6 Sep 2021

'Delta 2': What's changed with alert level 2

7:45 pm on 6 September 2021

The government has announced New Zealand will move to alert level 2 from 11.59pm tomorrow, excluding the Auckland region.

Contact tracing app COVID-19 pandemic coronavirus. People wearing masks using phones.

Photo: 123rf / Elizaveta Galitckaia

At alert level 2, there are no restrictions on who can be included in your household bubble, businesses can open and you can go to work while kids can go off to school.

With the change in alert level to 'Delta 2' as the prime minister called it, schools will be given 48 hours to reopen from Thursday morning.

Essential workers crossing the alert-level border will be required to have weekly tests.

People who transit between Auckland will need to come through without stopping if they're moving from south of Auckland to Northland.

But it won't be the 'normal' alert level-2, as some of those settings have been changed in light of how much more transmissible the Delta variant is.

Here are the major changes to the rules.

Face coverings mandatory

Face coverings are now mandatory at level 2 in most public venues.

You can take your mask off in venues like restaurants and cafes.

Staff at public facing businesses in level 2 must wear face coverings.

In general, the government is asking you wear a mask if you visit any indoor venues.

Masks are not being mandated in schools, but it is being recommended.

Record keeping

The government expects the public to scan in using the Covid-19 tracer app everywhere they go.

It is mandatory at bars, restaurants, cinemas, churches, and close-contact venues like hairdressers. Customers must scan or have record keeping.

Mandatory record keeping comes into effect from 11:59 pm, 7 September.


Indoor hospitality venues now have a limit of 50 people, while outdoor venues will have a limit of 100 people.

This limit includes things like weddings, civil union ceremonies, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga.

Event and entertainment facilities including cinemas, stadiums and concert venues can open but again, if it's an indoor venue the capacity limit will be 50, and 100 if it's an outdoor venue.

If there are seperate 'defined spaces' at an event facility, you can have more than 50 people total in the venue, but there should not be any direct airflow between the defined spaces which have up to 50 people.

Indoor public facilities like gyms, which under the old level 2 did not previously have limits on people inside and required one-metre distancing, will now be required to enforce 2m distancing.

You can go to a bar or club, but there can't be a dancefloor, the limit of 50 people still applies and there can be seated service only.

For a full breakdown of alert level 2 rules visit the Ministry of Health website.

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