PSA: Face Masks Are Still Mandatory

Some restaurants and cafés have been letting down the team of five million. Different variants of COVID-19 are still circulating in the community and can make a giant impact against your business. It is in your best interests that your staff do not catch covid, so business owners and managers alike shouldn't have a problem with their staff wearing masks. Right?

Wrong! There are a large number of businesses that are allowing staff to boast about not wearing masks, and we've snapped a few on our travels around the hospo outlets.

In case anyone is living under a rock - the fines still apply. So if you are okay with your staff risking your business to a fine of up to $12,000 for breaching the masking rules (see below) then your business must be doing better than those of the thousands of frustrated and stressed hospo business owners.

If you are reading this and don't want your staff to wear a mask and are happy to pay a fine, then OK let us know and we can make that happen for you.

Masks don't just help against COVID-19, they also have proven to be beneficial in preventing the spread of some pretty common winter ailments, like the cold or this year's flu.

Medical grade masks are proven to work against colds and viral flus and have dramatically decreased the amount of viral transmission in our communities. We are not stuck at home, we are not in lockdown, a little mask doesn't seem like too much to ask to keep businesses going. The blue medical-grade masks are also very light and soft to wear for longer hours.

If you need a refresher of the current rules and penalties please see below.


  • Since 11.59pm, 13 April, 2022 all regions in New Zealand are in ORANGE.

Omicron response phase: Since 24 February, 2022 Aotearoa is in Phase 3.

  • Customer-facing staff are still required to wear medical-grade masks, when they are serving customers indoors (but not outdoors).
  • Face masks are mandatory on flights, public transport, in taxis, indoor retail, public facilities, food and beverage services (except when eating), close proximity services, and for workers at indoor events. Face masks are encouraged elsewhere.
  • Workers at events, or providing close proximity services, and food and beverage service must wear a medical-grade face mask while working indoors if they are interacting with customers.


  • The penalty for failing to comply with a COVID-19 requirement that has been specified as an infringement offence will increase to a maximum infringement fee of $4,000 (previously $300) or a $12,000 maximum court-imposed fine, up from $1,000. Examples of infringement offences include failure to wear a face-covering in places where it is mandatory.
  • A person who intentionally fails to comply with a COVID-19 order, thereby committing a criminal offence, is now liable on conviction for a fine of up to $12,000, up from $4,000, or six months imprisonment.
    That could include offences such as a person travelling without permission, or travelling for a purpose other than what was permitted, from an Alert Level 4 or 3 area to Alert Level 2.
  • A maximum infringement fee of $12,000 or maximum criminal offence fine of $15,000 has also been introduced for body corporates who fail to have systems and processes in place in accordance with the Health Order.

A restaurant I went to last night had this message by its eftpos machine: "It's nice to see a human face. A BIG THUMBS UP for showing you are not afraid!"

It's not about being afraid. It's simply following health guide lines from the government and health professionals. There's no conspiracy going on, it's simply how we keep New Zealand at a functioning level with covid in the community. Come on guys, don't be ridiculous. I've seen some restaurants who haven't followed the rules complain online about not having any customers anymore.

Your customers have definitely noticed your defiance and no longer want to eat there. Your customers will remember right now how you have responded to the pandemic. Will you be sensible and create a stronger bond with your loyal locals? Or will they cut ties with you for not respecting their health and the wellbeing of their family?

Report a breach here.