Coronavirus: Where you can shop under alert level 3

If the Government deems the COVID-19 lockdown successful, the current alert level 4 could be moved to 3 - and now there is more clarity around what this will look like for New Zealanders.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed on Thursday that under level 3 some businesses would be able to reopen, but measures must be put in place to keep workers safe.

Supermarkets, dairies and petrol stations can continue to allow customers in their stores. The same restrictions that are in place under alert level 4 will remain the same under level 3.

Hospitality stores can reopen, but only for delivery, drive-thru and contactless pre-ordered pick up - customers can't enter stores.

All retail stores and malls must stay shut, but click-and-collect and online shopping can begin. Ardern says the "key principle" is face-to-face transactions can't take place, orders can only be made online or, in the case of drive-thrus, from your car.

Real estate agents can also open, but people should work from home if they can. Agents can enter people's homes but they can't have customers in their office, nor can they run open homes.

Construction companies can reopen too, but strict hygiene measures need to be put in place and office staff should preferably work from home.

No businesses can offer services that involve face-to-face contact or sustained close contact. This includes hairdressers, massage therapists, manicurists, beauticians, house cleaners, personal trainers, gyms and door-to-door salespeople.

There are some in-home services that are allowed but only if it's safe and a two-metre separation can be kept between those in the house. This means tradespeople including plumbers, electricians, furniture removers and other repairers can return to work.

Ardern says the principle for businesses and workplaces at level 3 moves from 'essential' operations only to 'safe' operations only, but there is still a need to reduce contact with people outside of your bubble as much as possible.

Any workplaces that reopen must use health and safety rules in the same way that businesses operating under level 4 have. That includes physical distancing and having good hygiene practices.

The move to reopen the hospitality industry through restricted takeaway services was welcomed by the Restaurant Association, who said it is "a lifeline" to them to start operating again.

"The ability to offer takeaway and delivery services offers our industry a lifeline in the lockdown, it's not a full solution and will not suit all industry but it may help keen some business afloat where it is appropriate," CEO Marisa Bidois says.

"Hospitality businesses are used to working to strict food control plans and we do not anticipate that the additional guidelines will cause our members any issues, many of whom are anxious to get back into the establishments."

Ardern says the different alert levels allow different amounts of contact with one another, and at level 3 there is still a high risk the virus could get out of control and bounce back.

"We have to wait and see if what we have done has worked. After a while, if we don't show further signs of illness, we can go back to a life that is a bit more normal, which is what alert level 2 really starts to feel like. If we deteriorate, it's back to lockdown at level 4.

"Just like when recovering from an illness, you still primarily stay home and that's the same message at level 3. Stay home, save lives. It remains the most effective way to break transmission."

The Government will make a decision on April 20 on whether the country will be lifted to alert level 3. Ardern says Thursday's clarification of level 3 restrictions "in no way foreshadows" the decision that will be made next week.

"Today is instead about giving time for business, and in fact everyone, to think about what the different alert levels will mean for them, so when it comes time to move, we will be ready to move."

She says they don't want to lose the gains that have been won during lockdown, so all data and information will be considered when they make the alert level decision.