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COVID-19 Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3: Step 2 you can travel throughout Auckland for exercise and recreation outdoors. Our early childhood centres are open for enrolled children only.

Some customer-facing facilities like service centres and community centres are now open. Essential services continue.

Use the NZ COVID Tracer app, wear a face covering, maintain a 2m physical distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick. For information about council services and closures, see the COVID-19 section

Learn more about Auckland Council's response to COVID-19. See OurAuckland

COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Guidance for hospitality businesses

Operating under COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions

Opening food premises during Alert Level 3: Steps 1 and 2

Cafes and restaurants can open at Alert Level 3: Steps 1 and 2 for contactless pick-up, delivery or drive through only.

Customers are not allowed to dine in.

Setting up for contactless pick-up

Customers are not allowed to enter cafes and restaurants.

We encourage businesses to:

  • set up their contactless pick-up outside the front of their premises
  • try to stay within 60cm of the shopfront to allow enough space on the pavement for people to safely pass
  • take a sensible approach so that areas around their premises remain safe for customers and the general public.

Licences to trade in front of the premises

You will not need a street trading licence to use the area in front of your business for contactless pick-ups during Alert Level 3, steps 1 and 2.

For the Government's advice on safely running a hospitality venue in Tāmaki Makaurau under the Alert Level 3 steps, see Unite Against COVID-19.

Opening food and alcohol premises during Alert Level 3: Step 3

Cafes, restaurants, bars, night clubs and takeaway services can open with extra safety measures.

Responsibility for enforcing the COVID-19 order

The police have responsibility for enforcing the requirements of the COVID-19 order.

Requirements businesses must adhere to

All restaurants, cafes and bars can have a maximum of 50 people, all seated, within any defined space both inside and outside.

Social distancing requirements must be adhered to.

Definition of a 'defined space'

A defined space is any single indoor space or outdoor space.

An indoor space is a 'single space' if there are walls that substantially divide that space from other spaces, and the space does not share direct airflow with another indoor space.

An outdoor space is a 'single space' if there are walls that substantially divide that space from other spaces, or all people in that space are separated by at least 2m from other people who are outside that space.

Defined spaces that share facilities, such as toilets or bill-paying areas, must have systems and processes in place to prevent intermingling of people from different spaces. The police are responsible for monitoring compliance with these requirements.  

Alcohol licences

Requests for fast track alcohol licence applications

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act has strict requirements for alcohol licensing.

Auckland Council can’t fast track any application for a new licence or variation to an existing licence.

The Act requires all applications (new and variations) to have input from the police and Medical Officer of Health. There is also provision for objections by the general public. All applications are then considered by the District Licensing Committee.

There are currently delays in the police and Medical Officer of Health responding to applications with resources diverted to the COVID-19 response.

Apply for a licence or a variation to a licence – advice for businesses

Email if you want to apply for a new licence (including a special licence) or variation to an existing alcohol licence.

These are the current requirements under Alert Level 3: Step 3 and level Red, which businesses are working towards. These are subject to change following a further government announcement.

Outdoor dining licences

To support hospitality businesses, we will automatically extend without cost existing food-only outdoor dining licences issued under the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw.

The extension will last from the start of Alert Level 4 until Auckland returns to Alert Level 1 or level Green, or until 18 February 2022 (whichever is lesser). Application fees and rental fees will also not be charged for this period.

You don't need to contact us to receive this extension. If your licence expires during this period, you can continue to use the area outlined in the licence under the same conditions, without needing to renew.

If you wish to renew, you still can. You will receive your new 12-month licence at the end of the extension period.

New applications approved during this period will not receive the extension.

Requests for fast track outdoor dining licence applications for food only

Physical distancing can be a challenge for dine-in hospitality businesses, particularly those in small premises.

To help businesses make use of outdoor space, if they are not already doing so, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are committed to fast tracking new licences and extensions to food-only outdoor dining applications during Alert Level 3: Step 3 and levels Red and Orange. Applications for use of the footpath or other public space outside businesses will be considered.

How to apply for a fast track outdoor dining licence for food only

Email to apply for a new outdoor dining street trading licence or an amendment to an existing licence to support COVID-19 Alert Level 3: Step 3 and levels Red and Orange activities.

Auckland Council will facilitate the applications to the various agencies.

Auckland Council and Auckland Transport will consider the requirements of the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw, focusing on the proposed operation, location, and accessibility for pedestrians and other users of the footpath.

Additional street trading space will be considered if an application complies with all the operating parameters including all COVID-19 requirements.

What businesses extending their outdoor trading area need to be aware of

Our number one priority is ensuring that our trading environments and streets continue to be safe for everyone.

We ask that businesses are considerate of others and allow clear space for pedestrians.

We will also take a pragmatic approach to bars, cafes and restaurants using more space than normal to allow for increased distancing between tables during COVID-19 Alert Level 3: Step 3 and levels Red and Orange.

Businesses should also ensure there are no obstructions that would prevent an emergency response, including:

  • ensuring spaces around premises are kept clear of any hazards that may cause trips or other harm to customers or members of the public
  • making regular checks to ensure that all pedestrians, including those using mobility devices or prams, can easily move through the area and are not impeded by furniture or shop displays
  • being aware of any obstructions or groupings of people that may prevent an emergency response.

Where complaints are received from members of the public or property owners about unsafe practices, we will respond accordingly.

See Amendments to an outdoor dining licence for more information.

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