Refresher: Everything you're allowed to do and buy from Tuesday when lockdown lifts

The COVID-19 lockdown will switch to alert level 3 tonight which means Kiwis are about to get a small taste of freedom.

Last week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country would move to alert level 3 at 11:59pm on Monday 27.

Ardern also revealed which businesses can and can't operate under the new level, confirming that some businesses will be allowed to return but many restrictions will remain.

Ardern said any workplaces that reopen need to follow strict health and safety rules, including physical distancing and good hygiene practices.

Level 3 is very similar to level 4, however it does allow for a few extra luxuries. 


The current lockdown only allows for essential travel, but under level 3 that is changed to "safe" travel. 

You can drive a short distance, for example a 45 minute drive to somewhere to go for a walk or run. 

Travel is still restricted to regionally for things such as going to work or school, shopping or getting exercise, and you can only use public transport to travel to school or work.  


While restaurants, bars and cafes can't physically open they are allowed to open for takeaways or pick up, as long as they practice social distancing.

Public venues such as cinemas, pools, and libraries will all remain closed, and gatherings of up to 10 people are only allowed for funerals and weddings. Retail stores will stay shut but can sell online if they can follow the safety guidelines. 

Ardern stressed that businesses that rely on face-to-face interactions cannot open under level 3, these include hairdressers, massage therapists, manicurists, beauticians, house cleaners, personal trainers, gyms and door-to-door salespeople.

Construction companies can open but only if they follow strict health and safety guidelines.

If you're looking to buy or sell a house, you're in luck because real estate agents can open but should work from home if possible. Agents can enter people's homes but they can't have customers in their office, nor can they run open homes.


Good news for stressed parents, schools will reopen but only for certain students. 

Schools will open on Wednesday 29 for children up to year 10 who either cannot learn from home, or whose parents are returning to work. However, the playgrounds will be shut and parents are urged to keep children home if they can. 

As for seeing your friends, sadly that will have to wait for level 2. But if you are in a small bubble there is the option to merge with another bubble if necessary - for example, a close family member who would otherwise be alone. 


When it comes to exercise under level 3 there is a bit more freedom. Regional travel to exercise is allowed, as are activities such as hiking and biking, as long as you're familiar with the trail, do it during the day, and keep your distance from others. 

Swimming, surfing, and fishing from land are all also allowed but boating is not. 

However, these activities are only available if you have done them before. Last week Ardern stressed that level 3 isn't the time to try a new activity.

And while we get a glimpse of freedom, the Prime Minister says it's important people continue to stay home when possible. 

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

Ardern also said anyone who can must continue working from home. 

As of Sunday there have been 1470 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand. Of those, 1142 have recovered. Seven remain in hospital, one in ICU in Middlemore. There have been 18 deaths.