Local Government COVID-19 Response Update – Monday 6 September 2021

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Here’s today’s update 

The Prime Minister announced today, Monday 6 September 2021, that all parts of New Zealand outside the Auckland alert level boundaries will to move to Alert Level 2 from 11.59pm on Tuesday 7 September 2021. 

Alert level settings for all of New Zealand will be reviewed by Cabinet on Monday 13 September.  

Changes to Alert Level 2 settings 

The Prime Minister also announced today the following key changes to Alert Level 2 settings: 

Essential workers who cross the Auckland alert level boundaries will be required to get tested weekly for COVID-19. Essential workers will need to show proof of testing when crossing the boundaries. Those workers will not be required to isolate and stay at home while waiting for test results. 

Face coverings are mandatory at public indoor venues. You can remove masks to eat and drink at hospitality venues. Staff at public-facing businesses open at Alert Level 2 must wear face coverings. 

Indoor gatherings, and hospitality and event venues have a limit of 50 people. Outdoor venues have a limit of 100 people 

Public indoor venues (e.g. museums, and gyms) must follow the 2m rule for visitors. 

The updated COVID-19 Public Health Response Order for Alert Level 2 is expected tomorrow. The Response Unit is working to incorporate the changes announced today into detailed guidance for local government that will be consistent with the Public Health Response order. The detailed guidance will be in tomorrow’s communication. 

General guidance on Alert Level 2 is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website 

Guidance on mandatory record keeping at Alert Level 3 and lower 

Mandatory record keeping requirements will come into effect from Wednesday 8 September 2021 for all businesses and locations south of Auckland and from Friday 10 September 2021 for all Northland businesses and locations. 

This means many businesses and locations will need to have record keeping systems and processes in place, so visitors can keep a record when they visit. This can be done by scanning QR codes with the COVID-19 Tracer App or making a manual record.  

Paper based registers should be maintained and recorded from an individual behind a counter (i.e. your receptionist) rather than viewed and operated by everyone who enters the building. If this is inconvenient or not staffed – people should be using a ballot box system. 

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.  

New resources have been added to the posters section of the Unite Against COVID-19 website. These include three new ‘record keeping box’ templates in different sizes, new record keeping slips and a sticker for custom boxes. 

There will be no explicit obligation on the person responsible for the place or gathering to ensure that people are making a record. The obligation on businesses is to have systems and processes in place to ensure (as far as reasonably practicable) that customers or visitors make a record.  

Businesses will not be required or expected to turn people away who may refuse to make a record of their visit, particularly if the person becomes aggressive or abusive. This will be at the discretion of the business. 

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

You can read more information on the website: Record keeping and contact tracing on Unite against COVID-19. 

This link as information on how to display your QR display code (PDF, 221 KB) 

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

There are 20 new cases of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community, all in Auckland. This brings the total number of cases related to the Delta outbreak to 821. Of that number, 117 people have recovered, meaning there are currently 704 active cases. 

If you have cold and flu symptoms, please get tested. 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. 

Disposing of single-use face coverings 

A reminder from the Ministry for the Environment that it is a requirement to dispose single-use face coverings in the rubbish bin, not the recycling bin.   

Vaccination bookings now open to all people aged 12 and over 

Everyone in Aotearoa aged 12 and over can now book their free COVID-19 vaccination. It does not matter what your visa or citizenship status is. You can book on behalf of someone else — or help them with their booking — if you have their permission. 

The Book My Vaccine website is the fastest and easiest way to book and make changes to your appointment. Booking through the website can take 5 minutes or less. 

Vaccination appointments can also be booked over the phone by calling the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26. All calls are free, and the team are available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. You can ask for an interpreter if you need one. 

More information and resources on the New Zealand COVID-19 vaccination programme can be found on the Unite against COVID-19 website.  

Travel across Alert Level Boundaries 

The latest information on travel across Alert Level Boundaries can be found on this websiteBusiness travel across Alert Level Boundaries  

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is managing the Business Travel Register. The register enables businesses and organisations to (pre-)register for essential worker travel across Alert Level boundaries.  

The register is now open, and essential businesses can register: 

either for permitted activities (those activities listed in the Alert Level Requirement Order): or  

to seek an exemption from the Director General of Health (for something that isn’t listed in the Order).  

The register will generate Business Travel Documents (BTD) for workers to display at checkpoints. The BTD includes a QR code, which enables Police to verify the document digitally against the register. The Business Travel Register is available at this link: Business Travel Register 

For permitted activities there is no requirement to register for travel, nor are travellers required to carry the system issued BTD; there are a variety of forms of evidence that can be provided at checkpoints. However, the BTD will be a standard document recognised by Police that can be displayed from the vehicle and will therefore speed up monitoring of and passage through checkpoints. 

An unofficial rule of thumb is that if you can travel under Alert Level 4 settings you will be able to do so for Alert Level 4/Alert Level 3 boundary travel – but all other travel has to be approved (so none of the previous prior approvals issued through the Business Travel system administered by MBIE will carry over). 

The guidance on council services and operations through the Alert Levels (distributed Friday), provides further information on cross-boundary travel, including guidance on the Business Travel registration process.   

Epidemic notice remains in force 

The following provisions will remain in place until the Principal Notice expires or is revoked: 

the amendments to enable council meetings via audio or visual link to meet quorum requirements regardless of Council Standing Orders; 

the provisions enabling council meetings to be open to the public through online access and to post meeting agendas, reports and minutes on council websites rather than physical locations; 

new members of Council can continue to make their statutory declaration (oath of office) via audio or audio-visual link; and 

the mechanism for making further changes to by-election timing by Order in Council and provisions enabling local authority chief executives to delay the commencement of by-election timeframes. 

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