Update – Wednesday 16 March 2022

Local Government Response Unit main page

Today’s update:

  • New Zealand is currently in Phase Three of the Omicron Management Strategy, and in the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework.
  • Reconnecting New Zealand has progressed with key updates and timeframes
  • The Epidemic Notice has been renewed


Reconnecting New Zealand

  • The Government has today announced dates for reconnecting New Zealand
  • At 11:59 pm 12 April 2022 the border will open to vaccinated Australians
  • At 11:59 pm 1 May 2022 the border will open for vaccinated people from visa waiver countries
  • All visitors will be required to undertake a pre-departure test which can either be a RAT or a PCR test or LAMP test
  • Once they arrive travellers will also be required to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test on day 0-1 and again on day 5-6

reminder about Covid-19 positive critical workers returning to work

  • In exceptional circumstances, critical workers who are COVID-19 positive can now be exempted from isolation requirements to enable them to return to work
  • The Director-General of Health now has the power to exempt certain COVID-19 cases from isolation requirements to enable them to return to work.
  • The bar for an exemption is very high and only a very limited number of exemptions are expected to be granted.
  • Workers must be vaccinated, and asymptomatic, and strict health guidelines must be in place
  • Criteria include that temporary disruption of the relevant business or service would cause significant economic, social, or physical harm to a community.
  • Agreement from the worker to be exempted is required, and engagement with relevant unions must be undertaken- which might be wise to do in advance of an urgent situation arising.
  • The attached flow chart shows the process, which is manual and requires an email to the Ministry of Health in the first instance.

Options for individuals seeking exemption from isolation from work (PDF, 148KB)

Risk assessments and vaccine passports

  • We understand that a number of councils are revisiting their risk assessments around vaccine mandates and vaccine passports, in light of a changing public health environment.
  • We recommend that all Councils are scheduling regular reviews of these risk assessments as the public health environment and framework settings are constantly changing and we expect this to continue over the next few weeks.

The epidemic notice has been renewed

  • You can find the relevant Gazette notice here