Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Auckland will go to to Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country will go to Alert Level 2, from noon today. It comes as four cases of community transmission in South Auckland have been confirmed.
For Auckland this means cafes, bars, restaurants and other foodservice businesses must close their doors from noon, however contactless delivery and pick up is still allowed. The move to Level 3 for Auckland will last three days, finishing at midnight on Friday August 14. The area covered by Alert Level 3 is the Auckland super city – from Wellsford in the north to Pukekohe in the south. Police road blocks will be established to prevent people travelling into and out of Auckland .
The news was announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield at a press conference at 9 pm last night.
Ardern said we must take a “precautionary” approach as no origin had been found, or link to isolation facilities or people who work at the border.
“As a result, Auckland moves to level 3 restrictions from 12 noon today. The restrictions will last three days until midnight Friday. The rest of New Zealand will move to level 2 at the same time.
“These three days will give us time to assess the situation, gather information, make sure we have wide-spread contact tracing,” Ardern said. It is unclear wether the new Level 3 situation will impact the New Zealand general election, however campaigning has been suspended.
People will be required to work from home unless they are an essential worker. Schools will close. Now is a timely reminder to use the Government’s tracer app and adopt the QR code system which is available here to ensure all businesses can contact trace.
For the rest of the country Alert Level 2 neans hospitality businesses need to follow the three ‘S’s’ where practicable – with diners Seated, Separated and Served by a single served. There is also a limitof 100 guests at Level 2 .
ALERT LEVEL 3 HOSPITALITY OPERATING RULES
The Restaurant Association has provided the following guideline for operating at Level 3:
- 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.
LEVEL 2 REGULATIONS FOR HOSPITALITY
For hospitality business the key measures for operating at Level 2 are:
Restaurants, cafes & bars
- 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