NZ COVID-19: What you need to know as New Zealand plunges into alert level 4

New Zealand will go into alert level four lockdown after New Zealand recorded a new community COVID-19 case on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Health confirmed the new case at 2:30pm. It is New Zealand's first community case in 170 days.

As a result the Government has put the whole country into alert level four lockdown for three days from from 11.59pm on Tuesday. 

Here is a refresher on life at alert level 4:


At alert level four, there is a risk to the community of sustained and intensive community transmission occurring and potentially a widespread outbreak.

New Zealanders are instructed to stay at home in their bubble other than for essential movements.

Safe recreational activity is allowed in your local area however travel is severely limited.

Social distancing parameters are back in force - health officials say you should stay two metres away from others when outside the home. While in controlled environments such as schools or workplaces, 1 metre is sufficient.

Basic hygiene measures must be observed, including hand washing and regularly sanitising surfaces. 

People are urged to use the COVID Tracer App to keep track of their movements.

Social gatherings and events are prohibited, including wedding services and funerals and tangihanga. 

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 19: A man waves from a bus carrying passengers who disembarked the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship as he leaves the Daikoku Pier on February 19, 2020 in Yokohama, Japan. About 500 passengers who have tested negative for the coronavirus (COVID-19) were allowed to disembark the cruise ship on Wednesday after 14 days quarantine period as at least 542 passengers and crew onboard have tested positive for the coronavirus. Including cases onboard the ship, 615 people in Japan have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 making it the worst affected country outside of China.  (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty Images


Businesses are closed except for essential services including supermarkets, pharmacies, medical clinics, and petrol stations.

All public venues such as libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds and markets are closed at level 4.

Educational facilities such as universities, schools and polytechnics are closed - most students will return to online learning over the course of the lockdown.

Unite Against COVID-19 says employers in those sectors legally must continue to meet their health and safety obligations.

"At all Alert Levels, if there is another emergency, follow normal emergency procedures. Emergency evacuation orders will override COVID-19 Alert System requirements to stay at home."


Air travel and public transport are only available for essential services and workers during alert level 4.

Those that do use them are required to wear face coverings; Auckland Transport issued a statement earlier on Tuesday.

"Auckland Transport is reminding all commuters that face masks must be worn on public transport and customers are advised to scan the Ministry of Health’s QR code on buses, trains and ferries," a spokesperson said.

"AT recommends that customers also register their AT HOP card to help with contact tracing.

"Everyone 12 years and older must wear a face covering on public transport at all Alert Levels.

"Face masks are on sale in vending machines at public transport facilities across Auckland. The masks are in 42 machines at bus and rail stations and ferry wharves."

Follow Newshub's live updates of the developing COVID-19 situation here.