Covid-19 Alert Level 3 – what does it mean for your business?

Covid19 work from home conference call

As the country has grappled with the challenges of Level 4 over the last three weeks, we take a look now at what Level 3 means for businesses and their employees and how these changes will affect your business.

COVID-19 is scary, and it’s having a massive impact on the way we work, socialise, travel, access healthcare, exercise, shop and live. Many of you will be feeling anxious, stressed, worried and scared – that’s normal. In this post, our aim is to give you some easy to understand quick tips, about how you can look after your business and employees during COVID-19 as we all get through this together.

What Alert Level 3 looks like for businesses

At Alert Level 3, everyone must still work from home unless that’s not possible. Workplaces can be reopened if the work can’t be done from home and the workplace can operate consistently with public health guidance. However, there cannot be any contact with the public. For example, any retail purchases need to be by contactless purchase and delivery, including drive-through, click and collect. Retail storefronts cannot open to customers (except supermarkets, dairies and petrol stations).

Click here for the full coverage of Workplace operations at COVID-19 alert levels.

Business operations at Alert Level 3

When Alert Level 3 arrives, it isn’t an open invitation to bring employees back to the workplace. The Government ruling is that everyone must still work from home, and if that’s not possible alternative ways of working would need to be found.

Here are my insights on what Alert Level 3 means for your business

  • It doesn’t appear to me that there will be much more help from Government for businesses
  • The prime minister will today release guidance on Alert Levels 2 and 3, which should give us a better idea of what post-lockdown life will look like for our businesses
  • The Alert Level 4 lockdown officially ends on Monday 27th April at 11.59pm – we are still in Alert Level 4 until then.
  • Alert Level 3 will hold for two weeks, before Cabinet reviews how we are tracking and makes further decisions on 11 May.
  • The Prime Minister has recommended that the rest of this week should be a time for preparation in readiness for Alert Level 3
  • The Government’s decision today allows many businesses to get going again, and for many people to go back to work
  • Schools will be able to open soon after we move into Alert Level 3
  • At Alert Level 3 we will need to be even more vigilant. All of us will need to unite against COVID-19 by sticking to the rules.
  • In Alert Level 3 you will be able to check stocks in warehouses and take orders online but no trading can happen until Monday 27th April
  • This is also a time to work out how to ensure social distancing in your workplace

What you can do for your business at Alert Level 3

The months ahead will be volatile and disruptive for all businesses so preparation and planning are paramount right now.

This is a good opportunity to work on your business as many of you will have the time, so use it wisely.

Take a close look at your business to see what improvements you can make and what innovations you can come up.

Make sure you keep the lines of communication open with your customers on how you will be working and keep them updated.

Planning and preparation for the months ahead are paramount:  here are some things you should be doing:

  • Update your cash flow forecast to include actuals to date
  • When we have more information about how you can possibly trade during Alert Levels 2 and 3, update your contingency plan
  • When we have more information about how you can possibly trade during Alert Levels 2 and 3, update your cash flow forecast (again for up to 12 weeks)
  • When we have more information about how we are allowed to trade in Alert Levels 3, 2 and 1 – you will need to update your Health and Safety policies. The Prime Minister has noted this means updating the hazard register and implementing effective controls to manage the risk. This will need to be rolled out on day 1 to staff when we return to work.

It is vital that businesses are honest and realistic and prepare for what is ahead in retail.

This is a time to be creative in your business, reinvent and refine your products and/or services and work collaboratively with other businesses in your community as you continue to service the community.

Here are some resources that will find helpful and informative:

More information on Level 3 here:

Guidance for essential businesses here:

Business support during COVID-19

EBOP Chamber COVID-19 support

Our next post will follow shortly with information on Wage Subsidies – stay tuned.

If anyone would like further clarification or more information on the above, please contact me here.

Until then, stay safe, stay home and stay in your bubble!

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