What do the COVID-19 alert levels mean if I need to attend a justice service or programme?

The Ministry of Justice offers the following essential Category A social services and programmes:

  • Family violence programmes (non-violence programmes, safety programmes, strengthening safety service)
  • Whānau protect
  • Public Trust
  • Victim Support

The Ministry of Justice also offers the following justice sector services:

  • Restorative justice
  • Family disputes resolution
  • Parenting through separation
  • Community law centres

All services and programmes are available at all COVID-19 alert levels. However most services are only available remotely during alert levels 3 and 4. This means they must be carried out through video conferencing (e.g. on zoom), or by phone and cannot be carried out face to face.

Detailed guidance on delivering Category A social services and other justice services can be found in the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order.(external link)


What will service delivery look like at different alert levels?

At all alert levels, all service providers must operate safely, which means:

  • complying with the alert level requirements for the area(s) where they are operating
  • meeting public health requirements for their workplace (for example, having contact tracing systems and maintaining 1 metre physical distancing)
  • fulfilling all other health and safety obligations.

Operating safely under Alert Level 1 means providers will also be expected to:

  • maintain basic hygiene measures, including regularly washing hands and coughing or sneezing into elbows
  • keep track of where staff have been and who they’ve seen to assist with rapid contact tracing if required
  • check wellness and take precautions when staff or someone they are providing services to has cold or flu-like symptoms or potential/confirmed COVID-19.

Operating safely under Alert Level 2 means providers will also be expected to:

  • maintain physical distancing of one metre
  • ensure staff and participants wear face coverings
  • maintain high levels of personal hygiene and workplace cleaning.

Video conferencing or phone contact may be used, but not where the service would be more effectively delivered face-to-face.

Operating safely under Alert Level 3 and 4 means:

  • providers cannot offer services that involve face-to-face contact, unless it is an essential Category A social service, emergency or critical situation
  • services and programmes can be delivered remotely (e.g. on zoom, or by phone).


More information

If you wish to access these services or have questions about the availability and delivery of services, please contact your local service provider.

If you are a provider of these services and have any further questions, please contact your contract manager.

For more information on providing welfare and social services across COVID-19 Alert Levels, please visit the Ministry of Social Development website(external link)


Find your local service provider

Family violence
Public register of family violence safety and non-violence programme providers

Victim Support
Victim support website(external link)(external link)
0800 842 846 (24hr service) for all victims of serious crime.

Restorative justice
List of restorative justice providers

Parenting through separation and family dispute resolution
Find a service to help with disputes


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