What you need to know:

The following emergency updates affect Wellington Region:

  • Pandemic

    The Wellington Region is at COVID-19 Alert Level 2

    Header stripes

    The Wellington Region is now at Alert Level 2

    What you need to know:

    The Greater Wellington region will remain in Alert Level 2 until 11:59pm Tuesday 21 September. We are urging all residents to follow level 2 guidelines carefully. 

    Alert Level 2 means that COVID- 19 is contained, but the risk of community transmission remains. Restrictions help us to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  

    There are some changes to what Alert Level 2 looks like this time.  

    If you are unwell 

    If you are sick, you should: 

    • Stay home. Do not go into work or school, or socialise with people outside of your household. 

    • Call your doctor, iwi health provider or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to get advice about being tested. 

    If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.  

     

    Getting a COVID-19 test 

    Get tested if: 

    • you have been at a location of interest at the specific dates and times listed on the Ministry of Health website. 

    • you have cold or flu-like symptoms. 

    Contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing and self-isolating. 

    If you are waiting on COVID-19 test results, you must isolate in your home or accommodation until you receive a negative test result.  

     

    Testing locations in the Wellington region: 

    If you need to get a COVID-19 test, there are a number of testing sites available across the region. Click on the links below to find ones in your area: 

    COVID-19 vaccinations 

    Vaccinations are available to anyone in New Zealand over the age of 12. For information on COVID-19 vaccinations on the Unite Against COVID website.   

    Reporting vaccine side-effects 

    Following your vaccination, you may receive a text from the Ministry of Health (MOH) to ask whether you had any reactions. This is part of the Post Vaccine Symptom Check survey, run by MOH to collect further information on vaccine side effects. You can participate in the survey even if you haven't had a reaction.   

    If you do not receive a text, you can report any reaction you have to the COVID-19 vaccine to The Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) using this form. CARM is a database of information about adverse reactions (side effects) to medicines and vaccines in New Zealand. 
     
    Most side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are very mild. However, if you feel unwell after your vaccination, speak to a healthcare professional or call Healthline on 0800 611 116. 

    Face coverings 

    Face coverings are now mandatory at Alert Level 2 for most people visiting and working in customer-facing businesses and services.  

    This is a new requirement at Alert Level 2 for when you’re visiting retail shops, and visiting indoor public facilities like museums, malls and libraries.  

    You legally must wear a face covering if you are aged 12 or over when: 

    • on public transport and at departure points — for example, airports, train stations and bus stops 

    • on flights 

    • in taxis or ride-share vehicles 

    • visiting a healthcare facility 

    • visiting an aged care facility 

    • inside retail businesses — for example, supermarkets, shopping malls, indoor marketplaces and takeaway food stores 

    • visiting the public areas within courts and tribunals, local and central Government agencies, and social service providers with customer service counters. 

    You legally must wear a face covering if you work: 

    • as a driver of a taxi or ride-share vehicle 

    • at close contact business — for example, barbers, beauticians, or hairdressers 

    • in a public facing role at a hospitality venue — for example, a cafe, restaurant, bar or nightclub 

    • at retail businesses, such as supermarkets, shopping malls, indoor marketplaces, takeaway food stores 

    • in the public areas of courts and tribunals, local and central Government agencies, and social service providers with customer service counters 

    • at indoor public facilities — for example, libraries and museums (but not swimming pools). 

    The current exemptions for face coverings are still in place. You do not need to wear a face covering if you: 

    • are under the age of 12 

    • have a physical or mental illness that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable 

    • have conditions or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable. 

    An exemption card (for the reasons listed above) can be found on the Disabled Persons Assembly Website though it is not mandatory to carry this card with you.  

     

    Travel 

    At Alert Level 2, you can travel, but make sure you do it in a safe way. 

    You can: 

    • use public transport, but to help achieve physical distancing passengers you must be seated — you are not permitted to stand 

    • use taxis and ride-share services to travel anywhere in New Zealand 

    • take a domestic flight for recreation and tourism to another Level 2 region. 

    You legally must wear a face covering when using public transport, airplanes (including in departure points such as train/bus stations) and in a taxi or ride-share vehicle. 

    You should not travel if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, or if you are awaiting a COVID-19 test result. 

    Travelling over Alert Level boundaries 

    Inter-regional travel between areas at Alert Level 2 is allowed but travel across Alert Level boundaries is restricted. Police checkpoints and checking evidence for travel will be in place at Alert Level boundaries. 

    Anyone wanting to travel across an Alert Level boundary needs to check whether they are eligible to travel. 

    Keep track of where you have been 

    From 11:59pm on Tuesday 7 September, many businesses and locations will be required to take steps to ensure people can easily make a record when they visit.  

    Use the NZ COVID Tracer app if you can. This helps with rapid contact tracing if it is required. 

    Workplaces 

    Businesses can open at Alert Level 2, but they legally must follow public health rules, this means:  

    Complying with general Alert Level 2 settings meeting appropriate public health requirements for their workplace (for example having contact tracing systems, face coverings, and physical distancing), and fulfilling all other health and safety obligations.  

    All workers should keep at least 1 metre apart, where possible. 

    Some workers legally must wear a face covering.  

    You legally must wear a face covering if you work: 

    • as a driver of a taxi or ride-share vehicle 

    • at close contact business — for example, barbers, beauticians, or hairdressers 

    • in a public facing role at a hospitality venue — for example, a cafe, restaurant, bar or nightclub 

    • at retail businesses, such as supermarkets, shopping malls, indoor marketplaces, takeaway food stores 

    • in the public areas of courts and tribunals, local and central Government agencies, and social service providers with customer service counters 

    • at indoor public facilities — for example, libraries and museums (but not swimming pools). 

    Businesses and workplaces legally must operate safely. All businesses are encouraged to use alternative ways of working if possible. Business premises can open for staff and customers provided they meet public health requirements.  

    Close contact services can operate if they meet public health measures, including mandatory record keeping, wearing of face coverings, good hygiene practices and minimised contact to the greatest extent possible. 

    Detailed advice on Doing business at Level 2 

     

    Physical distancing 

    At Alert Level 2, you can leave home, but you should follow public health measures and consider others around you. Keep your distance when outside your home. 

    You should keep a distance of at least: 

    • metres in public and in retail stores, like supermarkets, libraries, pools and shops 

    • metre in most other places like workplaces, bars, cafes, restaurants  

    To help achieve physical distancing, customers are not permitted to stand on public transport. 

    There are specific rules for businesses in hospitality, retail and in-home services and businesses organising events or gatherings. 

    Visiting bars and restaurants 

    At Alert Level 2 cafes, restaurants, bars, night clubs and takeaway services can open, but with extra safety measures. 

    For more information on the rules around eating out, visit the Unite Against COVID website. 

    Events and gatherings 

    • All gatherings (such as weddings, civil union ceremonies, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga) can go ahead but are restricted to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.  

    • All gatherings legally must record attendees to help with contact tracing if necessary.  

    • You cannot attend any gathering if you have COVID-19 symptoms or need to be in isolation or quarantine for any reason.  

    • Workplaces, education facilities, public transport and supermarkets are not considered gatherings. 

    Exercise and recreation 

    At Alert Level 2, you can do your usual sport and recreation activities if you can do them safely. 

    If you are sick, you should stay at home.  

    Public parks and playgrounds are open. 

    Indoor sports facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, dance studios and health clubs can open, but with extra safety measures. 

    Team sports events can continue, but are limited to 50 people at indoor venues and 100 people at outdoor venues. 

    Professional leagues can go ahead at Alert Level 2 because they take place in controlled workplaces. 

    Education 

    At Alert Level 2, children and young people can return to schools, kura, tertiary education facilities and early learning centers. 

    Children should not go to an educational facility if they are unwell. For more information on Education at Alert Level 2, visit the Unite Against COVID website. 

     

    Maintain good hygiene 

    It is important that you use basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces. 

     

    Healthcare and Wellbeing Support Helplines 

    Health and medical facilities will be open while we are at Alert Level 2.  

    There are a range of people and agencies that can support you if you, or someone you know, need help. 

    If you feel you are not coping, or you have concerns for others, it is important to talk with a Health professional. The following helplines are available for people needing help. 

    For a list of helplines and support services see here: Contact and support | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz) 

    For Emergency services always dial 111 if you or someone else is in immediate danger of harm, or may harm themselves.  

    For heath advice about babies or children contact Plunket on 0800 933 922 

    Support for Pacific people 

    For Pacific communities, there is targeted mental health support available via a dedicated 0800 number. 

    Mental Health support 

    For mental health or addiction support call or text 1737 for help.  

    • Need to Talk? — free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor 

    • Depression Helpline on 0800 111 757 

    Addiction support 

    The Alcohol Drug Helpline offers free support if you have concerns about your drinking and drug use, or  someone else’s. A trained counsellor is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

    Family Violence services 

    For support with family violence or sexual violence contact the Family Services 211 Helpline on 0800 211 211 

    • It is okay to leave your bubble to protect yourself or someone else from violence. For advice and support finding safe accommodation contact Women's Refuge on 0800 733 843  

    • If you or someone you know is experiencing Elder abuse, contact the Elder Abuse Helpline on 0800 326 6865 

    Support for Youth 

    • Youthline on 0800 376 633 or text 234 

    Child Safety 

    For concerns about the wellbeing of a child contact Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 459 

    Support for Rainbow community / LGBTQI+ 

     

     
     

     

     

     

    Financial assistance 

      

    If you are having trouble with money, there may be support available to you. 

    For more information on financial support, visit the Unite Against COVID website. 

    At-risk people 

    People at higher risk in particular should take extra precautions at Alert Level 2.  

    You are at high risk if you are over 70, have a compromised immune system or have underlying health conditions.  

    People with underlying medical conditions include a compromised immune system, liver disease, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes mellitus, pregnant people or those on immunosuppressant medications.  

    Advice for at-risk people can be found on the Unite Against COVID website.  

     

    In an emergency 

    If there is another emergency while we are at Alert Level 2, you should do what you would normally do.  

    If you feel an earthquake: drop, cover and hold during the shaking. If you’re near the coast, remember long or strong: get gone.  

    If you are advised to evacuate by authorities because of a tsunami, flood, fire or other emergency, follow the evacuation advice.  

    Emergency evacuation orders will override the COVID-19 Alert Level 2 requirements. If you have to evacuate and leave your house, take your grab bag with you, wear a face covering around other people if you can, and stay 2 metres away from others where it is safe to do so.  

    Adding a face covering to your grab bag ensures you always have one with you. 

    If life or property is threatened always dial 111 for police, fire or ambulance.