COVID-19 Alert Level Restrictions for NZ Tradies

New Zealand Tools & Guides

covid-19 alert level restrictions nz tradies

UPDATED 26 SEPTEMBER 2021

Current Lockdown Alert Level in New Zealand

Auckland: Alert Level 3
Rest of NZ: Alert Level 2

The NZ Government’s Alert Level system moves fast and can differ by region. It can be hard to keep up with what tradies, contractors, and trade businesses can or can’t do at each level of lockdown. We've made it easy to understand by putting all the info you need in one place.

Above all else, stay isolated from others if you feel sick. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Jump ahead:

Alert Level 4 for trade businesses

At Alert Level 4 lockdown, anyone not working in an essential service must stay at home. There is to be no physical contact with anyone outside of your immediate household bubble. If you can work from home you should, otherwise, you must stay at home.

Can tradies work in Alert Level 4?

Tradies are expected to use their common sense to determine if the service they are providing is essential during Alert Level 4.

Essential businesses are defined as businesses that are essential to the provision of life. For the trades industry, this includes electricians, plumbers, and builders who provide maintenance services required to maintain the necessities of life or critical safety.

Examples of essential vs non-essential work in Alert Level 4

Non-urgent work must wait. To help you distinguish the difference, here are some examples:

    • Plumbers: you can repair or replace a failed hot water cylinder for sanitation purposes, but you can't replace a toilet that's currently working. 
    • Electricians: you can repair or replace security alarms, but connecting someone’s home theatre system isn’t considered essential. 
    • Builders: you can repair damage to a building that prevents occupants from having a dry, warm home, but you can’t pour a concrete slab for a BBQ.

If you’ve been asked to provide emergency service and need to leave your isolation bubble, you must operate in a way that minimises the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Follow guidelines on the WorkSafe website.

Regional travel for NZ tradies in Alert Level 4

You can only leave home to shop for groceries, access necessary healthcare, get a COVID-19 test, exercise in your local area, or go to work if you are working in an Alert Level 4 service and cannot work from home.

If you have to travel for essential work, there may be restrictions on moving in and out of a region that is in Alert Level 4. Find the latest information on travel and how to apply for an exemption on the COVID-19 website.

Buying building supplies in Alert Level 4

Building and construction suppliers are still open for essential work supplies only.

View the full Alert Level summary PDF.

Alert Level 3 for trade businesses

At Alert Level 3 lockdown, you must still work from home if you can. That means that if you have office staff, they will need to continue to work from home — they can’t go back into the office.

Can tradies work in Alert Level 3?

Tradies can go back to work under certain conditions. Tradies heading back to work must follow health and safety guidelines including contact tracing, social distancing and any mask requirements. Please familiarise yourself with the latest updates to health and safety guidance on the WorkSafe website.

There are detailed Health & Safety standards now available for the industry. Here is a quick overview of what you need to be thinking about:

  • You can work - Tradies can do repairs and installations if it is safe to do so. Plumbers, electricians and tradespeople can work on customers’ property e.g. in their homes
  • You must operate safely - Avoid face-to-face contact and stay at least two-metres away from customers. If you need to enter a client’s home or business for a job, ask if there’s a back entrance you can use, and make sure they are aware and will comply with the physical distancing guidelines. You should also confirm in advance that your client (and anyone else on site) is symptom-free.
  • Physical distancing on a work site - While maintaining 2 metres physical distance from others is recommended whenever possible, that’s not always going to be practical on a job site. In a controlled environment such as a building site, 1 metre distancing from other workers is required.
  • Be smart with scheduling jobs - If you have a team working for you, all the same rules apply. Send one employee only to a job if possible, or if more than one person is required, try to send them in separate vehicles and make sure they stay one metre apart. Maintaining a distance of two metres is even safer, if possible.
  • Contact tracing is necessary - Keep a detailed record of where you and your staff have been and who you’ve been in contact with. This helps authorities trace transmission if one of you (or one of your customers) contracts the virus.

How effective is your mask against COVID-19?

Regional travel for NZ tradies in Alert Level 3

There may be certain restrictions on travelling in or out of a region that is in Alert Level 3. Find the latest information on travel and how to apply for an exemption on the COVID-19 website.

Buying building supplies in Alert Level 3

Building and construction suppliers are open. Suppliers should have health & safety measures in place to help control the spread of COVID-19.

blog_bodyimage_pipefix plumbing putting equipment back into van

Alert Level 2 for trade businesses

At Alert Level 2, all businesses can reopen but physical distancing of one metre will apply, as will stricter health and safety rules.

Can tradies work in Alert Level 2?

Tradies can work but you must follow health and safety guidelines including contact tracing, social distancing and any mask requirements. Please familiarise yourself with the latest updates to health and safety guidance on the WorkSafe website

Regional travel for NZ tradies in Alert Level 2

Workers are allowed to travel outside their own region under Alert Level 2.

Buying supplies in Alert Level 2

Building and construction suppliers are open. Suppliers should have health & safety measures in place to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Alert Level 1 for trade businesses

At Alert Level 1 tradies can work and operate as normal, following guidelines on the WorkSafe website.

Regional travel for NZ tradies in Alert Level 1

Workers are allowed to travel outside their own region under Alert Level 1.

Buying supplies in Alert Level 1

Building and construction suppliers are open. Suppliers should have health & safety measures in place to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Government support for tradies affected by COVID-19

The NZ Government has financial support available for businesses affected by COVID-19. Visit the business.gov website for more information.

Contact tracing tips for tradies

Businesses will be asked to provide the following contact information for the people an infected person has come into contact with. You will be required to keep this data for 14 days.

  • Date
  • Time
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Sounds like a lot of information to keep on top of? You’re not wrong. To ensure your daily interactions are up to date we recommend keeping accurate timesheets. These should ideally be updated at the end of every work session/job you complete.

Tradify helps you contact trace

While Tradify already handles timesheets with ease, we also have a Contact Tracing Report. This report lets you see which customers and staff any member of your team has been in contact with. This on-demand report is created through information entered in timesheets or the Scheduler. When required, you will be able to filter by date to view the critical information you may be asked to provide to authorities (date, time, name, contact details). 

Contact Tracing Report in Tradify

Not a Tradify customer but want to use our Contact Tracing Report for your trade business? Start a free trial instantly, or give us a call on 0800 003 189.