Covid-19: Click here for the latest Covid-19 information for the horticulture industry.

Alert Level 3

Growers should follow all Government guidelines in order to protect their businesses and workers from Covid.

Protocols around workplace bubbles, 2 metre distancing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are a minimum and must continue to be followed.  

The Alert Level 3 - Steps 1, 2 & 3 ease some restrictions on social gatherings only. There is no change to workplace health and safety protocols for growers. Read more here.

Operating at Alert Level 3

The businesses listed below can open under Alert Level 3 so long as they can operate safely and offer services not requiring close personal contact:

  • Essential services are the only businesses that can have customers on their premises. For horticulture, these include: 
    • Supermarkets, greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers, dairies and food banks
    • Primary industries (food and beverage production for domestic consumption or export, plus the relevant support services)
    • Businesses transporting freight
    • Pest management services, key elements of pulp and paper plants and solid fuel
    • Services involved in diagnostics for critical businesses or services like biosecurity, food safety, or public health
    • Passenger services, including public transport by road, rail, air or sea
  • Retail can operate via click and collect, while places such as takeaways, bars and restaurants can operate via delivery, drive-thru or contactless pick up

If you own or run a business where staff cannot work home, make sure:

  • Keep physical distancing to a minimum of 1 metre between employees. Maximise the distance between staff where possible
  • Record keeping/contact tracing is now mandatory. Those responsible for businesses or events must ensure they have record keeping/contact tracing in place at all alert levels - either by having QR codes available to scan or by making a manual record. Read more here.
  • Under Alert Level 3, face coverings are legally required:
    • On public transport 
    • On domestic flights 
    • If you are a taxi or ride-share driver. 
  • Encourage workers to wear a face covering if physical distancing is difficult
  • Have personal protective equipment (PPE) available for employees to use  
  • Provide hygiene and cleaning products so workers can clean and disinfect shared surfaces, and wash and dry their hands
  • Display your Covid QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system for people who cannot access a smartphone
  • Strengthen workplace bubbles. Be mindful of how staff travel to and from work and avoid congregations of staff during break times
  • Consider reducing workplace density so that there are fewer people on site to help with social distancing and to mitigate risks
  • If you or an employee are unwell, stay home. There is funding available to support people who have to stay home while awaiting a Covid test, click here for more details.

  • If you are an essential worker that lives and works within a Level 3 region, it is suggested you carry a letter from your employer (see template below). You do not need to register with MBIE or carry QR codes for travel within the same region.
  • If you live in a Level 3 region and need to travel beyond the regional Alert Level 3 boundaries, you will need to apply for Business Travel Documentation (an exemption) through MBIE to do so. Each worker must carry their individual exemption documents, photo identification and associated QR code whenever they travel from one Alert Level to another.
  • Essential workers crossing an Alert Level 3 Boundary will need to show proof that they’ve had a test within the past 7 days. They won’t need to wait for the test results before travelling. See below for more info.
  • Essential workers can use public transport to commute to work.
  • At Level 3, it is a legal requirement for everyone to wear a face covering on all public transport.

Download the Travel Letter template here

Apply for a Business Travel Exemption here

View the Alert Level boundary map here  

If you are a member of the following groups, please visit your product group's site for more specific information on operating at Alert Level 4:

NZ Apples & Pears

NZ Avocado

Kiwifruit growers

Potatoes NZ

Preparing for Covid-19 — Checklist for growers

It’s only a matter of time before a positive case of Covid-19 turns up on your farm, orchard or packhouse. Is your business prepared if one does?

It’s important you have a plan to ensure your farm can continue to operate if you, an employee, or a family member contracts Covid-19. You may be required to leave your property quickly.

Having a plan will help give you peace of mind that others will be able to step in and help.

The checklist below is intended to help you create a plan in the event you are required to leave your property and are unable to look after your crops, staff and business. The detail contained in your plan is unique to your own property and circumstances to allow family, friends or neighbours to come in and help continue your operation.