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Access to essential goods during lockdown

Photo: File.

People will now be able to access essential goods such as heaters, whiteware and computers during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment issued a release following the post-Cabinet media conference this afternoon.

“The Government has decided that the sale of essential goods such as heaters, whiteware and computers will be allowed - in recognition of the need for people to safely isolate, stay connected to one another and work or study from home.”

Conditions are in place around the selling of these goods.

“Essential goods are those that will keep people warm, replace key household appliances, and maintain people’s health.”

Examples include blankets, fridges, heaters and computers or tablets.

“If people can’t buy these, then we risk people venturing out of their homes more often.”

The release states businesses must operate responsibly and only make available for sale genuine essential goods.

“The public must order responsibly purchasing only those items that are absolutely necessary to facilitate life and work during the lockdown period.”

To be able to sell these essential goods, businesses must:

1. Only take orders online or by phone and keep storefronts shut.

2. Take orders for only essential non-food goods.

3. Home deliver all essential goods in a contactless way and not allow people to visit stores to select or collect goods.

4. Take all appropriate public health measures to protect their staff and customers (e.g. physical distancing, hygiene basics, appropriate personal protective equipment).

5. Notify MBIE that they meet these conditions and intend to offer essential goods for sale and provide a list of those products. See covid19.govt.nz for more information on how to do this.

“If a business cannot meet these conditions, they should not offer to sell essential goods while the country is at Alert Level 4." 

Government will take further action on business that flout rules or are too generous in their interpretation of what is “essential’.

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