New Zealand defines “essential” construction as lockdown begins

New Zealand has entered "Alert Level 4" in its response to the coronavirus, and has told all but "essential" businesses to shut.

The aim is "to stop the virus in its tracks and reduce contact between people", said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The country currently has 205 confirmed cases.

MBIE gave three criteria for essential construction activity:

  • Any entity involved in building and construction related to essential services and critical infrastructure;
  • Any entity involved in building and construction required immediately to maintain human health and safety at home or work;
  • Any entity that performs or is involved in building and resource consenting necessary for the above purposes.

MBIE Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks said Alert Level 4 "is not business as usual".

"That’s why we need as many businesses as possible to close their premises now if our one shot at beating the virus is to be successful," he said.

Image: ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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