COVID-19 response

The latest updates, information and advice from the New Zealand Government on COVID-19 can be found at 

New Zealand is now at Alert Level 2. At Alert Level 2 we can resume many of our everyday activities – but we have to do so safely.

  • Most businesses can open if they can do it safely. This will help to get people back to work.
  • We can go in-store at local businesses.
  • Tertiary education facilities, schools and early learning centres will be open.
  • We can travel between regions.
  • Initially gatherings like weddings, funerals, tangihanga, religious ceremonies and social gatherings can have up to 10 people.
  • We can safely connect and socialise with close friends and family, in groups of 10.
  • We can visit local cafes and restaurants to have a meal (bars will open on May 21st).
  • We can return to our regular recreation activities, at first keeping to 10 people.

Personal Movement

At Alert Level 2, you can leave home to do more things, but you should follow public health measures and consider others around you.

Follow these physical distancing rules:

  • Keep your distance when out and about (ideally 2 metres).
  • 1 metre from others in most other environments, unless there are mitigating measures. Examples of times where you should keep 1 metre between groups include cafes, church groups, gatherings, restaurants and retail stores.
  • Take extra care if you interact with people you don’t know. These situations include playgrounds, parks, shopping malls or walking along the street.

There will be a few times at Alert Level 2 where it won’t be possible to maintain physical distance, so there will be other measures to manage public health risks. Examples include hairdressing, physiotherapists, home help, and public transport.

Local public transport will continue to operate but in a reduced capacity. Check your local provider for more information.

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Helpline

The delivery of welfare services has now transitioned to Ministry of Social Development. If you are in need of advice or support please contact one of the following organisations

If you are an existing Work and Income New Zealand client or a New Zealand resident needing financial support: please ring Work and Income on 0800 559 009.

If you have been temporarily displaced from your home due to COVID-19 and need support to find short term temporary accommodation, please call the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment ‘s Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163 

If you are a foreign national in need of support and have been unable to access assistance from your embassy please contact the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 880 and ask to speak to the Civil Defence welfare team.

If you’re not sure what assistance may be available or don’t know who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997


Financial assistance

A broad range of financial assistance packages are available for those who need them. Find out more on the national website here

Public transport

Public transport is still available but please follow safe distancing and hygiene protocols while using buses.

See passenger registration requirements and service level changes at  

Personal protective equipment use for non-health essential workers

The Ministry of Health has released updated guidelines for using personal protective equipment (PPE) in non-health essential workplaces. 

There are a series of informative videos, posters and general information.

Visit the Ministry of Health website for more information

Recent media releases
Local contacts for further information and advice

Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Board information

Information for Māori


Help and advice in other languages

A range of information for non-english speakers is available here