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Covid 19 Level 3 Hero

GUIDANCE FOR OPERATING AT ALERT LEVEL 3 

Covid-19 Alert Level 3 is not business as usual or a return to “normal”. It is a slightly less restricted version of Alert Level 4. See this document for more information on Alert descriptions.

We’ve created the following additional alert pages:

The Golden Rules for businesses at Alert Level 3:

  1. If your business requires close physical contact it can’t operate.
  2. Your staff should work from home if they can.
  3. Businesses must display the Government QR code poster for use with the NZ Covid Tracer App and keep an alternative contact tracing system. We recommend people scan in or provide their contact details.
  4. Customers cannot come onto your premises - unless you are a supermarket, dairy, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, petrol station, pharmacy or permitted health service.
  5. Your business must be contactless. Your customers can pay online, over the phone or in a contactless way. Delivery or pick-up must also be contactless.
  6. Basic hygiene measures must be maintained. Physical distancing, hand washing and regularly cleaning surfaces. Workers must stay home if they are sick.
  7. Staff must remain a minimum of 1 metre apart at all times where practical. Other measures, such as PPE including face coverings, should be used where appropriate.
  8. Different advice applies to essential healthcare workers, border agencies, courts and tribunal staff, first responders and corrections staff. Visit health.govt.nz for more advice.
  9. You must legally meet all other health and safety obligations.

Other information:

  • Workplaces can reopen if: the work cannot be done from home, and the workplace can operate safely in line with public health guidance.
  • Essential services may have contact with the public but minimise this as much as possible
  • Social distancing remains important: 2m from customers (only if you have to engage with them) and 1m from co-workers
  • You must create and display a Covid-19 Safe Workplace Plan:
    • Consult with staff when developing this plan
    • Think about how restrictions impact existing H&S practices
    • Record workplace interactions – who works with who; did you speak to customers (who?)
    • Make the Covid-19 Safe Workplace Plan available to staff, suppliers, and customers
    • Customers, suppliers and staff, need to understand how your site operates under Alert Level 3

We’ve developed a Safe Workplace Plan template to assist you >> Here is an example of a Safe Workplace Plan >>

  • Stick to your plan and follow the simple principles of restrict contact, clean everything, track & trace
  • Private travel is still restricted to “essential purposes” (e.g. shopping, healthcare, accessing local businesses, etc)
  • WorkSafe will be visiting workplaces to audit Covid-19 safe workplace plans. 

Business travel across boundaries in Alert Level 3

The Government has announced a new process for travel during a resurgence of Covid-19. During a regional resurgence, travel into or out of an affected region may be limited with a Covid-19 Alert Level Boundary.

It’s important to note that travel will only be allowed for specific reasons and within specific parameters. You must adhere to the conditions under which your exemption was granted.

Where possible, travel must be minimised and everyone should work remotely if they can.

In order to travel across the boundary you will need to have proof that you either fit into a permitted activity or have a specific exemption to travel. The Business Travel Document is one form of accepted evidence. For example, freight or delivery vehicles could provide delivery dockets.

Exemptions will be limited to critical activity only. Requests will need to meet criteria and many requests will not be approved.

If you are permitted activity, you are already allowed to cross the boundary, but getting the official Business Travel Document will make the process of crossing a boundary much quicker and easier.

Read more about business travel across boundaries here >>

Before you open

If your business is open for Alert Level 3, here is a checklist of things you need to think about. The list applies to ALL sectors.

Setting up your workplace appropriately

  • Organise your suppliers/stock and buy anything you need (see below).

Complete and display a Covid-19 Safe Workplace Plan

Think about:

  • Consulting with staff when developing this plan.
  • How restrictions may impact existing H&S practices.
  • How you will look after your customers and suppliers?
  • How you will manage staff?
    • How many customers do you expect (considering travel restrictions including regional lockdowns).
    • Will you need all your workforce?
    • Can some (office staff) work from home?

Complete your risk assessment (health & safety)

  • Review your business operations and do a risk assessment.
  • Make a plan for how each part of your operation can be performed safely: If you can’t find a safe, hygienic way to do something, you should not do it. Returning to 100% of operations will not always be possible.

More detailed information on completing a Risk Assessment is available further down this page.

Think about how to manage your staff

Before staff come into work:

  • Get them all on a conference call using a platform such as Zoom (so you only need to have one conversation)
  • Share your re-opening plans and what that means for them. Get their feedback. This includes things like:
    • Rostering on to work (split shifts, reduced hours, etc).
    • Inducting them on the new Covid-19 Safe Workplace Plan.
    • Allocating tasks that may be outside their usual scope of work (e.g. office administrative tasks, workplace cleaning, etc).

A Covid-19 Health and Safety Checklist is available here >>

Temporarily reducing hours/wages in response to lockdown

If you find yourself in the position of needing to reduce hours or wages during level 3 and/or 4, you MUST make sure you are doing so legally. Employment law means you cannot tell employee you are reducing their wages/hours, you must get their agreement in writing.

Posters

Some key posters >>

Contact register

At Alert Level 2 and higher, you legally must have an alternative system - such as these Contact Register Forms - for people who do not use the NZ Covid Tracer app. You may be contacted if your business is a potential contact.

Learn more about Covid-19 contact tracing, including privacy recommendations for customer information that you collect.

Suppliers & Contractors

  • Identify all parts; cleaning equipment and PPE; courier; other businesses you trade with etc
  • Let them know procedures you have in place to be safe.

Customers

  • Tell them (email; phone etc) you are re-opening for business and how things will work
  • If appropriate, send them a copy of your “Safe Work Plan”.

Personal protection equipment (PPE) and cleaning products

Get supplies organised. This may include, but is not limited, to the following items:

  • Mop and bucket
  • Liquid soap
  • Disinfectant
  • Wipes
  • Rubbish bags
  • Hand sanitiser, gloves, disposable seat covers for repairers.

Places you can buy from:

Before cleaning vehicles. Read all product instructions and test the cleaning agent on a small piece of the vehicle first.

Getting paid by customers

The three options below meet the requirement to avoid face-to-face contact with your customer. This means your customer does not have to physically touch your EFTPOS machine. The first option “MOTO” lets you take your customer’s debit/credit details over the phone and manually enter these into your EFTPOS terminal yourself. The second sends the money direct from your customer’s bank account to yours. The third option is payWave – this will require a special EFTPOS machine and will incur additional bank charges.

Set up “MOTO” on your EFTPOS terminal/s

MOTO * (Mail Order/Telephone Order) allows you and your staff to enter your customer’s credit / debit card number into your EFTPOS terminal over the phone (to avoid all contact). Find out more here >>

Step 1: Contact your bank

  • Call your bank’s Merchant Services team (see numbers below)
    • ASB: 0800 803 804
    • ANZ: 0800 473 453 / nzmerchantbusiness@anz.com
    • BNZ: 0800 737 774
    • Heartland Bank: 0800 80 91 91
    • Kiwibank: 0800 601 601
    • Westpac: 0800 888 066.
  • Ask them if you have “MOTO” on your merchant account
  • If you DO NOT have it, ask them to turn it on
  • Ask them the date this will be done by.

Step 2: Contact your EFTPOS provider

  • Let them know your bank has allowed you to setup “MOTO”
  • Ask them the date this will be done by
  • Some provider contact details:
    • EFTPOS NZ: 0800 EFTPOS (0800 338 767, option 4),
    • EFTCO: 0800 180 180,
    • SMARTPAY: 0800 476 278,
    • POSMATE: 0800 POS MATE (767 6283).
Online banking
  • Have your bank account and reference details ready for your customer (customer name; customer number; invoice number, etc)
  • Banks in NZ send payments to each other at least once every hour Monday to Friday from about 9am to 11pm on business days only
  • If your bank is the same as your customer’s bank, then you will receive the money immediately when they send it to you
  • When you have completed the work for your customer:
    • Ask your customer to pay their bill by internet banking
    • Ask them whom they bank with (this is good to know because if their bank is the same as yours, when they send their payment to you will see it immediately in your bank account).
    • Ask them to send you a screen shot/copy of the confirmation they will get on their screen to show the payment has been made to you. Check to see they have got your bank account number correct
    • Arrange a pick-up time:
      • If your customer banks with a different bank to you: make pickup time about two hours after they say they have sent the payment. By this time, you should see the payment in your bank account
      • If your customer has the same bank as you, set an early pick up (as your money will arrive immediately into your account when they send it)
  • If for any reason a payment isn’t processed that day, get your customer to check with their bank to ensure the payment has been made to you. Do not accept the line “I sent it to you, there must be something wrong at your end”.
payWave

payWave is a contactless payment technology that lets customers use their enabled Visa cards or mobile device at the point of sale (POS). Refer to your bank for further information on payWave.

* MOTO – processing “card not present” payments

MOTO (Mail Order/Telephone Order) allows you to enter your customer’s credit / debit card number into your EFTPOS terminal over the phone. This is one practical way of managing the requirement for contactless payments.

It is practical, but sadly, like any other financial transaction, it can be open to abuse. Some members have alerted us that they accepted credit card payments this way only to find that the cards were stolen.

A term in the fine print of the cardholder’s bank’s terms held them liable for any payment processed for up to 180 days. If the true owner of the card later disputes the transaction, you, as the retailer, could be liable to the Bank for the amount.

Make sure you follow your usual authorisation procedures, including validating customer details and asking the customer to show their credit card and driver’s licence as identification at the point of sale or delivery.

Also, check with your own bank on what security measures they recommend for these type of transactions.

Here are some warning signs of card-not-present fraud:

  • First-time shopper
  • Larger than normal orders
  • Request for speedy delivery
  • Inconsistencies in order e.g. name on credit card
  • Multiple transactions on one card or a number of cards over a very short period of time
  • Shipping to a single address, but transactions placed on multiple cards
  • Cards are based overseas.

Risk assessments

Purpose

This guidance is designed to help MTA members work through a risk assessment of their own premises and operations to help them establish safe operating procedures during Covid-19 Alert Level 3. It applies to ALL sectors.

Note: This guidance and the accompanying template are provided as general guidance on how a business might undertake a risk assessment with respect to operating under Covid-19 Alert Level 3. MTA is not responsible for the assessment completed by any person who uses this information. Business owners are obliged to properly conduct health and safety assessments of their own specific workplace.

Assumption

A risk assessment usually asks you to consider how likely something is to happen, and the consequences of that happening. For all the operational matters below, businesses should assume:

  • Likelihood – act as though everyone (workers, customers, suppliers) may be infected.
  • Consequence – serious health problems, including potential death Workplace operations must include mitigations or protections that seek to eliminate this potential harm or reduce its impact.

Elements of the assessment

Covid Hazard – this refers to the area of operation and how it might be affected by Covid-19. For example: workplace surfaces that are touched regularly by staff, suppliers, or customers; interactions, such as workers, customers, and suppliers. Who is affected – identify who is affected by this hazard. Control measure – what can you do to minimise or eliminate the hazard? For example – workers maintain 1m distance, use of PPE, how do customers drop their vehicles off, etc. How monitored – how will you ensure that the control measure is in place (e.g registers being completed, etc). Responsibility – while ultimate responsibility rests with the PCBU, who within the business should own this control measure or hazard?

Risk Assessment Template

We have developed a template Risk Assessment form to assist you.

Here is an example of how the form could be completed >>

Financial support for businesses

All information on Government support is available here >>

Level 3 safe operating guidelines

Impact of Alert Level 3 Restrictions - Jobs Take Longer and Additional Costs

We know last time we experienced Alert Level 3, many members found jobs took longer and they incurred additional costs due to the restrictions associated with Alert Level 3.

The additional costs may be for cleaning equipment and materials, or for the likes of PPE.

The MTA wants to remind members that it is perfectly reasonable for you to pass these additional costs on to consumers and to charge for the full time required for the job.  

Of course, any costs that you pass on to the consumer must be fair and reasonable.

Managing customers' expectations

If you’re not already, it might be useful to include some messaging in your communications to customers that help to manage their expectations. For example:

  • We are operating in accordance with the rules for Alert Level 3
  • These rules do require us to take extra precautions when dealing with you and your vehicle to maintain hygiene
  • Unfortunately, these extra precautions have meant that jobs are taking longer to complete and cost slightly more than normal
  • Wherever possible, we are working to minimise these impacts on our customers.

Repairers

Repairers can work on vehicles for non-essential workers and on non-essential vehicles. This includes carrying out Warrant of Fitness inspections, maintenance and routine servicing.

It is the decision of individual businesses to determine if they can operate safely.

Note: There is a lot of cross over between keeping staff and customers safe, if you keep one safe then you will be keeping the other safe.

Staff

  • Maintain hygiene protocols – regular cleaning of common surfaces, floors, door handles, phones etc.
  • Where possible install Perspex screens on counters to keep separation between staff and customers.
  • Physical distancing to be maintained: 2m with customers, 1m with other staff.
  • Where possible use every second work bay or run different shifts to ensure there is enough distance between staff.
  • Staggered break times.
  • Shared tools and equipment to be cleaned down after use.
  • Recording of all people who have been in contact with the vehicle i.e. groomer, service advisor and technician (can be done on the job card).
  • Vehicle to be cleaned before any work commences and once work is complete.
  • Maintain a log of staff on site, arrival and departure times.
  • Use disposable seat covers and floor mats.
  • Disposable overalls (coveralls) and gloves to be used when moving vehicles around.
  • Work clothes to be washed in a hot wash every day.

Customers

  • Check before you accept their car by email or phone. Ask them if they have:
    • Travelled overseas in the last 14 days?
    • Had close contact with someone who has travelled overseas 14 days?
    • Had close contact with someone in self isolation?
    • Had flu-like symptoms e.g coughing, sneezing or difficulty breathing, high temperature?
    • If someone is not well, request they do not come to the site.
  • Operate a booking system to stagger the arrival and departure of customers. When customers make a booking advise a time that they can drop the vehicle off, stagger the drop of times by 15 minutes. The same goes for pick up times.
  • For example:
    • Drop off times 8am, 8.15am, 8.30am, 8.45am etc.
    • Pick up times: 3pm, 3.15pm, 3.30pm, 3.45pm etc.
  • Vehicle drop off:
    • Set up a well-marked designated drop off point (use road cones etc.)
    • 1 person appointed to staff this role to restrict the risk of transmission
    • Customers must not enter premises
    • Maintain a daily log at reception of all customers, visitors and also vehicles for repair that enter the site
    • Full customer details and vehicle details on invoices so people and vehicles can be traced. No more invoices for “Cash Sale”
  • Vehicles to be cleaned before being given back to customers. Use disposable sanitiser wipes and wipe over all high touch surfaces as well as surfaces likely to come into contact with staff during repair:
    • Steering wheel
    • Dash
    • Armrests
    • Console
    • Seat adjusters
    • Gear shifter
    • Rear vision mirror
    • Cupholders
    • Doors
    • Handles, etc
  • Keys to put into a container and wiped down before handling.
  • Place a “Valet Card” in the vehicle if you wish.

Contractors/suppliers

  • Designated drop off area where they do not come into physical contact with staff.
  • Order parts online or over the phone.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Company reps, insurance assessors or contractors may visit site to carry out work but must complete the Contact register and comply with your business action plans.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • MTA members can obtain items such as disposable seat covers and coveralls through the ECOS shop
  • Repco also has a wealth of PPE and cleaning equipment available; they can be ordered online or via telephone.

WoF Checksheets

It is advised that customer copies of WoF checksheets should either be scanned or photographed and then emailed or sent by text to your customers. Make sure to capture the consumer rights on the rear of the checksheet as well.

Service Stations

Service stations can continue operation and convenience stores can include the sale of coffee, but customers cannot consume food or drinks on site (signage or barriers required to manage this).

Staff

  • Ensure staff interaction with other staff is controlled i.e. 1m separation, Perspex screens at POS terminal.
  • Consider assigning specific tasks to individual staff members and roster appropriately.
  • Manage shifts to ensure staff maintain required separation when working i.e. staggered lunch breaks etc.
  • If the Level 3 lockdown is a regional rather than NZ wide and some staff live outside the lockdown region, you may have to consider rostering these staff to manage cross-region travel restrictions.
  • Contact tracing for staff is required (you need to know who is working each day, when they start and finish).

Customers

  • Continue with “one in, one out” practice for customers c-store or use modified night pay facility where practical.
  • Coffee is able to be prepared and sold but customers cannot consume on site, so if you have a cafe style set up in the c-store, these areas will still need to be closed.
  • Operate pumps on pre-pay if possible or use night pay operating procedure to manage interaction with customers (you might need more controls as a result of more customers due to Alert level 3 (i.e. 2m separation distance, install Perspex sneeze guards).
  • It might be worthwhile placing floor markings to advise customers where to stand when making payment.

Contractors / suppliers

  • Ensure all goods and service suppliers (contractors) sign in when arriving on site (record name, contact phone, company details) to ensure effective contact tracing can be carried out if needed.
  • Review delivery processes to minimise contact between staff and contractors, establish designated drop off areas.
  • Think about how contact tracing might be implemented for customers if required (more information to be supplied).
  • Think about your interaction with fuel delivery tanker and how to minimise risk of infection transmission.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) / Infection control

  • With more customers you might need to increase staffing levels so will need to put in place effective staff separation rules (1m with masks, split shifts, staggered meal breaks etc).
  • Maintain hygiene protocols currently in place i.e. cleaning pumps, POS terminals, door handles, toilets and staff lunchrooms etc (this might need to be enhanced with more customers coming in as a result of Alert Level 2).
  • Make sure all cleaning materials (wipes) are disposed of correctly, sealed in bags and placed in rubbish promptly.
  • If you provide staff uniforms, it would be advisable to have staff change into their own clothes at the end of the day and have uniforms commercially cleaned to minimise risk of virus spread.

Dealers

It is the decision of individual dealer businesses to determine if they can operate safely. These guidelines are to assist MTA Members in the development of their site-specific plans.

Dealer Workflow

1. Browse & Enquire

  • Showrooms and yards must be closed
  • Shopping reliant on contactless and isolated methods, e.g internet and website
  • Manage customer engagement through phone and online mechanisms.

2. Application

  • Must be via paperless systems (internet, email etc)
  • Finance applications submitted online
  • Bank assessments collected electronically
  • Email supporting information

3. Test Drive

  • Arrange by appointment only
  • Ask if they are feeling unwell – if so cancel the appointment and reschedule for a later date
  • Maximum of two customers in any buying group
  • Maintain 2m distancing at all times
  • Complete pre and post wipe down of all touch surfaces (door handles, steering wheel, etc)
  • Staff must never be in the car at the same time as the customer.

4. Trade-in Assessment

  • By appointment only
  • Ask if they are feeling unwell – if so cancel the appointment and reschedule for later date
  • Ask customer to clean and declutter vehicle before arriving
  • Maintain 2m distances at all times
  • Complete pre and post wipe down of all touch surfaces (door handles, steering wheel, etc)
  • Customer must not accompany staff on test drive
  • Recommend staff use PPE (eg gloves, mask, overalls) and dispose after each event.

5. Contract Sign and Accept

  • 100% paperless
  • Contactless AML verification with biometrics
  • Online bank transfer for all cash payments.

6. Delivery

  • By appointment only
  • Ask if they are feeling unwell – if so cancel the appointment and reschedule for later date
  • Maintain 2m distances at all times
  • Maximum two customers in any single buying group
  • Pre- delivery clean vehicle, inside and out. Record action
  • Vehicle controls explanation – administer from outside of vehicle.

Vehicle Recovery / Parts / Retail

Vehicle Recovery

  • Maintain social distance of 2m with members of the public and customers.
  • Use disposable seat covers when moving vehicles.
  • Wipe down door handle, keys, steering wheels, handbrake and gear leavers and seatbelt buckles before and after moving vehicles.
  • Clean work clothes in hot water every night.
  • Use contactless payment methods.

Parts / Retail

  • Similar to vehicle repair in keeping staff and customers safe.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • No customers to be in showroom, internet and phone orders only.
  • Designated pick up and drop off areas for parts.
  • Ask customers to assign a drop off area for couriers.
  • If staff need to visit a customer, they must abide with that business’s H&S policies and safe work plan.
  • Use contactless payment methods.

Level 3 Helpful Sites & Resources

For information on Alert Level 3, head to the official Government Covid website >>

Other useful sites