Local Government COVID-19 Response Update – Friday 17 September 2021

 Return to Local Government COVID Response Unit updates

Here’s today’s update

Locations of interest outside of the Auckland boundary have been released, after a truck driver who crossed the boundary for work, tested positive for COVID-19. The list can be found here on the Ministry of Health website.

Mandatory testing requirements are now in place for essential workers crossing the alert level boundaries. During the 1pm press conference Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said police had turned away a small percentage, around 10%, of essential workers who did not have evidence of a test.

The trans-Tasman bubble pause will be extended for a further 8-weeks, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced today. Further MIQ spaces for October and November will be made available on Monday, and a third red flight will be made available for those in emergency situations.

The country outside of Auckland remains at Alert Level 2, with Auckland remaining at Alert Level 4. On Monday 13 September, the Prime Minister announced Cabinet had made an in-principle decision to move Auckland to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm, Tuesday 21 September 2021.

With an in-principle decision that Auckland will move to Alert Level 3, we are working on guidance on what this will mean for Auckland and the border.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about what an alert level 2/3 spilt in the country will mean, please get in touch with us via LGCGcovid19response@dia.govt.nz so we can resolve these.

Alert level settings for the whole country will be reviewed by Cabinet on Monday, 20 September.

Vaccination Campaign

You may see increased messaging aimed at getting Aucklanders vaccinated this weekend, thanks to a campaign from the Ministry of Health. Keep an eye out for it, and if you’re in Auckland, consider sharing it with your community.

Information on current cases, COVID-19 test sites and economic support

There are 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the community, all in Auckland. This brings the total number of cases connected to the current community outbreak to 1007, 549 of whom have recovered. There are 458 remaining active cases.

If you have cold and flu symptoms, please get tested. Available testing sites can be found here on the government's Covid-19 website.

Locations of interest can be found here on the Ministry of Health website, this is being updated as soon as information is available.

Economic assistance is available for those impacted by the lockdown, more information is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

Mandatory testing requirements

All workers crossing the alert level boundaries to work at a permitted business must show evidence that they have had a COVID-19 test in the previous seven days, whether they have symptoms or not. This includes workers who regularly travel across boundaries to respond to emergency calls.

Police will also be checking for compliance and turning away people who do not have evidence of a test.

Evidence of a test includes a text message at the time of test or advising of the result of the test. If these texts aren’t available, a worker will need a paper-based confirmation proof of test from either the Community Testing Centre or GP where they got tested.

There is no cost for essential workers to get a test for this purpose.

Subcontractors or other key utilities specialists who have not been tested, may only cross Alert Level boundaries in emergency situations. We suggest that key utilities businesses identify their subcontractors and provide them or their employees with a letter stating who they are and what role they play in an emergency.

Emergency response vehicles from key utilities sectors are able to use the ‘freight lanes’ at Alert Level boundary checkpoints to avoid queuing.

Public Health requirements for council meetings

In last week’s communications, the Response Unit provided guidance on the relevant provisions of the Public Health Order as they relate to council meetings. This advice can be found in the Response Unit update for Friday 10 September 2021, published on the Local Government Response Unit webpage.

Travel across Alert Level boundaries

Workers who need to cross an alert level boundary must carry evidence of the purpose of their travel and the location of their destination.

More information can be found on the MBIE website: Business travel across Alert Level Boundaries — business.govt.nz

Guidance on mandatory record keeping at Alert Level 3 and lower

Many businesses and Many businesses and locations are now required to take steps to ensure people can easily make a record when they visit.

The Privacy Commissioner has provided guidance on how to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act while complying with the new record keeping requirements.

Visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website to get information on mandatory record keeping.

Epidemic notice remains in force

The Epidemic notice was renewed on 8 September 2021 and will remain in place for three months. More information of the provisions in the notice are outlined in previous Response Unit updates, which can be viewed on the Local Government Response Unit webpage.