COVID-19 Alert Level 2

Public Transport at Alert Level 2

Published 14/09/2020

Canterbury is currently at Alert Level 2. Here’s what you need to know when using public transport. The Metro team thank you for your kindness and patience as we work through the Alert Level 2 restrictions.

Physical distancing restrictions lifted

On Monday 14 September, the Prime Minister announced that physical distancing and passenger capacity limits are no longer required on public transport. While we remain at alert level two until at least Monday 21 September, the other extra measures in place, including contact tracing and use of face coverings, mean the government made the decision to ease the physical distancing rules.

MyWay by Metro had already been operating at full capacity under Alert Level 2, due to the additional measures in place to support journey tracking. However, the Timaru Link was affected by physical distancing requirements, often putting more pressure on MyWay at peak times. With these restrictions now lifted, the Link can again run at full capacity.

This is great news for our passengers – we appreciate how challenging these restrictions have been and we are enormously grateful for the kindness and patience everyone has shown.

Face coverings required

All passengers and drivers need to wear face coverings on public transport while at Alert Level 2 or above – this includes both MyWay and the Timaru Link.

We are asking for everyone to continue showing kindness and patience to fellow passengers and drivers as we all adjust to this. It’s important to remember that some people, drivers included, will have legitimate reasons, such as health, for not wearing a face covering.

We trust that the vast majority of people who can do so will wear one and continue to help stop the spread of COVID-19. While drivers can remind passengers to put on their face covering when boarding, there are some exemptions to this rule, and our drivers are not able to, or expected to, act as enforcers – and neither are passengers. We need to rely on everyone taking personal responsibility for their individual situations.

Information from the government confirms that face coverings don’t need to be worn in the following situations:

  • By children under 12.
  • On dedicated school services (including Ministry of Education services and Metro school services).
  • By people with a disability or physical or mental health condition that makes covering their face unsuitable.
  • There will be other times when it is not required – such as in an emergency, if it is not safe, if people need to prove their identity, to communicate with someone who is deaf, or if required by law.

Learn more about face coverings on the Unite Against COVID-19 website, including how to make your own from material you may already have at home.

Contact tracing

The importance of contact tracing remains high in Alert Level 2, and passengers are asked to provide contact tracing information whenever they use public transport.

NZ COVID Tracer QR codes are available on MyWay and Link vehicles. All passengers are now requested to scan the QR code, using the NZ COVID Tracer app, every time they travel on public transport, including if they’ve paid with a registered Metrocard.

We are working with our operators on a more permanent solution to have more QR codes available on each bus so passengers can more easily scan a code while maintaining physical distancing. 

Don't worry if you don't have a phone that is able to use the QR codes – instead please call the Metroinfo team on 03 366 8855 to have your trip registered.

Physical distancing

There are no longer physical distancing restrictions for seating on public transport. Despite the restrictions being lifted on seating, physical distancing is still recommended where possible.

On the Link service, front door boarding remains in place, however passengers should alight through the rear doors, unless you need to use the front door for accessibility reasons.


Fares are required at Alert Level 2. We strongly encourage the use of contactless payment options – paying on board with a Metrocard and using online top-ups, and using the MyWay by Metro app or Metrocard for MyWay travel.

Metrocards cost $5 and can be ordered online. Account-to-account top ups are also available. 

Keeping in touch

Registering your Metrocard and providing up-to-date contact details means we can easily keep you directly informed of any changes to public transport due to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

  • To register your Metrocard, set up a new online account, using the registration code that came with your card. If you don't have the registration code, please call Metroinfo on 03 366 8855.
  • If you already have an online account, login to check your contact details are up-to-date.

Don't forget to tick the box to receive service information so we can keep you updated on any changes to public transport requirements, for example if we move alert level again.