COVID-19 update: Transport in Auckland under Alert Level 3

Last Updated : 20 Apr 2021
Wear A Facemask While Using Public Transport

Updated | 27 February 2021

The Government has announced that Auckland will be moving back to Alert Level 3 at 6am on 28 February for seven days. This means stay at home when possible and in your bubble, as per Government advice.

While at Alert Level 3, travel is allowed for essential personal movement in your area such as:

  • Accessing essential local services and businesses

  • Going to work and school. However, you should work and learn from home where possible

  • Low-risk recreation in local area

  • Extended bubble arrangements

  • Travelling to permitted gatherings

For more information of where and when you are permitted to travel go to

The government has advised that you must maintain physical distancing of 2 metres outside of your home, and strongly encourages you to wear a face covering.

Public transport will continue to operate with strict health and safety requirements in place. Per government advice, you must maintain 1 metre physical distancing and should scan the Ministry of Health’s NZ COVID Tracer app QR code, plus you must wear a face covering.

Fares will continue to be charged over this three-day Alert Level 3 period. Cash will not be accepted on public transport. Customers must tag on/off with their AT HOP card and we strongly recommend that you register your AT HOP card to help with contact tracing should it be required. This will also allow us to monitor passenger numbers and make fast adjustments to services if required due to changes in demand.

Buses, trains and ferries will continue to operate to existing timetables until further notice so customers can continue to rely on the AT Mobile App and journey planner to plan their journey. This will also help enable essential workers and passengers on essential journeys to exercise physical distancing. Because of the very short notice and potentially short duration of this regional lockdown, it may not be practical for physical distancing stickers to be installed across the public transport network immediately. Aucklanders are thus asked to be mindful of their personal surroundings and of the importance to maintain two metre physical distancing.

School buses will also still operate as normal to ensure that children are able to get to school. We will work with schools and based on their input may make changes to school bus services if warranted. Per Government guidelines, the 2-metre physical distancing requirement does not apply to school buses, as these are considered to be a part of a school’s controlled environment.

Those travelling on public transport should avoid peak times unless it is necessary, such as going to work or school. This is to further ensure that the required two metres of physical distancing between staff and customers can be maintained. AT’s customer service centres remain open.

AT has taken numerous measures to help keep customers safe on our network and maintain effective and safe public transport services for our customers, these include:

  • Our AT Mobile app indicates the available capacity that is on a bus or train service at any given time adjusted to alert level restrictions, so customers will know if two-metre distancing will be achievable before they board. Bus drivers will move to only dropping customers off once a vehicle is at capacity.

  • We’re ensuring that all public transport is being thoroughly cleaned regularly. See a video of some of our cleaning here 

  • Buses and trains are being spot checked, with touch surfaces being regularly cleaned.

  • At this point, passengers are not being asked to use the rear door to get on and off the bus. Notification will be provided if this changes to ensure everyone is kept as safe as possible by minimising physical contact between customers and the bus drivers.

  • During rear door only boarding, customers who use a wheel chair or other mobility device or require driver assistance can still use the front door of buses. This also applies to vision impaired customers – we ask drivers to assist them through the front door.

  • We will be actively monitoring our timetables while at Alert Level 3 and will make changes to timetables as needed. For the period of the three day Alert Level 3, timetables will not be changed. For timetable information download the AT Mobile app or go to

  • Our cleaners and other essential staff are using PPE and will maintain clear physical distancing rules ­ — such as using the ‘bubble’ rule with our teams, strict hand-washing prior to and after completing tasks — and other measures as they go about their work on our vehicles, stations and facilities to minimise the risk of COVID-19 as much as possible.

In addition, parking in AT buildings and on-street will continue as will the enforcement of parking restrictions, bus lanes and other special vehicle lanes.

Parking and transport compliance staff will also be assisting authorities by monitoring physical distancing behaviour across our network and assisting essential healthcare and community testing facilities with any transport related issues.

Be mindful that the Government’s advice continues to be that the best defence against COVID-19 is to limit our interactions with others and practice good hygiene.

Under Alert Level 3, Aucklanders must continue to stay within their household bubbles whenever they are not at work, at school, going to the supermarket, for medical reasons, or exercising locally.

We know this is once again a challenging time for us all. We ask that people be understanding and patient of everyone else who is in the same situation.

And remember, please travel only if necessary.

The best place to find the latest information about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is on the Government’s special COVID-19 website -

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