All of New Zealand except Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Tuesday, September 7 - but with added restrictions, which the Prime Minister referred to as 'Delta Level 2'.
Alert Level 2 will have extra restrictions in light of Delta, with new rules around masks and people limits.
Schools and early childhood centres will have time to prepare to open from Thursday morning.
Masks must be worn inside most indoor public facilities and also by staff in public facing businesses, but can be taken off for eating at hospitality outlets.
There will be a limit of 50 people for indoor spaces such as hospitality and indoor event venues to reduce the risk of a super spreader event. Outdoor spaces can have up to 100 people if it is distanced and ventilated.
Gyms, museums and libraries now must be in the same alignment rules as supermarkets, which mean the amount of people allowed inside must equate to how many can be inside with a two metre gap between.
Scanning in is required at venues where close contact is possible.
Essential workers crossing alert level boundaries will be required to have weekly Covid-19 tests. They do not need to isolate while waiting for the result, unless showing symptoms.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today alongside Director of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, after 20 new community Covid-19 cases were reported today.
Cabinet met this afternoon to review the country's alert levels, while Auckland remains in full lockdown in Level 4 with the next review for the city in a week on September 13.
The rest of the country has been at Level 3 since 11.59pm Tuesday August 31 and Northland since Thursday night.
Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Sunday that officials has been working on advice around strengthened rules at Level 2.
"If there was to be, and it's feasible, an Alert Level 4-2 boundary, arguably that boundary should be even tighter than it is under an Alert Level 4-3 boundary."
He also said wider mask use could be part of changes at Level 2.
On how quick levels could change if Cabinet decides, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said previously, "we normally give a little bit of notice for a decision like that, but we would do this quickly as we could".