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Urgent Covid-19 update – New Zealand moved to heightened alert levels from 11.59, 14 February 2021

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The Ministry of Health has confirmed there are three new Covid-19 community cases detected in the Auckland region with a connection to Taranaki.

As a result of the new cases, announced 14 February, the source of which has not yet been confirmed, the Government announced a move of Alert Levels from 11.59pm 14 February 2021.

  • Auckland is at Covid-19 alert level 3 for three days.
  • The rest of New Zealand is at level 2.
  • Those alert levels will be reviewed every 24 hours.

At Level 3 (Auckland) unfortunately hospitality businesses must close their doors to the public, but can operate for contactless pick up and delivery orders. Our guidelines for operating at Level 3 can be downloaded here.

At Level 2 (rest of New Zealand) hospitality businesses can open, following the 3 S’s, (seated, single server and separated). This means operating with a single server per group (where practicable), keeping groups separated, and operating table service. Our guidelines for operating at Level 2 can be downloaded here.

A reminder of the golden rules under Alert Level 3 and 2:


The Restaurant Association guidelines for operating at Level 3 are available here.

General principles for operating at Level 3

  • Businesses must take health measures to keep their workers safe – maintain physical distance between workers, recording who is working together, limiting interaction between groups of workers, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining high hygiene standards.
  • Hospitality businesses can operate under Alert Level 3 for contactless delivery and pick-up (including drive-through) of pre-prepared food and beverages. Customers cannot enter your premises.
  • People are still instructed to stay home unless for essential personal movement. Essential personal movement is for activities such as accessing local services and businesses, recreation or work and school.

Additional information on Government requirements for Aucklanders at Level 3


The Restaurant Association guidelines for operating at Level 2 are available here.

For hospitality business the key measures for operating at Level 2 are:

Restaurants, cafes & bars

  • The overall limit on numbers is 100.
  • Multiple groups are allowed provided they are in separate ‘defined spaces’ and there is no mingling of people between the different spaces (including in common areas) (see below information on defined spaces).
  • 1 metre physical distancing is required between groups and there must be at least 1 metre between tables.
  • Only one server is to serve at any table, to the greatest extent practicable.
  • Records must be kept to enable contact tracing for workers and customers, but there is no longer a requirement to record physical addresses.
  • Customers must be seated at a table except where using the toilet, paying or departing, ordering and collecting food and drinks (at unlicensed premises)
  • Ordering and collecting food and drinks at the counter is allowed for nonlicensed premises only, provided that physical distancing is maintained.
  • Ordering and collecting food and drinks at the counter is not permitted at bars or other licensed premises.


  • Takeaway food can be ordered from the counter of any establishment, irrespective of whether patrons are able to dine-in or not.
  • 1 metre physical distancing is required.
  • Record keeping is not mandatory.
  • To reduce lines and queuing you could encourage pre-ordering online, over the phone or via an app

Venues generally – Social Gatherings

  • If someone hires a hospitality venue for a social gathering, the gatherings rules apply, not the hospitality ones.

Information on community cases

The places of interest, located in Auckland and Taranaki, related to these cases is on the Ministry of Health website here. People who were at the locations of interest visited by the family are encouraged to get tested to check for wider community transmission.

The three cases detected in the community are a mother, father and daughter from the same South Auckland household.

The mother and daughter were tested initially when they felt symptomatic. They have returned positive tests with relatively low CT values, which indicates they are new and active infections. The father was tested following their results. The three people tested positive for the highly infectious UK variant. At this stage the link to the British variant had led officials to think the virus might have come through airport transit or it had stemmed from an international airline crew member.

The cases have one other household contact in their family unit. This person is also being tested and their results are pending.

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