Coronavirus: Businesses react to alert level 3 guidelines

Many businesses are breathing a sigh of relief after it was revealed on Thursday they will be able to operate during alert level 3.

Construction, manufacturing and hospitality stores can all reopen if New Zealand moves to level 3 next week, but there are some strict rules. For those in retail and hospitality, there can be no face-to-face transactions, instead orders must be made through an app, online, over the phone or at a drive-thru.

Manufacturer Simon Smutz-Kennedy makes hats for everyone including the police, and he's well-prepared to open once the alert level shifts.

"No question, it will be up and running. We've diversified into masks, we really need to get into that market sooner than later," he says.

The CEO of New Zealand's largest private construction company Naylor Love says he's stoked that builders, plumbers and tradespeople have been given the green light to work.

"It's very heartening. The construction industry's been going through a lot of heartache in the last few weeks and a number of smaller contractors are suffering very badly because of the lack of cash flows," Rick Herd says.

It's estimated about 500,000 people are currently working in essential services, and that's expected to double, but there are still many stores that can't get up and running.

Owner of Christchurch's The Terrace Antony Gough says takeaway doesn't work for the bars and restaurants there.

"It's the restaurant experience that you actually come to The Terrace for, so it makes no difference to us at The Terrace. We don't expect any of ours to open for takeaways."

And even if you need a haircut, salons can't open under level 3.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says we can't rush the process through alert levels.

"I think the last thing that those businesses want to see is them starting up and then shutting down again."

A decision will be made on Monday on whether New Zealand will move to level 3.