Yesterday the Government provided some more clarity on what a shift to Alert Level 3 will look like for our business community. We are still waiting to hear on Monday whether the country will be moving down to Alert Level 3 at midnight on Wednesday, April 22 or if the lockdown will be extended.

This morning Finance Minister Grant Robertson indicated that when we do shift to Alert Level 3 it would last for at least two weeks.

It’s good that we now have more detail on what Level 3 will look like. This will help businesses who are able to start operating again to prepare so they can hit the ground running when the alert levels are dropped.

The key message from PM Jacinda Ardern was that under Level 3 ‘Safe Businesses’ will also be able to operate along with ‘Essential Businesses’.

If people can work from home, they should continue to do so.

If they NEED to return to work, the workplace will need to apply clear and documented Health and Safety practices – more information on what will be required for specific sectors will be available in the coming days.

Businesses that are only accessed by the staff, and aren’t customer facing, such as those in building and construction or forestry, will be able to operate again under strict health and safety and physical distancing rules.

According to the PM, businesses that are accessed by the public or customers such as retail, hardware stores and restaurants will be able to operate but only for online or phone purchases and contactless delivery or click and collect.

This may require some innovation from businesses to continue operating. Already we are seeing some of our cafes and restaurants looking into utilising apps and other innovative systems to allow them to operate in a contactless manner.

We urge Coasters to support our local businesses that are going online and starting to operate in a click and collect manner. Order locally rather than from off the Coast if you can help it.

Under Level 3, businesses cannot offer services which involve face-to-face contact or sustained close contact (e.g. hairdressing, massages, house cleaning, etc).

While it is great news that under Level 3 more businesses will be able to operate again in some capacity, we still recognise how difficult this is for those who have longer to wait before they can get working again.

Again, we encourage any business going through this crisis to reach out for assistance. At DWC, we are here to help you.

Media Release: 17 April 2020