New Zealand is in COVID-19 lockdown

Parent taking child's temperature

New Zealand is in COVID-19 lockdown

Schools are closed and only essential services are open.

Updated on 31 March 2020 at 12:30pm by Auckland for Kids

Jacinda Arden lifted the COVID-19 alert to Level 4 – Elimate in New Zealand on Wednesday 25 March 2020 at 11:59pm.  New Zealand is now in a lockdown of all non-essential businesses and services and people staying close to their homes. For the most up to date information on COVID-19 in New Zealand see:

Schools closed entirely on Wednesday 25 March 2020. 

Essential services will  be open at all alert levels. 

New Zealanders who are not in essential services are being asked to stay at home. You can leave the house for a walk or exercise, however you must keep 2 metres distance from others.  You are allowed to go outside with your family members who live in the same house with you or people who share your house (your bubble).

Personal walks and other active travel like cycling or scootering is fine, provided you keep a 2 metre distance from anybody outside your household. Stick to simple outdoor exercise and avoid areas where you can get injured or lost.

With continued vigilance the Ministry of Health website states that the “chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low“. For the Minstry of Health’s latest updates, information and advice on COVID-19 please refer to their announcements here:

Border measures were also put in place in New Zealand. From 19 March 2020 only New Zealand residents and citizens (and their children and partners) are permitted to enter New Zealand. Travellers who have arrived in New Zealand within the last 14 days are required to self isolate for 14 days – check the Ministry of Health’s information for travellers arriving to New Zealand to find out more.

Can I leave my house?

You should stay at home as much as possible, except for going for a walk or picking up essentials. You should not enter other people’s houses or arrange meetings in public places.

If you leave your home keep a 2 metre distance from other people at all times. When you return home from being in public, thoroughly wash your hands. 

Can I use my car?

Driving in private vehicles is allowed. You can only travel if your’e accessing essential services or you’re an essential worker travelling to, form or as part of your essential work. You should only travel in your car with people from your household. Remember any unnecessary travel may spread COVID-19.

Can I use public transport?

Public transport and domestic air travel will only be available for people who work in essential services, medical reasons and freight. 

International air travel is permitted in some cases for people to leave the country and to get home to self-isolate. 

What places are open?

Essential services that are open include: supermarkets, pharmacies, GP’s, medical clinics, hospitals, banks, service stations, couriers to move essential goods and vets. You should stay home unless visiting an essential service.

Essential businesses according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment are businesses that support people and provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand. This includes food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support. See a full list of essential businesses here:

On 30 March 2020 it was decided that the online sale of essential non-food consumer products would also be allowed.

What places are closed in Auckland to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

All early childhood centres, schools, universities and public venues such as libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, amusement parks and non-essential businesses are closed while New Zealand is in lockdown. 

What does lockdown in New Zealand mean for parents with shared custody?

Children in shared custody arrangements can go between parents’ households if the parents live within an hour’s drive of each other.  Parents from different households must keep a distance of more than 2 meters from each other.  If the parents are more than an hour’s drive away, then the children should stay in one home. Children should also stay in one home if they’re feeling unwell, or if someone in their home is unwell or has been overseas in the last 14 days. This will protect the health of parents, caregivers and children.

Have the school holidays been brought forward?

The school holidays at public schools which were scheduled to start on 9 April, were brought forward to start early on  Monday 30 March until Tuesday 14 April 2020 inclusive. Find out more here:

Will any events be allowed to go ahead in Auckland?

All indoor and outdoor events are banned during Level 4 Lockdown in New Zealand. This includes weddings, birthday celebrations and other gatherings too.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The Ministry of Health’s website states that “Like the flu, COVID-19 can be transmitted from person to person. The scientific evidence confirms that COVID-19 is spread by droplets. This means that when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, they may generate droplets containing the virus. These droplets are too large to stay in the air for long, so they quickly settle on surrounding surfaces.

Droplet-spread diseases can be spread by: coughing and sneezing, close personal contact and contact with an object or surface with viral particles on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

That’s why it’s really important to practice good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands and practice good cough etiquette.”

How can you protect yourself and others from COVID-19

The Ministry of Health recommends that you should practice good hygiene by:

  • covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or coughing/sneezing into your elbow

  • disposing of used tissues appropriately in a bin

  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

  • washing hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and drying them thoroughly, or use hand sanitiser:

    • before eating or handling food

    • after using the toilet

    • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses

    • after caring for sick people.

  • keep 2 meters away from other people.

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