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After an extended Cabinet meeting on Monday morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced we are moving into level 2 in stages, starting at 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Retail stores, malls, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and public spaces including playgrounds and gyms can open this Thursday.

On Monday, May 18, children and young people will return to school.

And next Thursday, May 21, bars will be able to open, as long as they maintain the “three Ss” rule outlined last week. This rule means hospitality businesses should keep groups seated, separated and they should use table service with a single server to a group. This means each group has one server, though servers can each serve more than one table.


• When moving about in public, ideally stay two metres away from strangers.

• A one-metre physical distancing rule will be used in most other environments, unless there are mitigating measures. Examples of environments where you should maintain one metre distancing include cafes, church groups, gatherings, restaurants and retail stores.


• All gatherings should record attendees to help for contact tracing if needed.

• Ardern said gatherings would be limited to 10 people, even for weddings or funerals. That 10-person limit will be reviewed in two weeks.

• According to the official Government website on Covid-19, you can have friends and family over to visit your home, but play it safe


When engaging with customers businesses should:

• Maintain good contact registers, or contact tracing records, to record everyone who they interact with on the premises.

• Maintain physical distancing of one metre between groups of customers.

• Hospitality businesses should keep groups seated, separated, and use a single server if possible. This means each group has one server, though servers can each serve more than one table.


• Under alert level 2 Kiwis will be able to resume walking, biking and hunting on public conservation land. Public swimming pools and gyms will reopen with restrictions. Boating and motorised watersports will resume.

• Sport activities (including those that involve close contact) are allowed but only if good contact registers are maintained, the conditions on gatherings are observed and – where practical – physical distancing is used. No one should train or play if they have symptoms of Covid-19.

• Last week, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson said professional sports could resume domestically subject to necessary public health measures. At that stage, Investec Super Rugby and the ANZ Premiership Netball League had already confirmed their intention to resume domestic competition.


Public health advice is that schools and early learning services are safe to open onsite at alert level 2 to all learners. Schools will not make this transition midweek but at the start of next week.

• According to the Ministry of Education website, playground, sports equipment use and sports, including contact sports, can resume under certain conditions.

• School transport services will also return to normal schedules.

  • Tertiary education facilities will implement public health requirements and physical distancing as appropriate for the context. They will need to maintain distance learning capability to help manage within these constraints, and ensure safety of staff and students at risk of Covid-19.


• You can travel around the country but must keep records of what travel services you use and who you have been in contact with. Keep your distance from groups of people you don’t know. You should minimise the number of places you stop on the way to your destination.

• You must not travel to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings at alert level 2.


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