Within 48 hours, New Zealand moves into alert level four to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone is required to stay home as of 11.59pm Wednesday. Except essential services. What are those?
Announcing the historic decision to institute a nationwide shutdown as of Wednesday, Jacinda Ardern laid out the exceptions. Supermarkets, banks, GPs, pharmacies, service stations, couriers and “other important frontline service providers” would be classed as essential services.
People can continue to use those services, though are encouraged to do so sparingly.
Schools are closed from tomorrow, with the exception of children of essential workers, who could attend until Wednesday.
Public transport and regional air travel would be restricted to “those involved in essential services and freight”. Domestic air travel is permitted “in some cases for people to leave the country and to get home to self-isolate.”
“Food, healthcare, energy, internet, waste collection and financial support will always be available. They must have health measures and contact tracing in place.”
Non-essential businesses must now close. All bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate must close their face to face function.
Over the next 48 hours as we move to Level 4, takeaway services must move to close their operations.
This is the official guidance as it stands.
Essential services by Sector
Accommodation – Lead agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Border – Lead agency: Customs New Zealand
Building and construction – Lead agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Courts, tribunals and the justice system – Lead agency: Ministry of Justice
Fast-moving consumer goods – Lead agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Financial services – Lead agency: Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Health – Lead agency: Ministry of Health
Local and national government – Lead agencies: Department of Internal Affairs (local government) and State Services Commission (national government)
Primary industries Including food and beverage production and processing – Lead agency: Ministry for Primary Industries
Public safety and national security – Lead agency: National Emergency Management Agency
Science – Lead agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Social services – Lead agency: Ministry of Social Development/Oranga Tamariki
Transport and logistics – Ministry of Transport
Utilities and communications, including supply chains – Lead agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Ministry for Culture and Heritage (for broadcasting)
These businesses will continue working, but will put in place alternative ways of working to keep employees safe, including shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing.
A call centre and free 0800 number is currently being set up to answer questions. For more specific information and updates please refer to the COVID19.govt.nz page.