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16 April 2020

Lockdown Level 3 – What You Need to Know

On 16 April 2020 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern provided more detail on what New Zealand might look like when we move to Lockdown Level 3. Level 3 was described as a “waiting room” during which if progress in suppressing Covid-19 continues, the country, or parts of it, can move to Level 2 and back to some degree of normalcy. However if things deteriorate during Level 3, we will likely move back to Level 4.


Here’s what you need to know about Level 3:




  • People must continue to work from home if they can.
  • The focus as to whether a workplace can open shifts from essential operations to safe operations.
  • If people cannot work from home, they can go to work but they must observe hygiene, cleaning regimes and social distancing practices. This involves keeping a one metre distance between workers, recording who is working together, disinfecting surfaces etc.
  • People who work in people’s homes e.g. furniture removals or tradespeople for repairs or installations, but must still observe hygiene and social distancing practices.
  • Bars, restaurants, cafes, malls, retail stores etc. must remain closed but can undertake home deliveries
  • Online shopping, drive-through, food delivery, click and collect etc. can reopen.
  • Supermarkets, dairies and petrol stations can continue to operate as per the restrictions and measures under Level 4.
  • Businesses cannot offer services that involve face-to-face contact e.g. hairdressers, house-cleaning etc.
  • A Health Framework with further information regarding the health sector will be released in the next 48 hours.
  • There will be a self-accreditation system online and worksite plans will need to be made. Further information on these systems will be made available next week.




  • Level 3 will still mean “significant restrictions” for New Zealanders.
  • You must stay home if you are ill.
  • At-risk people (older and immuno-compromised people) are encouraged to stay home as much as possible and take additional precautions if you need to leave their home. Do not interact with people outside of your bubble.
  • You can expand your bubble a small amount, e.g. to close family/whanau, families who want an additional caregiver for children, or single person who wants some company e.g. a sibling. Keep your bubble small and exclusive.
  • Continue with social distancing – act like you have Covid-19 or as though others around you have Covid-19.
  • Funerals and weddings can go ahead but no more than 10 people can attend. Only services can take place – there cannot be any food, meals or receptions.
  • Keep notes of places you have been, when you were there, and who you were there with – this helps with contact tracing.
  • If there are signs of congregation the restrictions will be reviewed.


Travel and Recreation


  • You can travel in your local area e.g. take children to school and travel to work.
  • If you were trapped away from home due to the lockdown, you may return home.
  • Essential workers can travel to other regions for work.
  • Public transport is still available and you should observe social distancing while using it.
  • The list of recreational activities will be increased e.g. you can fish from shore, go swimming, or tramping for day walks on easy trails etc., however you cannot use any motorised equipment and must continue to observe social distancing. You can also go surfing or mountain-biking if you are experienced.
  • You can drive to a nearby park or beach for recreation or exercise.




  • There will be a partial reopening of education for early childhood centres and schools up to Year 10 only.
  • Sending children to school is voluntary and people are encouraged to continue with distance learning if possible.
  • Children will be kept in their own school bubbles to limit contact as much as possible.
  • Tertiary education will continue through distance learning, except on campus research or practical courses such as trades courses that cannot be done remotely and where hygiene and social distancing can be observed.


A decision on whether to move down to Level 3 will be made on Monday 20 April 2020. We will then also be told how long the country is likely to spend in Level 3. Though times are uncertain, Saunders & Co Lawyers are still available by phone and email to provide legal advice and guidance. For more information and specific legal advice on your employment relations and health and safety obligations, please contact us here.