Alert level 2: Shopping and socialising rules explained

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

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Here’s our rundown on the rules for shopping and socialising at alert level 2. Level 2 kicked in at 11.59pm on Wednesday, 13 May, and will be in place for at least two weeks.

What stores can I go into now?

Stores can re-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 groups of 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 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.

What’s happening with bars?

Bars can’t re-open until Thursday, 21 May, unless their primary purpose is dining. Once open, they have to follow the same rules as cafes and restaurants.

Can I invite friends round for dinner?

Yes, you can break your bubble and get together with friends and whanau. From midday 29 May, the cap on group gatherings is 100 people.

While I be able to go to the library?

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

Will my gym be open under level 2?

Gyms can re-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 re-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 back to 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. The government recommends limiting the use of public transport to minimise the risk of contracting Covid-19.

Can I visit family in another town?

Yes. You can travel through the country 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.

When do schools open?

Schools and other educational facilities can reopen from 18 May. They’ll need to have public health measures in place to protect students and staff.

What’s happening with rubbish and recycling?

Rubbish collection will continue and recycling is likely to resume under level 2. Check your council’s website to see when recycling resumes.

Should I wear a mask when I go out?

The government isn’t recommending face masks. You can choose to wear one if you wish.

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