Update - Monday 14 September 2020

COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit main page

Frequency of Response Unit updates

The Response Unit continues to meet regularly and are on hand to support you as required as we move forward.

We are reducing the frequency of our updates to one update weekly, on Wednesdays and on an as required basis.

Here’s today’s update

Today the Prime Minister announced that the current Alert Level settings will be retained until these are reviewed again on Monday 21 September.

For Auckland, current Alert Level settings will remain in place until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 23 September.

For the rest of the country, Cabinet has agreed in principle to move to Alert Level 1 at 11.59pm on Monday 21 September, subject to Cabinet confirmation earlier that day.

This means that the country remains at Alert Level 2. At Alert Level 2 outside Auckland, gatherings such as church services and social events will continue to be limited to 100 people.

The Auckland region (Auckland Council area) is at Alert Level 2 with extra restrictions:

There have been some references to Auckland being at “Level 2.5” – this is to highlight that there are extra restrictions at Alert Level 2 in Auckland. It is not a new formal Alert Level.

At Alert Level 2 in Auckland, gatherings will continue to be limited to 10 people and funerals and tangihanga will be limited to 50 people and have to meet other conditions set by the Ministry of Health.

As well as wearing face coverings on public transport where they are mandatory, the government is encouraging Aucklanders to wear face coverings in public places where physical distancing is not possible.

The Government is encouraging Aucklanders to behave as if they carry their Alert Level with them. This means asking Aucklanders who travel outside their region to consider:

restricting themselves to groups of no more than 10 when they are outside of Auckland, even though gatherings of up to 100 are permitted;

being considerate and ensuring they practice physical distancing, wash hands and cough and sneeze into their elbow;

keeping track of their movements, using the NZ COVID Tracer app if possible; and

if they develop any cold or flu symptoms, staying where they are and seeking advice about getting tested.

The Response Unit remains on hand to support you. You can send enquiries to your usual SOLGM, LGNZ, DIA contacts or this inbox: LGCGcovid19response@dia.govt.nz

Public transport announcement

The Prime Minister announced that from today physical distancing requirements for public transport operators including airlines, buses, and trains will be eased, meaning they no longer need to maintain seating restrictions or passenger capacity limits at Alert Level 2. Mask use will continue to be compulsory.

Communications around public transport settings are sent out via Waka Kotahi’s NERT email alert system. Should you wish to subscribe to this mailing list, please contact NERT@nzta.govt.nz

Elimination strategy and Resurgence planning

The Government remains committed to an elimination strategy for Covid-19 as outlined in the “Stamp it Out” framework. This means a sustained approach of keeping it out, finding it, and stamping it out.

The core of the response will be personal hygiene, staying home when sick, testing, contact tracing, and isolation. You may find posters to support these messages. Where this is insufficient, the Government will seek to control Covid-19 with the least intrusive measures, including tailored local responses.

This potential for future local escalations in Alert Levels means that it is important all parts of New Zealand are well prepared to respond to a resurgence of COVID-19. Planning and preparation will be key to enabling social and economic recovery to continue and adapt during any future resurgence.

You will find detail of all the COVID-19 Alert Levels on the COVID-19 website.

Other useful Resources

We will also update our guidance on council services and operations across the COVID-19 Alert Levels on the COVID-19 Response Unit webpage.

SOLGM has issued a practice note on navigating the post-lockdown LTP which is available on their website: www.solgm.co.nz

NZ COVID Tracer booklet - hard copy contact tracing booklets for people that cannot, or choose not to, download and use the NZ COVID Tracer App can be ordered from: https://order.hpa.org.nz/collections/covid-19/products/covid-19-booklet

Google drive hosting key creative assets for agencies to use and share across their channels as appropriate

Ministry of Transport’s guidance for Transport and Travel by Alert Level

MfE’s guidance for councils operating virtual hearings under the RMA

MfE’s face mask disposal messages

MfE’s Wet wipes messages

You may sign up to the daily All of Government email newsletter

You may find posters to support key messages

Foreign nationals in need of assistance can check their eligibility and apply online

Connected.govt.nz has been launched by MDS to assist workers, employers and job seekers navigate all of the available COVID recovery programmes and assistance. The website is supported by a free phone line, 0800 264 737 and MSD have 35 physical Connected locations around the country.