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

Alert Level 4

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

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


Below is a guide for the horticulture sector operating at Alert Level 4.

Click here to download MPI's guidance.  

Operating at Alert Level 4

  • Primary industries (food and beverage production for both domestic consumption or export, plus the relevant support services) and veterinary and animal health and welfare services. It also includes 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.
  • Independent retailers and greengrocers cannot open at Alert Level 4, but are permitted to operate contactless delivery services. 

A complete list of businesses permitted to operate can be found here.

  • Wear a mask at all times for the greatest protection and effectiveness. Wear your mask to and from work, at work and any time you leave your home 'bubble'
  • Strengthen workplace bubbles. Be mindful of how staff travel to and from work and avoid congregations of staff during break times
  • Physical distancing is a minimum of 2 metres. Maximise the distance between staff where possible. If staff are within 2 metres of one another and are using Perspex screening, masks must also be worn
  • Consider reducing workplace density so that there are fewer people on site to help with social distancing and to mitigate risks
  • Clean and disinfect workplace surfaces regularly
  • Check and maintain ventilation systems to ensure optimum operation and safety
  • Temperature testing is recommended for on-site staff and visitors, along with contact tracing systems (e.g. QR codes, contact registrar). Staff with high temperatures must go home
  • If you are unwell, you must stay at home
  • 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.

  • Employees who live within an Alert Level 4 region and are travelling to work within that region, are required to provide travel letters in the event that Police stop them. The letters must detail: who the employee is, their role, who they work for and the reason for travel (essential work). A travel letter template can be downloaded below.
  • If you are an essential worker that lives and works within a Level 4 region, you do not need to register with MBIE or carry QR codes.
  • If you are an essential worker that lives in a Level 4 region and needs to travel beyond the regional Alert Level 4 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 4 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 4, 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.