What level 2 might look like..

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has outlined what life will look under level 2, including details on retailing, hospitality, sport, education and travel, if Cabinet agrees to loosen lock down restrictions next week. No decision has been made to move to Level 2 just yet but the government is keen to do so sooner rather than later and it would be a phased approach.

Businesses like retail outlets and hairdressers will be able to reopen under alert level 2, but there will be strict rules to adher to. Each business will have to work out its own situation and basic hygiene must still be followed. Distancing measures in general will remain under a lower alert level.

For retail that means physical distancing for all staff and customers. For hairdressers and beauticians it means wearing appropriate PPE.

Hospitality operators will also be required to keep distancing at queues outside and will be shut down if they cannot do so. They can open if they can apply the following:

Seating: People must be seated to prevent the spread.

Separation: There must be social distancing between people and tables

Single server: Each table must have just one person serving it.

At level 2 any social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 100.

Public venues like museums and markets can open again, but with the same public hygiene limitations.

People will no longer need to stick to bubbles at level 2 – and will be able to visit friends and family. People are advised to keep gatherings small wherever possible.

You can travel between regions to visit family, but not to party at a conference with an open bar.

In education, early learning, schools and tertiary education can reopen at level 2, but again with hygiene measures. Capability to support distance learning will be maintained. Schools will open at the start of a week as opposed to mid week.


At alert level 2 playing it safe means two metres from strangers, but in your workplace or places where you’re around people you know or people we can contact trace later, we can live with less.

Ardern reminded New Zealanders that no decision on moving to level 2 has been made yet, and said she was not worried about people relaxing compliance because the country had moved down levels before.

“We’re eager to move too, but we want to do it safely.”

She said she did not want to pre-empt the decision to move to level 2, but the government was keen to do so sooner rather than later, which meant that when the decision was made it may be done in a “phased” approach.

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