The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Auckland to return to Alert Level 3 from August 12

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Auckland will return to Alert Level 3 from midday today, August 12.

Following four new cases of COVID-19 in South Auckland which do not have an overseas connection, Ardern said in a press conference tonight that “we need to take a much more precautionary approach until we find the source of this case.”

Therefore, after 102 days without any new COVID-19 cases, Auckland will once again shut down.

Everyone must work from home, schools, daycares and non-essential services – including bars, pubs and clubs – will close for three days from midday on August 12, until midnight on Friday, August 14.

The area covered by Alert Level 3 includes Wellsford in the north to Pukekohe in the south. Police road blocks will be established to prevent people travelling into and out of Auckland.

“We have been saying for some weeks it was inevitable that New Zealand would get another case of community transmission. This is a tricky virus,” Dr Ashley Bloomfield said in a press conference tonight.

“We have been working on the basis that it could be at any time, and been preparing for that time. That time is now.

“The health system is well prepared and the important thing now is that we stop the spread of the virus in our community.”

“These three days will give us time to assess the situation, gather information, make sure we have wide-spread contact tracing,” said Ardern.

“Act as if you have Covid, and as though people around you have Covid.”

The rest of New Zealand will move into Level 2 for three days from midday today.

For the full press conference, click here.

The Restaurant Assocation Guidelines for hospitality venues operating at Level 3 are:

  • Businesses must take health measures to keep their workers safe – maintain physical distance between workers, recording who is working together, limiting interaction between groups of workers, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining high hygiene standards.
  • Hospitality businesses can operate under Alert Level 3 for contactless delivery and pick-up (including drive-through) of pre-prepared food and beverages. Customers cannot enter your premises.
  • People are still instructed to stay home unless for essential personal movement. Essential personal movement is for activities such as accessing local services and businesses, recreation or work and school.

The Restaurant Association guidelines for hospitality venues operating at Level 2 are:

  • The overall limit on numbers is 100.
  • Multiple groups of 100 are allowed provided they are in separate ‘defined spaces’ and there is no mingling of people between the different spaces (including in common areas) (see below information on defined spaces).
  • 1 metre physical distancing is required between groups and there must be at least 1 metre between tables.
  • Only one server is to serve at any table, to the greatest extent practicable.
  • Records must be kept to enable contact tracing for workers and customers, but there is no longer a requirement to record physical addresses.
  • Customers must be seated at a table except where using the toilet, paying or departing, ordering and collecting food and drinks (at unlicensed premises
  • Ordering and collecting food and drinks at the counter is allowed for nonlicensed premises only, provided that physical distancing is maintained.
  • Ordering and collecting food and drinks at the counter is not permitted at bars or other licensed premises.


  • Takeaway food can be ordered from the counter of any establishment, irrespective of whether patrons are able to dine-in or not.
  • 2 metre physical distancing is required.
  • Record keeping is not mandatory.
  • To reduce lines and queuing you could encourage pre-ordering online, over the phone or via an app

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