Alert level 2 refresher: What it means for Wellington

Wellington is moving to alert level 2 after a person with COVID-19 travelled to the city from Sydney over the weekend. 

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the change in levels at a press conference on Wednesday. 

The capital will move to COVID-19 alert level 2 from 6pm on Wednesday and will stay there until at least 11:59pm on Sunday. There are several locations of interest that can be found here.  

Wellington, Kāpiti and Wairarapa are included in the alert level change.

What alert level 2 means for Wellington

Alert level 2 is called the "reduce" stage, it's enacted when it's believed "limited community transmission" of COVID-19 "could be occurring". Those who are at high risk of severe illness are encouraged to take additional precautions when out and about.


There are no household bubbles under alert level 2. You are allowed to socialise in groups of no more than 100, this includes weddings, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga. 

You are asked to keep a physical distance of two metres from people you don't know out in public and one metre distance from people in controlled settings such as the workplace.

You are allowed to travel domestically.

Work and school

It is safe to send kids to schools, early learning services and tertiary education, appropriate measures will be in place. 

In the workplace, you are encouraged to maintain a one metre distance from colleagues where possible. 

Health and disability services will also operate as normal. 


Sport and recreation activities are allowed as long as they comply with gathering restrictions, record keeping and "where practical" social distancing.

Public venues such as museums, libraries and pools will remain open but must ensure one metre physical distancing and record keeping. 

Cinemas, stadiums, concert venues and casinos will remain open but you must not mix with people from other groups.

You are allowed to continue to visit restaurants and other hospitality businesses as they remain open. At any recreational venue, you will have to social distance and scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer App or sign in manually. 


Businesses can remain open if they follow public health guidance including physical

distancing and record keeping. The Ministry of Health says "alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible".

Hospitality businesses must comply with the three S' - keeping groups of customers separated, seated and served by a single person. 

Retail stores are to encourage social distancing of shoppers. 

Event facilities such as cinemas, stadiums and concert venues can host more than 100 people at a time, "provided there are no more than 100 in a defined space, and the groups do not mix".

Face coverings 

Masks are required on public transport and aircraft, excluding the inter-island ferries. 

School buses and children under 12 are exempt from mask-wearing along with passengers in taxis or rideshare services and people with disabilities or mental health conditions.

Locations of interest 

There is a full list of places visited by the COVID-19 case on the Ministry of Health website.

Anyone who visited one of the locations during the relevant timeframes is considered to be a contact. Each location has instructions on what you need to do - if you are unsure call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

If your business is considered a location of interest the premises must be cleaned, staff who are casual plus contacts must stay at home until they get a negative test result back.

Staff who are casual contacts must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days, there is no requirement to stay at home.

Further information for businesses can be found here. 

The rest of Aotearoa

The rest of the country is still at alert level 1. You must continue to scan everywhere using the NZ COVID Tracer App, stay home if you feel sick and wear masks on public transport. 

COVID-19 symptoms include; a new or worsening cough, fever, shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing and runny nose and a temporary loss of smell.