Local Government COVID-19 Response Update – Monday 4 October 2021

Local Government Response Unit main page

Here’s today’s update

The Prime Minister announced today a staged approach to reduce current Alert Level 3 settings in Auckland.

Stage 1 will begin from 11.59pm on Tuesday, 5 October 2021 and include the following changes:

People will be able to hold outdoor gatherings with no more than two households at a time and a maximum of 10 people.

Early childhood education centres can reopen.

People will be able to move around Auckland for outdoor recreation purposes.

Stage 2 changes include:

Retail can operate – with face coverings and physical distancing requirements.

Public facilities can open – with face coverings and physical distancing requirements.

The outdoor gathering limit increases to 25 people.

Stage 3 changes include:

Hospitality to reopen with seating requirements in place and a 50 person cap.

Close contact businesses to reopen (e.g. hairdressers, beauty salons, massage parlours)

Schools to reopen.

Cabinet will review weekly any move to the next stage.

Parts of Waikato (including Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruāwahia and Hamilton City) are at Alert Level 3 for five days from 11.59pm on Sunday 3 October 2021. The easing of the restrictions for Auckland will not extend to these parts of the Waikato. Alert Level settings for the affected areas in the Waikato will be reviewed by Cabinet on Friday 8 October 2021.

The rest of NZ stays at Alert Level 2 but the limit on the number for hospitality venues will removed –the seated and separated rule will continue to apply.

The alert level settings (excluding those for parts of Waikato) will be reviewed by Cabinet on Monday 4 October 2021.

A summary of the Alert Level Setting Changes for Auckland is available on the Unite against COVID-19 website: Alert Level advice for Auckland | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

If you are contacted by media for comment, we recommend directing them to the official Unite against COVID-19 website for updates.

Travel for work in and out of the Waikato Alert Level 3 area

People can travel in and out of the Waikato Alert Level 3 area for limited permitted reasons. This includes for work in permitted business and services.

People can also cross into the Waikato Alert Level 3 area from an Alert Level 2 area to work in any business or service which is open in the Alert Level 3 area.

People cannot cross from the Waikato Alert Level 3 area to work in an Alert Level 2 area, except for work in permitted businesses and services.

People travelling in and out of the Waikato Alert Level 3 area — other than across the boundary with Auckland — are not required to provide evidence of a recent test.

A formal business travel document is not required however the Government recommends to source a letter from an employer confirming place of work and need to travel.

There is no prescribed period for people to travel home, but travel should be restricted to what is essential to avoid unnecessary contact.

Further advice on permitted travel in out of the Waikato Alert Level 3 is available here: Waikato | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

You can view the Boundary Map for the Waikato Alert Level 3 area here: Alert Level boundary map | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

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

There are 29 new cases of COVID-19 in the community, 28 in Auckland and 1 in Waikato. 21 of today’s cases have been epidemiologically linked to existing cases.

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

Locations of interest can be found Locations of Interest, and 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.

New QR code requirements

Three new requirements for display of QR code posters come into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 5 October.

New changes to QR poster display requirements will mean additional copies of a COVID-19 QR code will need to be displayed in other places throughout businesses and locations that are already required to display them. This is in addition to an already required QR code displayed at the main entrance.

QR code posters are now also required to kept in a good condition, this limits the risk that scanning doesn’t take place if posters are faded or damaged or difficult to scan in on.

The QR code must not be altered in a way that makes it unclear that it has been issued by the NZ Government for the purposes of contact tracing. Businesses and locations must use the official COVID-19 QR code posters issued by the Ministry of Health. This also ensures people know the QR code they are scanning links to the COVID tracer app and is for contact tracing purposes.

Public transport operators are also included and will need to display additional copies of QR codes. This is in addition to the existing requirement to display a copy in a prominent place on or inside any vehicle. Vehicles with five or fewer seats including taxis and ride shares are exempt from displaying additional copies.

Public Health requirements for council meetings

Advice on relevant provisions of the Public Health Order as they relate to council meetings can be found in the Response Unit update for Friday 10 September 2021 published on the Local Government Response Unit webpage.

Guidance on mandatory record keeping at Alert Level 3 and lower

Many businesses and locations are now required to take steps to ensure people can easily make a record when they visit.

The Privacy Commissioner has provided guidance on how to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act while complying with the new record keeping requirements.

Visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website to get information on mandatory record keeping

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.