Takeaway shutdown: Will food delivery services be operating during the level 4 alert?

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It's not good news for bad home cooks. Photo credit: Getty.

Foodies beware: As the country moves into a level 3 and subsequent level 4 alert, it's not good news for those who typically rely on Uber Eats for their dinner. 

Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern issued an address on Monday, declaring the nation had moved into COVID-19 alert level 3 and would rise to alert level 4 in 48 hours. The new status comes after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases shot to 102. 

As part of that address, Ardern iterated that "takeaway services must move to close their operations". 

That was bad news to many facing four long weeks at home, and raised the question if food box services like My Food Bag, and takeaway delivery services would be operating. 

According to New Zealand's Restaurant Association, all hospitality businesses including bars, restaurants and cafes must close their takeaway operations. 

"Food delivery businesses including those that make prepared meals (My Food Bag, Woop, Hello Fresh etc) are considered essential services and are still allowed to trade and deliver," says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

Fast food deliveries and Uber Eats eateries will stop operating, as they are classed as non-essential, she says. 

Bidois says they've faced tough questions from businesses asking what this means for the future. 

"This is an extremely challenging time for our country and for the world. As you can imagine we've been fielding a significant number of calls from our members looking for clarity on what this means for them," she says 

"One thing unites them all - they are all committed to playing their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 throughout New Zealand.

"We are now working with the government to see how our industry is able to assist and relieve pressure from the grocery sector along with helping our members to understand the impact of the restrictions that they are not operating under."

Even as takeaway operations cease, the PM has urged Kiwis not to sink into another frenzy of panic-buying, assuring that the supermarkets will stay open throughout the level 4 alert.