COVID-19 Update – Ray Smith MPI – 27 February 2021

Kia Ora,

The Prime Minister announced tonight that Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 from 6am, Sunday February 28, and the rest of the country will move to Alert Level 2.

The Alert Levels will initially be in place for a period of seven days while further investigations are conducted.

The primary sector can continue to operate at both levels 2 and 3. Businesses and workers need to comply with the Government’s COVID-19 alert level settings and observe any protocols for their particular industry. For more information please see here.

An Alert Level boundary will be in place around Auckland. Many primary sector businesses will be able to travel across the Alert Level boundary.  These include businesses involved in:

  • primary processing, production and supply of food and drink. It also includes businesses involved in the production of packaging for the products of primary production for food ordrink and all businesses transporting freight.
  • veterinary and animal health and welfare services, but only if travel between Alert Level areas is necessary to enable the service to be provided and not providing the service would result in animal welfare concerns.

Please note, forestry and wood processing can operate within the alert level boundaries, but they will have to apply for an exemption to travel across the alert level boundary unless they are involved in packaging for food and drink.  Note that forestry and wood processing freight can cross the border, but not employees going to work.

More information about permitted activities, exemptions and travel across Alert Level boundaries can be found here on the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) website.

Register to travel

A reminder that MBIE has developed a Business Travel Register (see here)  to enable businesses and organisations to request travel documents: either for permitted activities or, if required, to seek an exemption to travel from the Director-General of Health if your business activity does not appear on the permitted activities referred to above.

The Business Travel Register will generate Business Travel Documents for workers to display at checkpoints.  This includes a QR code, which enables Police at the cordon to verify the document digitally against the travel register. It is important that today you register your businesses for travel.

If you requested and received Business Travel Documents during the Alert Level 3 in Auckland earlier this month, or received an exemption, you can use those documents and do not need to apply again.

Thank you for your perseverance and commitment to continue operating while keeping your staff and New Zealanders safe from COVID-19.

Ray Smith

MPI Director-General