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Updated 12 August 2020

Alert level 2: Shopping and socialising rules explained

What you need to know about the rules at alert level 2.

Here’s our rundown on the rules for shopping and socialising at alert level 2. Level 2 kicked in nationwide at 11.59pm, Sunday, 30 August.

What stores can I go into?

Stores are open at alert level 2. However, it’s not quite shopping as we know it.

Stores must put public health measures in place. This means ensuring a physical distance of 2m between customers so they’ll have to manage numbers.

With the exception of cafes, restaurants and bars, retailers don’t have to keep contact details of customers on their premises.

What are the rules for cafes and restaurants?

Cafes and restaurants can open. If you’re dining in, you must be seated, served by one person and physically separated 1m from other customers. Numbers are limited to 100 people.

The venue must maintain a contact register with customer details, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked for your name and phone number.

You can go to cafes to get counter food to take away to eat.

Can I invite friends round for dinner?

Yes, you can get together with friends and whānau. However, if you live in the Auckland region, social gatherings are limited to 10 people. This includes birthday parties, family events and weddings.

Outside of Auckland, the limit is 100 people.

Will I be able to go to the library?

Yes. Libraries and other public facilities can open under level 2 but visitor numbers will be restricted to 100 people.

Will my gym be open under level 2?

Gyms can open. Like other venues, physical distancing rules will apply. Gyms must restrict numbers to 100 people.

Are hairdressers operating under level 2?

Yes, hairdressers can open. They must have contact registers. Hairdressers don’t need to wear personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks.

Will banks be open?

Most branches will be operating normal hours. They’ll have physical distancing and contact-tracing measures in place. Check your bank’s website for opening hours.

Will buses and trains be running?

Yes, buses and other public transport will be operating under level 2. However, physical distancing rules apply, so capacity will be limited. Masks must also be worn on public transport.

Can I visit family in another town?

Yes. You can travel to other regions that are at level 2 but need to record what travel services you use and who you've been in contact with. If you’re driving, minimise the number of stops you make on the way to your destination.

When you’re out and about, maintain the 2m distance rule.

What about schools?

Schools and other educational facilities are open. They’ll need to have public health measures in place to protect students and staff.

What’s happening with rubbish and recycling?

Rubbish collection and recycling will continue under level 2. Check your council’s website for any updates.

Can I take my reusable coffee cup to a café?

It’s up to the café to decide if customers can bring in reusable cups. The café must have good hygiene processes if it allows them.

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Member comments

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22 Aug 2020
Can a café still be allowing self service under level 2?

Our local café has decided it's too hard to serve people while seated and had returned to self service. Can they do this?