Coronavirus: New Zealand will start moving to alert level 2 from Thursday

Publish Date
Monday, 11 May 2020, 4:05PM

The Prime Minister has just announced New Zealand will start moving to alert level 2 of lockdown from Thursday 14 May.

On Thursday, retail, malls, cafes, restaurants, cinema and other public spaces can reopen. All require physical distancing. Health services will also restart.

Friends and family can also be reunited from Thursday.

From Monday 18 May all schools and ECE centres will open.

On Thursday 21 May, bars will be able to open, including the three Ss rules that she outlined last week.

Bars posed the most risk, Jacinda Arden said. South Korea had opened bars but then closed them again after there was an outbreak.

She said these few extra days allowed the country to lock in the gains that had been made so far.

In 10 days, most businesses would be reopened, much sooner than most other countries around the world.

Social gatherings should be kept small for now, she said.

Bars won't be able to take group bookings for groups larger than 10.

Larger gatherings of people will be at the movies but will be spaced out. Sport crowds can be spaced out as well.

The alert level will be reviewed in two weeks, and if the numbers are still looking good, gatherings of larger sizes will be permitted.

New Zealand has been in alert level 3 for 14 days, following 33 days in alert level 4.

For more information visit

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What will life at Alert Level 2 look like?

Life at Alert Level 2 means we can resume many of our everyday activities — but we have to do so safely.

  • All businesses can open if they can do it safely. This will help to get people back to work.
  • We can go in-store at local businesses.
  • Tertiary education facilities, schools and early learning centres will be open.
  • We can travel between regions.
  • We can safely connect and socialise with close friends and family.
  • We can visit local restaurants, cafes and bars.
  • We can return to our regular recreation activities.
  • We can celebrate life's important moments with our loved ones such as weddings, funerals, birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Small religious gatherings and ceremonies can be held with public health measures in place.


What Level 1 will look like

Alert level 1 is when Covid-19 is contained and New Zealand is prepared for an outbreak.

Restrictions under alert level 1 include:

  • Border entry measures to minimise risk of importing COVID-19 cases.
  • Intensive testing for COVID-19.
  • Rapid contact tracing of any positive case.
  • Self-isolation and quarantine required.
  • Schools and workplaces open, and must operate safely.
  • Physical distancing encouraged.
  • No restrictions on gatherings.
  • Stay home if you're sick, report flu-like symptoms.
  • Wash and dry hands, cough into elbow, don't touch your face.
  • No restrictions on domestic transport – avoid public transport or travel if sick.


This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.