Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Wednesday 23 March 2022

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Today’s update  

Today’s update focuses on the changes introduced this morning by the Prime Minister to the Covid Protection Framework.

Testing and isolation requirements remain the same at seven days for both cases and household contacts. If you have symptoms or someone in your house tests positive, isolate and get tested.

We will seek to update our guidance for councils later next week and will provide a link to this when this is complete.

We are working with Taituarā and LGNZ to hold a webinar next week, likely Thurs (31 March) and will confirm this as soon as possible.

New Red Traffic Light setting

The government has made changes to the Red Traffic Light setting which will take effect at 11:59 pm Friday 25 March.

These changes will see an increase in the capacity limits for indoor venues to 200 venues that require CVCs.

Outdoor capacity limits will be removed completely.

Where CVCs are not require, the limit remains the same until April 4 2022.

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

The next review of the traffic light settings will take place on April 4.

Changes to record keeping rules

At 11:59 on Friday 24 March there will no longer be a requirement to continue to use QR codes or messaging re scanning. The technology however, will be retained as it may be re-introduced for possible future variants.

Changes to My Vaccine Pass

From April 4 there will be no requirements for organisations to use my vaccine pass (even if the country remains at red).  

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

The reason for the removal of the MVP requirements is the high level of vaccinated New Zealanders and the features of the Omicron variant.

Councils who are still using MVPs should reconsider their use in light of this change. We are expecting MBIE to provide further guidance on this, including removal of the existing risk framework.

Resources and Fact sheets

We have attached factsheets which provide information for people living in aged residential care and people with disabilities.

These include information about additional access to Rapid Antigen Tests including prioritising these for at risk people.

We have also included some FAQs from this morning’s announcements.

Free Webinar – Covid-19: The 23 March package of Announcements

We are working with Taituarā, LGNZ, and MBIE to host a webinar covering the announced changes today and further under the traffic light system to be announced in April.

This is scheduled for 31 March and we will provide further information on Friday.