Coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's seven rules for COVID-19 alert level 3

Next Monday at 11:59pm, Kiwis will enter into a new period of freedom as the Government officially deescalates its COVID-19 response to alert level 3.

But while we all know that means takeaway joints like KFC will be allowed to reopen - thanks to National MP Judith Collins - some other details remain a little hazy.

Here are the main rules under alert level 3, as expressed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday afternoon.

1. Stay home

"If you are not at work, school, exercising or getting essentials, then you must be at home - the same as alert level 4," Ardern said.

You can also leave home to do recreational activities like swimming, cycling and hiking, the Government revealed last week - though the rules are to keep it alone or in your bubble, keep it low-risk, and keep it un-motorised.

If you are in a small household 'bubble', you can also leave to join with another small bubble - such as with a close family member who would otherwise be alone.

2. Work and learn from home if you can

Many non-essential businesses and schools will be allowed to open during alert level 3. However, Ardern says it's important that employees and students try their best to do their working and learning from home, where possible.

"We still want the vast majority of people working from home, and children and young people learning from home," the Prime Minister explained.

"At-risk students and staff should also stay at home, and they will be supported to do so. Early learning centres and schools will physically be open for up to Year 10 families that need them."

3. Make your business COVID-19-safe

One of the keys to stopping transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand is ensuring businesses don't promote infection - which means tough hygiene and physical-distancing protocols in the workplace.

"COVID-19 has spread in workplaces, so the quid pro quo of being able to open is doing it in a way that doesn't spread the virus," Ardern said.

"Important industries like construction, manufacturing and forestry will be open - as will retail, as long as it is contactless."

4. Stay regional

There's a new mantra that replaces 'stay local' under alert level 3 - 'stay regional'. However the more local you stay the safer it is, the Prime Minister says.

"You can exercise at parks or beaches within your region, but the closer to home the better. Activities must be safe, keep two metres away from anyone not in your bubble, and make minimal trips."

Inter-regional trips are still not allowed, unless they meet the threshold of 'essential'. 

5. Keep your bubble as small as possible

Last week, the Prime Minister revealed that alert level 3 would mean expanding your bubble would be allowed. However, she clarified on Monday that this is only "if you need to".

"At level 3 you can expand your bubble a small amount to bring in close family, isolated people or caregivers," Ardern said.

This means children in shared care, a de facto partner who is caring for others or a single person who wants a companion are all able to have their bubble extended.

6. Keep high hygiene standards

It goes without saying, but hygiene is paramount to stopping a deadly virus from spreading - a point Ardern was eager to reiterate on Monday.

"Wash your hands often with soap, then dry them. Cough and sneeze into your elbow," she said.

7. If you're sick, stay at home

"This is a really important one… get advice from your GP or Healthline about getting a test, and quickly," she said.

"I cannot emphasise this enough. All of our success in contact-tracing and isolation relies on knowing as soon as we can when you're unwell.

"There is no stigma in COVID-19. We will only be successful if everyone is willing to play our part in finding it wherever it is."

In addition to these rules, the Government has revealed public venues such as libraries, museums, gyms and cinemas will stay closed at level 3. The majority of businesses in New Zealand will be allowed to open, however.

Bars, restaurants and cafes will not be allowed to open, but can offer takeaway and delivery options provided they are contactless.

Travel will still be restricted and is only allowed for permitted movement in your region, such as going to work or school, shopping or getting exercise. Public transport can only be used to get to school or work.