The Government’s announcement on the next stage of the COVID-19 response plan introduces a new framework of measures that will commence when 90% of eligible New Zealanders are fully vaccinated.
The new framework has three levels: Red, Orange and Green. Each has different levels of restrictions. At all levels businesses will be able to operate, in some form, for vaccinated people.
The advice states, If a business, organisation or service does not wish to request proof of vaccine, they will have to operate with strict limits on capacity and space requirements. They may need to close in Orange and/or Red levels.
For more information on the levels visit the Covid 19 website.
Here are some details from the Canterbury Employers Chambers of Commerce Q&A webinar with guest – Grant Robertson (Finance Minister) that we attended last week: (Some of this information is not confirmed yet, but should be released by late November / early December)
- We won’t move to the new COVID-19 framework until 90% of eligible New Zealanders are fully vaccinated. The Government will review if regions should move to the new framework sooner on 29 November 2021.
- A new support payment will likely be available for businesses transitioning to the new framework – this will be similar to the Resurgence Support Payment.
- Isolation will continue, but where and how long is still being determined.
- Vaccination certificates/passes will be optional for many businesses, however, if you don’t request proof of vaccination, this may limit capacity, space requirements and if you can be open. The only businesses that won’t be allowed to introduce the vaccine certificate requirements are essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and petrol stations.
- The Government is looking to mandate vaccination certificates for places such as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, etc but they will bring out a risk assessment tool to help businesses figure out if this is a requirement for them.
- Vaccinations will be mandatory for workers at businesses where the customer has to show a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. There are some more details on what work type or place requires a vaccinated employee here.
- You already have to be vaccinated to fly internationally, but the Government is also looking into whether this will be a requirement for domestic travel too. Air New Zealand has since announced that anyone traveling on domestic flights will need to be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test from Mid December
- Grant Robertson mentioned it will be at least the beginning of next year before the trans-tasman bubble will open.
- We will keep you updated as law is passed so you know what rules are required.
How the Ministry of Health expect vaccination certificates will work:
(currently in a draft format)
The Ministry of health expects Vaccination certificates/passes to be available by the end of November. There will be one for use within NZ that will contain the information in the COVID Pass image above, and then a separate one will be needed for international travel. The international certificate will contain more personal information so it can be used alongside your passport.
You and your employees can now access your Covid vaccination records online by creating a My Health Account through the Ministry of Health website. At the end of November, you will also be able to download your vaccination certificates using this login. You need to be 16 years old or older to create a My Health Account, but 12-15 year old’s can request a confirmation letter from the Ministry of Health if required. More information has been included in the links above.