What does level 4 Lockdown mean to New Zealand?
With the world in a global pandemic, New Zealand has once again moved into a COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. We discuss what this means to New Zealanders and the protocols that must be followed to keep us all safe.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. This variant of the coronaviruses can affect your lungs, airways and other organs. It is highly contagious and has swept around the world with 4,417,5171 deaths worldwide to date.
The outbreak of COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan China. On 28th February 2020 the first case of COVID-19 was reported in New Zealand. There have since been 26 deaths from COVID-19 in New Zealand.
What does Alert Level 4 mean?
Alert Level 4 is the highest alert level in New Zealand. It means there has been an outbreak of the virus in the community, and until this has been bought back under control, everyone must stay home.
Here is a summary of the rules that must be followed at Alert Level 4:
- Everyone must stay home. You are allowed to leave your home to exercise, get groceries, access healthcare, or to get a COVID-19 test. If you are an essential worker, you can still go to work.
- If you can work from home, you can continue to work. Otherwise, there is a Government wage subsidy for those who cannot work due to the lockdown. Speak to your employer to find out what this means for you.
- If you go out, you must wear a face mask. This includes on public transport, in the grocery store, or visiting any healthcare facilities.
- Supermarkets and primary industries such as pharmacies and banks remain open.
- You must stay within your own bubble. This means not interacting with other families or people until Alert Level 4 is lifted. If you go out, you must maintain a 2 metre distance between yourself and others.
- You must sanitise your hands before entering and when leaving any supermarkets or other buildings you visit.
- If you have a child in shared care, your shared care arrangement can continue, so long as you are in the same city.
- All education and childcare centres are closed. Each school will have its own methods for continuing studies for children, so contact your school to find out what this means for your children.
- Use contact tracing methods whenever you visit a business. You can download the COVID-19 Tracer app or use the COVID tracing sheets provided by each business.
Vaccinations under Level 4
Vaccinations are continuing during Alert Level 4. If you have an appointment you can still attend, so long as you wear a mask and are not unwell. You must also physical distance.
Vaccinations have now been extended to 12-15 year old children.
What if there is an emergency?
If there is an emergency, follow the normal protocol. Call 111 for any medical, fire or other emergencies.
What if I'm a business?
If you operate a business you must close unless:
- You are an essential service
- Your staff can operate from home
If your business will sustain substantial financial loss from closing during the lockdowns, you can claim the government wage subsidy for your staff. You can find out more here.
If you operate an essential service, you will need to sanitise and disinfect your business regularly to keep your customers safe.
Where can I find more information?
1 Cited https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ 20/08/2021