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Essential Services

Here's what is considered essential in the retail sector

  • Supermarkets

  • Pharmacies

  • Vet clinics*

  • Pet shops and pet services*

  • Dairies (with a one-in, one-out rule)

  • Self-service laundries (two metre physical distancing rules apply)

  • Stores supplying the building / construction sector (but only for trade customers for essential purposes)

  • Uncooked food delivery services (subject to conditions)

    *Special registration requirements apply.

Essential non-food consumer products

Businesses are able to sell essential non-food consumer products, provided they do so in a way that protects the public and minimises the risk of COVID-19 spreading.


In order to provide essential non-food consumer products, businesses must comply with the following conditions:

  • Orders must be taken online or by phone only. Storefronts must not be open and the public should not be able to visit stores to select or collect goods.

  • Orders must be for only essential non-food consumer products.

  • In fulfilling orders, businesses must take all appropriate public health measures (e.g. physical distancing, hygiene basics, appropriate personal protective equipment for staff).
    Orders must be home delivered in a contactless way (i.e. there is no physical interaction between the deliverer and customer).

  • The business must inform MBIE of its intention to offer essential non-food products for sale, and provide a list of the products they intend to offer. (Click here for more information on how to do this.) 

  • If businesses cannot meet any of the above conditions, they should not offer to sell essential goods while the country is at Alert Level 4.


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