Alert Level 3

Prepare Pacific Our Families Alert Level 3

Alert Level 3: Our 3-step plan to keep Auckland safe and ease restrictions.

In Auckland, restrictions under Alert Level 3 are being eased in 3 steps. This will allow friends and whānau to reconnect with each other and start to enjoy recreation, outings, and shopping at safe limits.

  • At Alert Level 3, you must continue to wear a face covering at certain places, and to keep 2 metres away from people who are not in your bubble. Scan in to keep track of where you go.
  • The easing of Alert Level 3 restrictions does not extend to the Northland and Waikato Alert Level 3 areas.
  • There are no changes to the reasons for personal and business travel.
  • The air and road boundaries between Auckland and the rest of the New Zealand, including the Alert Level 3 area in Northland and Waikato, remain in place.
  • Schools can reopen from 18 October 2021, depending on public health advice. A decision will be made closer to the time. Children aged 12 and over are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.
  • Moving to each step will depend on public health advice. Each step will be reviewed weekly.

Step 1.

Auckland is now at Step 1 at Alert Level 3. Some restrictions have eased to allow you to meet close friends and whānau.

  • You should continue to work or study from home if you can.
  • You are encouraged to continue wearing a face covering when you leave your home and when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Keep scanning QR codes, or keep another record of where you go.
Outdoor social gatherings between 2 households

Outdoor social gatherings between 2 households can go ahead, with a maximum of 10 people. The natural ventilation outside makes it harder for the virus to spread. You are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering and keep 2 metres apart from the other household. 

You can, for example, invite people from another household over for dinner in your backyard, but they cannot enter your house or use indoor facilities.

Tamariki (children) can have playdates with 1 other household at a time — as long it is outside and they do not go inside or use indoor facilities.

You can meet close friends and whānau from 1 other household at the park for a picnic or BBQ. You cannot travel in the same vehicle as people from the other household.


You can travel throughout the Auckland region for day trips to do an expanded range of outdoor recreation activities. A maximum of  2 households can gather, with a limit of 10 people. You must maintain 2 metre physical distancing. 

The following activities are permitted:

  • golf
  • hunting
  • sailing and boating — all boating activities should be limited to people from the same household
  • fishing from a private motorised boat or vessel
  • scuba diving
  • jetskiing
  • recreational flying

People from outside the Auckland region cannot travel into Auckland for recreation purposes.

Outdoor exercise classes

Outdoor exercise classes, for example, yoga or bootcamp, can take place with a maximum of 10 people, from 10 households. The limit includes the instructor taking the class. 

Everyone must stay 2 metres apart. We encourage you to wear a face covering when you are not exercising. You will not be able to use any indoor changing facilities. 

Find out more about sport and recreation at Alert Level 3.

Early learning centres
  • Early learning centres can reopen to all children, with a maximum of 10 children in each bubble.
  • Parents and caregivers must wear a face covering when picking up and dropping off their tamariki.
  • The Ministry of Health is asking early childhood teachers to get tested for COVID-19 before the return to teaching, even if they do not have symptoms. This testing is not a requirement, but is encouraged. Regular testing helps us to identify any undetected chains of transmission in the community.

Find out more about education at Alert Level 3 in Auckland

Activities that cannot go ahead   

At Step 1 many activities cannot go ahead, and most facilities remain closed.    

  • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities cannot open.
  • Most team sports, such as basketball or volleyball, cannot go ahead.
  • Overnight stays, for example at your bach or in AirBnB accommodation, cannot happen.
  • Camping, including hiring a campervan, cannot happen.
  • Businesses must still be contactless, so close-contact businesses such as hairdressers and barbers cannot operate or visit your home, including your backyard.
  • Dentists remain closed except for emergency or urgent care.
  • You can only travel to Waiheke Island or Great Barrier Island (Aotea Island) for recreation if you are a resident there.

Commercial tour or recreational businesses, such as kayak hire or boat tours, should not operate.

Step 2.

Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, but if the public health assessment tells us it is safe to do so, at step 2:

  • retail can operate, with customers able to enter premises, wearing face coverings and keeping 2 metres apart
  • public facilities like pools, libraries and museums can reopen, with face coverings and 2-metre physical distancing required
  • outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people can go ahead.

Step 3.

Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, but if the public health assessment tells us it is safe to do so, at step 3:

  • hospitality venues, like cafes, bars, and restaurants, can reopen with a limit of 50 people
  • event facilities likes cinemas, casinos, and theatres can open with a limit of 50 people in a defined space, wearing face coverings and 2-metre physical distancing
  • close contact businesses, like hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons, can reopen, with workers wearing face coverings 
  • social gatherings, indoors and outdoors, can take place with a limit of 50 people in a defined space.