Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Wednesday 6 April 2022

 Local Government Response Unit main page

ANZAC planning

The decision by the New Zealand Defence Force to not support services on ANZAC day this year due to the risk of Omicron transmission is an opportunity for local councils to revisit their plans for the day.

With ANZAC day fast approaching any councils that have not already done so should conduct a risk assessment of ANZAC day services with Omicron in the community and in light of possible shifting Covid framework settings and the risk of transmission.

Ceremonies are able to take place within the Covid Protection Framework guidelines e.g. under the red light setting indoor ceremonies are limited to 200. Facemasks are required indoors at both the orange and red traffic light settings and are recommended at green settings.  

Councils could consider making indoor ceremonies invitation only or only holding outdoor services.

With no defence force presence and the usual attendance of elderly veterans it may not be desirable for parades to be held.

Councils should also consider keeping different groups separate from each other for any wreath laying ceremonies.

16 – 17 year olds are now eligible for boosters

From Thursday 7 April 16- 17 year olds who have received their second vaccine more than six months ago are now eligible for a Booster.

The Ministry of Health also recommends that if you have had Covid-19, you should wait three months before getting any Covid vaccinations.  

Updated Guidance

As noted on Monday, our guidance to the sector on the changes to the Covid Protection Framework have been updated. This is has been added to The Local Government Response Unit webpage.

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 infectious 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