COVID-19 – agency consideration of alert level 3

Updated 22 April 2020

As New Zealand prepares to move into alert level 3, many businesses that cannot operate remotely but can operate safely at work are preparing for return to work following several weeks in lockdown.

Under alert level 3 all businesses that are permitted to resume operations need to have a  COVID-19 response plan(external link) that sets out how they’ll operate safely.  Plans need to be discussed and with everyone at work – including workers, contractors, and suppliers – before the work starts. Plans should be reviewed and updated regularly.

WorkSafe have  released guidance for businesses(external link) which includes information on key controls that have been decided as necessary to minimise the risk of passing on the COVID-19 virus at work.  Additional guidance has also been developed for certain types of businesses, including sector standards and common controls developed for a number of sectors (construction, retail etc.).

Sector guidance cannot be prepared in the same way for the public sector due to diverse nature of our operations, but agencies do share a number of common risk areas.

The Government Health and Safety Lead has pulled together a simple one page guide for agencies as we transition to alert level 3.