Date: 07 March 2021
DOC is working to support the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 response, keep everyone safe and stop the spread.
New Zealand is at Alert Level 1
At Alert Level 1, everyone can enjoy the great outdoors, provided it is done safely. DOC facilities are fully open without restrictions, including visitor centres, huts, campsites, and toilets. Bookings for accommodation can continue to be made.
However, we ask that you remain vigilant and ready in case COVID-19 appears in our community.
Preparing for changes in alert levels
It is important to be ready for changes to alert levels, as we navigate through the challenges that COVID-19 presents.
DOC has guidelines for each alert level and the expected impacts it may have on your existing bookings. It is important to be aware of these guidelines and understand the different alert levels, and how quickly things can change.
When the New Zealand Government changes the alert level to either Alert Level 3 or Alert Level 4, all DOC facilities will be closed.
In the event of a COVID-19 cluster be aware your contact details may be provided to assist Ministry of Health with COVID contact tracing.
Listed here is guidance for other levels, in advance of changes.
Alert Level 2
Alert Level 2 means there are some COVID-19 cases in the community, but the situation is largely under control.
DOC facilities are fully open, including visitor centres, huts, campsites and toilets. Bookings for accommodation can continue to be made.
Hunting on public conservation land is allowed. Hunters will need the appropriate hunting permit or hold the required concession and follow Ministry of Health guidelines.
Everyone should follow the rules and maintain good hygiene:
- it is recommended that people try to keep 2 metres of separation in DOC huts – bring a tent to sleep outside if needed or cancel your trip. Consider wearing a face covering indoors.
- if you would like to cancel your booking, contact your local DOC Visitor Centre for details.
- use a QR code where provided with the NZ COVID tracer app and enable Bluetooth tracing. Use the hut intentions books.
- huts, campsites and lodges cannot be used to self-isolate.
- if you’re sick or unwell, stay at home.
- if you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or the Healthline. Follow their testing advice.
- wash your hands
- if you are advised by health authorities to self-isolate, you must do so immediately
- be kind to others and to yourself
- get tested if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms – tests are free
Alert Level 3
Alert Level 3 means there is a high risk of COVID-19 within the community and the disease is not contained.
- All DOC huts, campsites, lodges and toilets are closed.
- You must not visit tracks unless they are right by your home.
- You cannot self-isolate at a hut, lodge or campsite.
- Bookings will be refunded. You will be contacted by email about how to receive your full refund. Wait for these instructions to avoid cancellation fees.
- Hunting on public conservation land is allowed, but only if it is close to home and does not involve hunting in a motorised vehicle.
Alert Level 4
Alert Level 4 means people are instructed to stay at home and only use their cars for essential trips.
All DOC Great Walks, backcountry huts, lodges, sole occupancy sites and campsites are closed.
All existing bookings for Alert Level 4 restrictions will be fully refunded. You will be advised at the time of how to receive your refund.
Cancelling or modifying your booking
As the account holder of your booking, you can go online to make modifications to your existing booking.
If you are wanting to cancel your booking during Alert Level 2, contact your local DOC visitor centre. They will cancel your booking for you and process your full refund.
During Alert Levels 3 and 4, you will be contacted by email about how to receive your full refund. Wait for these instructions to avoid cancellation fees.
For any questions or concerns, you can contact your local DOC visitor centre.
Check the DOC website for more information including hunting permits, track updates, closures and safety advice.
For other advice: