Local Government COVID-19 Response Update – Sunday 19 September 2021

Return to Local Government COVID Response Unit updates

Here’s today’s update

The country outside of Auckland remains at Alert Level 2, while Auckland remains at Alert Level 4. On Monday 13 September, the Prime Minister announced Cabinet had made an in-principle decision to move Auckland to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm, Tuesday 21 September 2021.

Alert level settings for the whole country will be reviewed by Cabinet tomorrow, Monday 20 September.

With an in-principle decision that Auckland will move to Alert Level 3, we are working on guidance on what this will mean for Auckland and the border.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about what an alert level 2/3 spilt in the country will mean, please get in touch with us via our email address so we can resolve these: LGCGcovid19response@dia.govt.nz  

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

There are 24 new cases of COVID-19 in the community, all in Auckland. 21 of these have been linked to an existing case, with work being undertaken to link the final 3. This brings the total number of cases connected to the current community outbreak to 1050, 671 of whom have recovered. All 17-cases which were detected in Wellington have now recovered.

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.

Travel across the boundary and mandatory testing requirements

All workers crossing the alert level boundaries to work at a permitted business must show evidence that they have had a COVID-19 test in the previous seven days, whether they have symptoms or not. This includes workers who regularly travel across boundaries to respond to emergency calls.

Police are checking for compliance and turning away people who do not have evidence of a test.

Evidence of a test includes a text message at the time of test or advising of the result of the test. If these texts aren’t available, a worker will need a paper-based confirmation proof of test from either the Community Testing Centre or GP where they got tested.

There is no cost for essential workers to get a test for this purpose.

Subcontractors or other key utilities specialists who have not been tested, may only cross alert level boundaries in emergency situations. We suggest that key utilities businesses identify their subcontractors and provide them or their employees with a letter stating who they are and what role they play in an emergency.

Emergency response vehicles from key utilities sectors are able to use the ‘freight lanes’ at alert level boundary checkpoints to avoid queuing.

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

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

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.