Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Friday 29 October 2021

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National State of Play

On Wednesday 27 October, the Alert Level 3 restrictions in the Waikato eased slightly to match the freedoms currently allowed in Auckland (Step 1).

The Alert Level boundary between Auckland and the Waikato remains in place.

The Alert Level and Step settings for both the Waikato and Auckland Regions will next be assessed by Cabinet on Monday 1 November.

The rest of New Zealand, including Northland and Christchurch, remains at Alert Level 2 with current restrictions in place.

On Friday 22 October, the Prime Minister announced plans to transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework with three levels: Green, Orange and Red. New Zealand will move to the new system when DHBs reach the double vaccination target of 90%. Auckland will move to the Red level as soon as all three of the Auckland DHBs hit the 90% double vaccination target.

On 29 November, Cabinet will review the vaccination progress to see if anything needs to change.

Webinar for councils on vaccine mandates

The Response Unit will be hosting a free webinar for council staff to discuss the advice and guidance around current vaccine mandates, and the implications for council staff and services.

This webinar will be on Monday 8 November, more details will be included in Monday’s 5:15.

Guidance on mandatory vaccinations for education

On Monday 25 October, the COVID-19 Public Health Response Order for Mandatory Vaccinations for Education came into effect. The Health Response Order can be viewed here: COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (LI 2021/94) (as at 25 October 2021) Contents – New Zealand Legislation

Everyone who works for a school or kura who may have contact with children or students or will be present at a time when children and students are also present must have had a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 15 November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

The order also applies to unpaid workers, such as volunteers and any members of the community (including Council staff) who are regularly on site during a time when children and students may be present.

The vaccination requirements apply wherever in person schooling occurs, such as on the school or early learning service site, but also at school camps, swimming pools, museums, or where other education outside the classroom (EOTC) programmes take place (this potentially includes other Council venues such as libraries or community facilities). This means that both workers and volunteers who are involved in EOTC should have had a first vaccination by 15 November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

The vaccination requirements do not apply to those who are performing services remotely, or who are onsite only when children and students are not present (such as a contractor who is performing maintenance during the weekend or over a term break).

The requirements also do not apply to people who are visiting a school or kura, such as for a learning conference or a parent, whānau and community evening.

The Ministry of Education have developed guidance for those effected by the Order, including and FAQ. This is available on the Ministry of Education’s website: Guidance for the COVID-19 Required Vaccinations Order

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

Today there are 125 new cases in the community, 118 in the Auckland region, 4 in Waikato, 1 in Northland and 2 in Christchurch.

Available testing sites can be found on the Ministry of Health website: Available testing sites.

Locations of interest can be found at Locations of Interest . This is being updated as soon as information is available.

Economic assistance is available for those impacted by the lockdown, more information available on the COVID-19 website., including details of the new Business Boost package announced Friday.

Development of guidance for the new COVID-19 Protection Framework

The Response Unit is working on shaping up guidance for the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. The detail needed will emerge over the next 4–5 weeks with the final details not likely to be confirmed until after the 29 November Cabinet meeting. 

We expect to issue a new set of Guidance for council services the week of 29 November.

We are conscious that this is a long time away for Councils. We will be working with a sub-group of Councils to help shape the guidance and review the early iterations.

Both vaccination certificates and mandatory vaccinations will be a key part of the guidance. Below we have set out the details on these as they are currently known and the plan for the next 4-5 weeks.

All current details on the COVID-19 Protection Framework is available on the COVID-19 website: The COVID-19 Protection Framework | Unite against COVID-19 (, and the Response Unit provided an overview of the Framework in the update for Friday 22 October.

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 .