Countdown supermarkets across the country will be returning to regular opening hours and will lift product limits when the country moves to alert level 2.

From Thursday, May 14, Countdown stores will return to some sort of normality but customers will notice some of the same restrictions in place that they saw in level 3.

In a statement, the company said it will continue to ensure physical distancing and strict hygiene measures.

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Alert level 2: Retail, malls, cafes, restaurants, cinema and other public spaces can reopen this Thursday. Schools will reopen on May 18 and bars on May 21.

There will still be a limit on the number of customers allowed in stores at any one time and customers will be encouraged to shop alone when possible.

Foodstuff - which owns New World, Pak'nSave, Four Square, Gilmour's and Trent's - said stores have already returned to normal trading hours and most product limits have been removed.

Antoinette Laird, Head of Corporate Affairs, Foodstuffs NZ said it will also continue with the same safety protocols it had in place during alert level 4 and 3 at its stores.

During alert level 2, its stores will maintain having heightened cleaning protocols, perspex protection screens and physical distancing.

The number of customers in-store will still be managed to ensure both staff and customer safety, she added.

"Our stores remain 100 per cent committed to ensuring New Zealanders grocery needs are met, and the teams are firmly focused on managing supply, meeting customers' needs and ensuring a safe and comfortable shopping experience for all," Laird said.

Meanwhile, popular services like fresh flowers and Lotto will also be back in Countdown stores. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website


Some closed stores will be reopening in alert level 2 including Countdown's Albert St Metro (Auckland), Cable Car Lane (Wellington) and Northwest (Auckland) stores.

Countdown Moorhouse (Christchurch) will reopen on Monday May 18.

Level 2 changes also mean the priority shopping hour for emergency workers and medical personnel will no longer be needed.

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General manager of Countdown's health and safety Kiri Hannifin said the business is looking forward to welcoming customers back to their regular routines while still making sure that safe shopping is a priority for both Countdown's team and customers.

"Kiwis should be very proud of the incredible job we have done in getting New Zealand to level 2, but we absolutely must remain vigilant when it comes to physical distancing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19," she said.

"While we all have more freedom, we also have responsibility to help maintain physical distancing from other shoppers and our team members when you're shopping in Countdown stores.


"This may mean from time to time you may need to queue. We thank Kiwis in advance for their patience and for working with us to maintain a safe environment."