Here's the latest Covid-19 information, relevant to our engineers, to help members navigate this changing, uncharted territory.

New Zealand’s Covid-19 elimination strategy had come to an end, and we now must look to a future where we balance people’s social and economic needs, while managing risk and impact where new cases of Covid-19 appear.

While the alert levels framework still provides a guiding template, it's clear it's being reconsidered. High vaccination rates nationwide are now key to the national response and country opening up again.

The construction sector is calling for a strong stance on vaccinations and we are working with the sector and ACE New Zealand on this. We expect to release this soon.

Immigration and MIQ will also come under scrutiny as the Government balances an inevitable rise in case numbers with the demands on our health system, the need to respond to skill shortages, and New Zealanders coming home.

Alert Level 3 areas

People in Alert Level 3 areas should not leave to go to an Alert Level 2 area, unless for permitted reasons. There are separate Alert Level boundaries around Northland, Auckland, and parts of Waikato. This means that if you wish to travel into an Alert Level 2 area or a different Alert Level 3 area, your travel across the alert level boundary must be permitted.

People needing to complete urgent building, construction and maintenance work may only cross out of Alert Level 3 area to a Level 2 area if they meet the criteria for permitted travel, under Schedule 5 of the Public Health Order.

In this scenario, businesses don't need to apply for a Business Travel Document from MBIE for workers to travel across the Level 3 boundary – unless travelling through or from Auckland.

We recommend employers provide a written letter detailing why workers are travelling to be used as documentation.

If you're travelling in and out of these Alert Level 3 areas, you're not required to provide evidence of a recent Covid-19 test, unless crossing the boundary with Auckland.

Read more about business travel across an Alert Level 3 boundary

Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland

Auckland remains in Alert Level 3, with restrictions slightly relaxed – as part of Step One. This means: 

  • outdoor gatherings between two households are permitted. Observe physical distancing rules and wear a face covering 
  • you can now travel for outdoor recreational purposes within the region
  • early childhood education centres may reopen, with a cap of 10 children. Masks must be worn when dropping off and collecting children. 

Step Two will see retail and public facilities re-opening, with 2m physical distancing requirements and outdoor gatherings capped at 25 people.

Step Three will see hospitality and close-contact businesses re-open – again with masks, distancing requirements, a cap of 50 in hospitality venues, and customers served and seated.

There's no indication of when Auckland may move to these next steps.

Find out more about Steps One, Two and Three

Read more on doing business in Auckland

Waikato and Northland

Northland and parts of Waikato, will stay in a full Alert Level 3 until 11.59pm Monday, 18 October to ensure there is no undetected community transmission of the virus.

Read guidance for Alert Level 3 in Northland

Read guidance for Alert Level 3 in Waikato

View the Alert Level 3 boundary map

Rest of New Zealand

The rest of the country remains at Alert Level 2.

Read Alert Level 2 guidance

Surveillance testing

As well as evidence of their reason to cross Auckland’s alert level boundary, most workers must also carry:

  • evidence they've had a Covid-19 test (you don't need evidence of a negative result – just need evidence you've been tested), or
  • a medical certificate confirming they have no Covid-19 symptoms and, for a particular reason, are unable to have a Covid-19 test.

Workers must get tested or be examined in the seven days before they cross the alert level boundary. Free testing is available at sites around Auckland or at GPs. Saliva testing is also an option. 

Workers don't need to stay home or away from work while they await test results.

Vaccination certificates – how might this impact you?

Vaccination is fundamental to our Covid-19 response and will be the key to enjoying access to more activities and services than those who are unvaccinated.

Vaccination certificates will be coming next month and will be available in hard copy or on your phone – but you won’t need both.

To get a certificate, you need a RealMe or My Health account. You'll then be able set up an account with My Covid Record. 

The government will soon release more details about how widely vaccination certificates will be applied. However, they're widely used in other countries to reduce the chance of transmission, particularly in high-risk settings like events and hospitality.

They won’t be required to access health services or supermarkets, but some businesses may choose to require them as a condition of entry.

Useful links

CHASNZ construction standards and protocols at different alert levels

MBIE guidance for building and the construction sector

Unite against Covid-19