Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Friday 25 March 2022

Local Government Response Unit main page

Today’s update

Free Webinar – Covid-19 and the 23 March Package of Announcements

Taituarā and LGNZ have scheduled a webinar with MBIE for 1pm on Thursday 31 March. We encourage you to attend as there will be further discussion on the changes to the Covid Protection Framework Announced on 23 March

You can register for the webinar here

A reminder of the new Red Traffic Light Setting

Tonight at 11:59 the Red Traffic Light setting will change for the entire country. The main changes to the traffic light setting focus on capacity limits.

Indoor venues that require CVCs will have their capacity limits increased to 200.

Capacity limits for venues that don’t require CVCs will have their capacity remain the same until April 4.

Outdoor capacity limits will be completely removed.

There will be no longer be a requirement to wear masks outdoors.

Face masks are still required on public transport.

The traffic light settings that are introduced tonight will again be reviewed on April 4 and we will provide further guidance when this happens.

A reminder about record keeping rules

At 11:59 pm tonight there will no longer be a requirement to scan in using QR codes or for organisations to display QR codes.  

Organisations are however, encouraged to keep the codes and people are encouraged to keep the app on their phones, as the technology will be retained as QR codes may be re-introduced for possible future variants.

My Vaccine Passes (MVP) and vaccine policies 

Vaccine passes are still required up until April 4. From this date there will be no requirements for organisations to use my vaccine passes, even if the country remains in the red traffic light setting.

The MVP requirements are being removed due to the high level of vaccinated New Zealanders and the features of the Omicron variant.

Councils are still able to use the MVP as an entry requirement after April 4 if they choose to, but it will no longer be a government requirement.

Councils who are still using the MVPs should reconsider their use in light of this change. We are expecting MBIE to provide updated guidance on this.

Councils should keep their vaccination policies under review.

Councils should update their health and safety risk assessment and vaccination policy in light of updated health advice or changing circumstances and to meet the specific needs of their workforce and workplace.

  • At the very least, councils should continue to engage with workers and their unions to support and encourage vaccinations including boosters.
  • Some situations may mean that a vaccine policy that requires staff to be fully vaccinated (with a booster) is still appropriate. Councils are encouraged to get legal advice in this situation.

Councils should retain the ability to move quickly in response to emerging waves, new variants or updated health advice. Councils should now start planning to refresh their workplace assessments and to review their workplace vaccination policies. In doing so, councils are encouraged to consult with staff and union(s) about those changes, and, if the council chooses to relax its policy for the meantime, to agree what circumstances may cause a return to tighter settings in the future, to allow a rapid escalation if required.

The Public Service Commission has released updated guidance to take effect tomorrow, it can be found here Public-Service-workforce-guidance-for-the-COVID-19-Protection-Framework.pdf (

A reminder of general health advice

It is important to remember that although restrictions are being eased, we are still in the midst of a highly infections Omicron outbreak.

The best way to protect yourself from Omicron is through vaccination. It is important to stress to communities the need for boosters for those who have had their second vaccine more than three months ago as well as the importance of vaccinations for 5-11 year olds.

Stay home if you are sick. This applies regardless of any exemption, if you have a cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms, you should get tested. You must stay home until you get a negative result. Call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Councils are encouraged to use physical distancing where possible to ensure that staff remain safe. Also ensure that surfaces such as desks, door handles, phones, and light switches are cleaned and sanitised regularly.

The Ministry of Health notes that as a rule face masks should be used whenever you are inside, with exceptions for your home and place of work if you are not public facing. Public facing employees are encouraged to wear masks. Informal advice from the Ministry of Health has recommended that as part of good infection control processes, people working in open plan offices with others should consider wearing masks.

It is also important to keep washing and sanitising hands and keeping up basic hygiene practices as well as keeping indoor rooms well ventilated by opening doors and windows where possible

Further health advice can be found here  COVID-19: About the Omicron variant | Ministry of Health NZ