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Updated 21 September 2021

Alert level 3: What’s open and what’s closed

Where you can and can’t shop during alert level 3.

Here’s what you need to know about services available during alert level 3.

What stores can I go into?

Essential services will remain open. This includes supermarkets, dairies, pharmacies and petrol stations.

You must wear a face covering and keep 2m distance from people you don't know. Retailers may limit the number of people instore to meet physical distancing requirements. Keep a record of your visit as well.

What’s happening with other retailers?

Other retailers can operate provided they do so in a “contactless way”. This means taking online and phone orders. Delivery or pick-up must also be contactless.

These rules apply to big box retailers as well as other traders such as bookshops, clothing stores and garden centres.

So I can buy appliances online and get them delivered?

Yes. You can order appliances – and any other consumer goods – online and get them delivered.

What about cafés, restaurants and takeaways?

Cafes and restaurants can offer contactless delivery, and pick-up of food and non-alcoholic drinks. They can also operate drive-throughs. But there’s no sit-down dining as they can’t allow food to be eaten on their premises.

Food delivery services, such as Delivereasy and Uber Eats, can operate under level 3.

Services such as My Food Bag (which deliver food that’s not pre-cooked) will continue to operate.

What about bottle stores?

Liquor stores can only offer contactless pick-up and delivery (provided their liquor licence allows delivery).

Stores in licensing trust areas where there’s nowhere else to buy alcohol can open their doors but must operate a “one-in one-out” policy.

Will self-service laundromats be open?

Yes. Self-service laundries will remain open. However, the 2m physical distancing rule must be used.

What about gyms? Do I have to keep paying membership fees?

Gyms and other exercise facilities must close until alert level 2. We expect gyms to be putting membership fees on hold as customers can’t use the facilities.

Will banks be open?

Most bank branches will remain closed. Some will open for limited hours – check your bank’s website for details. Key banking services are available – this includes ATMs, phone and online banking.

Will mechanics be open?

Mechanics can open under level 3 provided they don’t have any physical contact with customers. This is likely to mean arranging pick-up and delivery of your vehicle.

Can I call a plumber or sparky to get repairs done?

Yes. Tradies can do in-home repairs provided it’s safe to do so. They must keep a 2m distance from those in the house.

What about my rubbish and recycling?

Rubbish collection will continue. Check your council’s website to see if recycling is being collected at level 3.

Will libraries be open?

Unfortunately, libraries and other public venues will be closed under level 3.

Will my hairdresser be open?

No. Hairdressers can’t open or go to people’s homes to cut hair.

Can I go to the movies?

No. Movie theatres and other entertainment venues will be closed until alert level 2. When they open, they’ll have to comply with physical distancing and other rules, such as having no more than 100 people indoors.

What’s happening with mail?

Posties are still on the beat delivering mail.

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Member comments

Get access to comment

Jo D.
05 Sep 2021
Picking up a new puppy

Once Auckland moves to level 3 will I be able to pick up a new puppy from Hamilton if it's contactless?

Doreen S.
02 May 2020
Doggy daycare and groomers

They have now been cleared to open under level 3

Grant R.
02 May 2020

Are motels open under level 3, or will they be open again under level 2 ? Thanks.

Consumer staff
11 May 2020
Re: Accommodation

Hi Grant,

Travel is still restricted under alert level 3 so it's best to check with the specific motel. We still don't know what sort of travel will be allowed under alert level 2.

Kind regards,
Aneleise - Consumer NZ staff

Grant R.
02 May 2020
Cook Straight Ferries

Does anyone know if people with cars are able to travel between the North and South Islands yet ? If not, does that service become available at level 2 ?
I’m not an essential worker, just someone wanting to move to the South Island to live there.

Consumer staff
11 May 2020
Re: Cook Strait Ferries

Hi Grant,

You can travel on the ferries during alert level 3 if you are moving from one island to another. See and for more information.

Kind regards,
Aneleise - Consumer NZ staff

Lynn B.
28 Mar 2020

What is happening with mail? How can I mail a package to the USA with all post shops closed? Is FedEx operating? I cant get through to them, will they pick up an international package to the US?

Lloyd B.
04 Apr 2020
Essentual services

Mail deliveries seem to be ocuring butno post offices are open. Please claarify this situation.


Consumer staff
28 Apr 2020
Re: Mail

Hi Lynn, Lloyd,

Some NZ Post retail outlets will re-open at level 3. You can check the NZ Post Store locator tool to find out which outlets are open:

Fonda - Consumer NZ staff