What COVID-19 alert level 2 means for domestic travel in New Zealand

New Zealanders will be allowed to travel around the country under COVID-19 alert level 2, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday.

The new guidelines allow domestic tourism so long as travellers follow "good personal health measures", similar to those being imposed on the hospitality industry.

When asked directly if domestic travel for tourism purposes is allowed, the Prime Minister said yes - with conditions.

"It's not so much the travel - although we want you to do that safely - it's what you do when you get there that also matters," said Ardern.

"If you're engaging in activities with your family and if you're maintaining physical distance when you're out and about, your mindful of your personal hygiene, then yes.

"If you're travelling for a large gathering in someone's home or you intend to meet up with a large group of people then that's not a safe purpose for travel."

Anyone travelling will need to keep records of what travel services they use and keep track of who they have been in contact with. As well as keeping distance from groups of people they don’t know, travellers should minimise the number of places they stop on the way to their destination.

People must not travel if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or need to self-isolate.

The news will come as a relief to the tourism industry, which has essentially been closed since border restrictions first came into place in March.

The change has also been welcomed by those keen to begin travelling again.

Ardern shared an email she'd received from a "wonderful Kiwi named Judith" who spoke of her desire to go on holiday somewhere in New Zealand once travel restrictions were lifted.

Attractions such as museums, food courts and markets will be open again at alert level 2, however, there will be restrictions in place including the requirement to keep groups of attendees 1m apart.