individually received (from a Medical Officer of Health) a direction under s 70(1)(f) of the Health Act 1956.


Contact tracing

What is contact tracing and why is it important?
To stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to keep track of people’s movements. This will be helpful if the Ministry of Health needs to undertake contact tracing.

Contact tracing is an important part of the response to COVID-19. As more people travel, the number of opportunities to come in contact with COVID-19 increases.

How can I support contact tracing?
Recording where you have been and who you may interact with on a day-to-day basis is crucial as we continue in our fight against COVID-19.

You can help by recording as much information during Alert Level 2 about where you have been. Travel safely by:

  • Carrying a notebook or mark in your phone/device information about your journey.
  • Record the bus, train or service number, stop or station and time of travel e.g. number 12 service at 12.55pm.
  • Try to record details about what seat are you on, who you travelled with, what stop you get off at and any other places you stop or services you took to get to your destination. 


Physical distancing

What is physical distancing and why is it important?
Physical distancing, is about keeping a safe distance from others for minimising the transmission of COVID-19. Where you can, keep a bit of space, around two metres when in public under Alert Level 2.

When and how should I observe physical distancing when I’m travelling?
Try to stay 2 metres away from people you don’t know, whenever you leave your home or are waiting for your service.

When you are travelling in a vehicle, aircraft or vessel, follow the guidance from your crew about acceptable physical distancing while on-board. Public transport, for example will have fewer people on board to maintain physical distancing.


Cook Strait ferries and domestic air services

Can I use the Cook Strait ferries or domestic air services?
Yes you can, including for recreation and tourism. You do not need approval to travel (unless you are subject to a s70(1)(f) direction under the Health Act).  We recommend you travel safe, track your journey and follow our safe travel tips.

Unless you are there to assist someone, try to also only enter the terminal if you are a passenger, staff, or contractor, and try to keep 2 metre distance from others while waiting for your service.

When on board your service, follow the guidance from your crew about acceptable physical distancing and approved seating configurations while on-board.

Check with your operator for further information on their timetable.


Public transport

Who can use public transport under Alert Level 2?
Anyone will be able to use public transport at Alert Level 2. Keep in mind that there’s less capacity on public transport because of physical distancing so if you can, consider travelling at off-peak times, or alternative modes of transport such as walking or cycling.

You should not travel on public transport if you’re unwell.

Councils and operators will review public transport timetables in response to demand pressures.

How can I stay safe while using public transport?
You can help keep yourself and others safe by following this advice – before, during and after your trip:

  • Try keep 2m distance from others while waiting for your bus, train or ferry.
  • While on board, please follow the approved seating configurations which should be clearly marked, and follow the instructions of operators and the crew.
  • The general rule is to keep a seat free between you and anyone you don’t know. You can only sit on a ‘red stickered’ seat if you’re sitting next to someone you know.
  • On longer trips, such as on inter-regional trains and Cook Strait ferries, please try and limit unnecessary movement on the carriage or vessel.
  • Follow Ministry of Health personal hygiene advice – this includes washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or using hand sanitiser immediately after taking public transport, and sneezing or coughing into your elbow.
  • Make sure you’ve kept a record of your journey.
  • Don’t travel if you’re unwell.

Public transport operators continue to follow Ministry of Health cleaning guidance and buses, trains, ferries and facilities are cleaned and disinfected regularly.

There will be limited capacity on some services, particularly in peak periods in our city centres. Please try to avoid travelling at peak times, or using alternative modes of transport such as walking or cycling, where this is possible.

In some cases, you may need to wait to catch the next service. We appreciate your understanding and patience if this occurs.

When will people have to start paying for public transport again? Can I use cash?
Public transport fares are expected to be reintroduced during Alert Level 2. Because there are different systems to work through in each region, some areas or services may start collecting fares sooner than others.

Further information about this will be made available by the relevant regional authority.

How can I support contact tracing when I am using public transport?
Please carry a notebook or mark in your phone/device the following information for every journey:

  • Record the bus, train or service number, station or stop, and time of travel e.g. number 12 service at 12.55pm.
  • Note anyone you were travelling with.
  • Please note where you boarded and what time, and where you were sitting.
  • Any other places you stop or services you take to get to your destination today.

How can I find out what specific contact tracing measures will be in place for the region I am travelling in using public transport?
Please visit your regional council’s transport website.

Can I take public transport if I am sick?
You should stay home if you are unwell and avoid public transport. Call your GP or Healthline to get advice.

Will school buses be running?
Yes, school transport services will be available as schools reopen. Please refer to the Ministry of Education website(external link) for information about school bus services it contracts, and otherwise refer to the relevant regional council website.

Do I have to follow these distancing rules on a school bus or on-demand public transport service?
No. You do not have to follow distancing requirements if you are travelling on school transport or on-demand public transport service as these services know who is using them and are considered controlled environments.


Personal transport (including rental vehicles, small passenger services, rideshare and car-share)

Will there be any limits on using personal transport when travelling at Alert Level 2?
There are no restrictions and you can use personal transport, including for recreation and tourism. You do not need approval to travel. We recommend you travel safe, track your journey and follow these tips:

  • Stay two metres away from people you don’t know.
  • Practise good hygiene all the time – wash your hands regularly, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
  • Avoid travel if you’re unwell.
  • Keep a record of where you go, and try to minimise the number of places you stop on the way to your destination.
  • Avoid travel to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings.

Can I carpool, e.g. to get to school or work?
Yes you can. Please keep a record of who you travelled with and when to assist with contact tracing, if required.

My WOF / Registration is expired – can I drive my car?
All Warrants of Fitness (WoFs) and Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), driver licences, and vehicle certifications that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be deemed current. You do not need to display a current licence (rego) for up to six months. Visit the NZTA website(external link) for updates.

How can I stay safe when I’m travelling?
Follow the safe travel tips above: Key principles for public transport and private transport at Alert Level 2


Vehicle maintenance

Can I get repairs undertaken on my vehicles at Alert Level 2?
At Alert Level 2, vehicle services can be provided if the workplace concerned is able to meet relevant safety guidelines and public health measures. 

For information about getting a WOF or a COF, visit the NZTA website.(external link)

For information about driver licensing, please refer to the NZTA website.(external link)

What aircraft maintenance can I undertake?
Aircraft maintenance can be undertaken at Alert Level 2 as long as all the guidelines like physical distancing are followed.


Freight

What movement of freight is permitted?
The movement of all freight is permitted at Alert Level 2, including the ability of business and customers to send, distribute and receive freight. All freight can enter and leave the country.

See the workplace guidance on the COVID-19 website and business.govt.nz(external link) for more information about whether and how a business can operate during Alert Level 2.


Walking and cycling

Can I go walking and cycling?
Yes you can, but remember to travel safely and keep a record of your journey.

Can I put my bikes in the car and drive to a better track in my community?
There are no restrictions on walking and other active travel (like cycling or using personal scooters), but you should maintain physical distancing of 2 metres if you meet people you don’t know whilst exercising.


Recreational flying

Can I participate in recreational flying activities?
Yes you can, but remember to travel safely and keep a record of your journey. Please refer to the Civil Aviation Authority’s website(external link) for guidance on recreational flying.


Recreational boating

Can I participate in recreational boating activities?
Yes you can, but remember to travel safely and keep a record of your journey. Please refer to Maritime NZ’s website(external link) for guidance on recreational boating:


Shared micromobility schemes (e-scooter and bike rental by the minute/hour)

Will I be able to rent an e-scooter or bike at Alert Level 2?
Shared e-scooter and bike schemes are able to operate, provided they comply with all physical distancing and public health guidance (including cleaning guidance).

If you rent a shared e-scooter or bike, it is important that you practice good personal hygiene. This includes washing your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser as soon as possible after use.