Coronavirus: Information for businesses

This is a special article to bring together government information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), how it may affect your business and how you can stay up to date as new information becomes available.

Updated 21 February 2020

Whether you're an employer with concerns about your staff and workplace, an exporter with overseas customers, or you are planning to travel abroad, you may be affected by coronavirus and the global efforts to contain it. In this article, we've brought together the key sources of information from across government to help you stay informed. This page will be updated as more information is available.

Exporters and importers

If you are an exporter or importer, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has set up a page on their website which brings together information from NZTE, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Customs. Information on the page is reviewed daily. It also includes contact details for the relevant agencies for you to get in touch with depending on your situation.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Information for exporters (external link) — New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

NZTE has also opened up access to their China team and a panel of external experts, if you’re an exporter with a specific concern you’d like to discuss. If you are an NZTE customer, contact your New Zealand Customer Manager. If you are not already working with NZTE, you can call 0800 555 888.

If you are having difficulties or concerns about meeting your normal tax obligations due to the effects of coronavirus, Inland Revenue has a range of ways to help depending on your circumstances.

Tax relief – Coronavirus COVID-19 (external link) — Inland Revenue

There are temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting, mainland China. Immigration New Zealand has information for travellers, visa holders (including students), cruise ships and maritime vessels.

Coronavirus update: INZ’s response (external link) — Immigration New Zealand

If you’re a New Zealander living and traveling abroad, SafeTravel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has information to assist.

Novel coronavirus, China (Covid-19) (external link) — SafeTravel (MFAT)

If your travel plans are affected by the coronavirus outbreak, Consumer Protection has guidance about cancelled or delayed flights and travel bookings.

Coronavirus – Are your travel plans affected? (external link) — Consumer Protection

If you run a travel business, Tourism New Zealand has information available.

Coronavirus – Information for industry (external link) — Tourism New Zealand

If you have employees, Employment New Zealand has specific guidance and FAQs in response to coronavirus including how to handle self-isolation and sick leave. 

Workplace response to coronavirus (external link) — Employment New Zealand

Coronavirus questions and answers (external link) — Employment New Zealand

If you have questions about handling information about an employee that isn’t well, including if there is a serious threat to someone’s safety, wellbeing or health, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has guidance to help.

Is it okay to tell other employees that a colleague is sick? (external link) — The Office of the Privacy Commissioner

When can I use the serious threat exception? (external link) — The Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Health and safety

If you have health concerns, information and advice about coronavirus is available from the Ministry of Health.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) (external link) — Ministry of Health

Healthline has a free dedicated phone number for health advice and information about coronavirus, including registering self-isolation. You can call 0800 358 5453, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Access to interpreters is also available. For international SIMS, call +64 9 358 5453.

WorkSafe New Zealand has information about the business and worker requirement for keeping people safe and well in the workplace.

Workplace preparedness for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) (external link) — WorkSafe New Zealand

Landlords and tenants

If you’re a landlord or tenant of a rental property affected by the coronavirus outbreak, Tenancy Services has information about your rights and responsibilities. They also have guidance and next steps if you are experiencing discrimination.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – what landlords and tenants need to know (external link) — Tenancy Services

If you are a childcare centre, work in education or are the parent, caregiver and whānau of learners, guidance is available from the Ministry of Education.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) (external link) — Ministry of Education

For further government information about coronavirus including health advice and travel restrictions, check out the Govt.nz website.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) (external link) — Govt.nz

Government partners

This article is in association with Employment New Zealand, Office of the Privacy Commissioner, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Customs, Inland Revenue, Immigration New Zealand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Consumer Protection, Tourism New Zealand, Ministry of Health, WorkSafe New Zealand, Tenancy Services, and Ministry of Education, and Department of Internal Affairs.

A business continuity plan (BCP) can help prepare you and your business for disruptions and emergencies.

A business continuity plan (BCP) can help prepare you and your business for disruptions and emergencies.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of your business, you should have a business continuity plan (BCP) for events like coronavirus. A BCP can help your business prepare for many kinds of emergencies, such as a global pandemic, an act of terrorism, a cyberattack, or a natural disaster like a fire, flood or earthquake.

Continuity and contingency planning

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