Local Government COVID-19 Response Update – Monday 13 September 2021  

Here’s today’s update 

This afternoon, Monday 13 September the Prime Minister announced that Auckland would remain at Alert Level 4 until 11:59pm next Tuesday, 21 September 2021.  

The rest of the country remains in Alert Level 2. 

Alert Level settings for the whole country will be reviewed by Cabinet on Monday 20 September 2021.  

The Prime Minister announced that Cabinet has made an in-principle decision that Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 at 12:00am Wednesday 22 September 2021.  

Exemption cards for mandatory face covering requirements 

The Response Unit has been made aware of some community groups distributing un-official documentation claiming to exempt people from wearing mandatory face coverings.  

Individuals with a disability or health condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering safely or comfortably can request and exemption card from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ. Further information on how to request an exemption card is available on the COVID-19 website. 

Exemption cards issued by the DPA NZ are the only documentation individuals can provide that exempt them from the mandatory face covering requirements.  

You have the right to decline entry to anyone not complying with the health order that gives effect to the mask-wearing requirements.  If you are live-streaming the meetings, provide a link and explain how they might participate in a virtual hearing process. 

If the individual concerned refuses to wear a mask and will not comply with a request to leave, you should contact the police (especially if the person becomes abusive or aggressive).  

Changes to the Response Unit daily updates  

Following feedback, the Response Unit is looking to make some small changes to ensure that the daily communications remain helpful and relevant for staff and elected members.  

At this stage we will still be distributing daily updates, but we are aiming to provide more concise updates with a focus on any new information and limiting the repetition of messages.  

Any new updates for the day are titled in Red.  

The Local Government Response Unit webpage is regularly updated, this is where you can access the most up to date Council Alert Level Guidance, and we also publish all previous Response Unit updates.  

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

There are 33 new cases of COVID-19 in the community, all in Auckland. This brings the total number of cases connected to the current community outbreak to 955, with 582 active 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. 

Public Health requirements for council meetings  

In last week’s communications, the Response Unit provided guidance on the relevant provisions of the Public Health Order as they relate to council meetings. This advice can be found in the Response Unit update for Friday 10 September 2021, published on the Local Government Response Unit webpage 

Travel across Alert Level boundaries 

Workers who need to cross an alert level boundary must carry evidence of the purpose of their travel and the location of their destination. 

The Business Travel Register, managed by MBIE, enables businesses and organisations to register for travel for permitted activities, or to seek an exemption from the Director-General of Health. 

Government agencies will be working with employers who have workers crossing the Auckland boundary to put in place weekly testing of these workers.  

More information can be found on the MBIE website: Business travel across Alert Level Boundaries — business.govt.nz 

Guidance on mandatory record keeping at Alert Level 3 and lower 

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

The Privacy Commissioner has provided guidanceon 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 lasts 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.