Traffic Light Orders Released03 December 2021
Traffic Light Orders Released
Today 3 December, the COVID-19 Protection Framework comes into effect.
The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021 establishes the Framework and replaces the Alert Level system.
Most of the existing rules about use of face coverings, social distancing, use of tracer App and so on continue to apply.
In terms of crossing a border, from 15 December travellers must produce their Vaccine Pass or provide proof of a negative COVID test taken no more than 72 hours prior to travel.
There are new requirements that relate to the use of CVCs (COVID Vaccine Certificates) to regulate access to certain businesses or services (including events that they organise) and to gatherings. A regulated business or service includes:
- Close contact services
- Entertainment, Recreational and Exercise services
- Food and Drink services
These businesses or services are regulated because their operations present a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.
These businesses can elect whether or not to apply CVC rules. If they choose to operate under CVC rules, they will have greater freedoms. For example, under a RED light a close contact business operating under CVC rules may operate with face masks etc, but a similar business not operating under CVC rules must remain closed. The rules in either case vary depending on which colour traffic light is in force at the time.
A business must publish at the main entrance of the premises whether or not CVC rules apply.
Those operating under CVC rules must:
- Have systems and processes in place to check that each person at the premises is carrying a CVC; and
- Have systems and processes in place to verify, so far as is reasonably practicable, in relation to a reasonable number of people, that those CVCs are valid and have been issued to the person in question; and
- Comply with any other requirements specified as part of the CVC rules for that type of business or service
If a regulated business or service displays a sign indicating that it is operating under CVC rules, a person who enters the premises must produce their CVC on request. That includes all staff working in the premises.
It’s fair to say the rules are extensive and complicated. The best description of what is or is not permitted can be found here: https://www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/covid-19-protection-framework/
Businesses or services such as supermarkets, health services and most public transport services are prohibited from operating with CVC restrictions. Such businesses or services must not deny a person entry to the premises or access to services on vaccination grounds.
The CVC requirements generally do not apply to a child who is younger than 12 years and 3 months. Children under 12 are currently ineligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Gatherings and Events
The Protection Framework establishes new types of permitted gatherings and events that rely on the use of CVCs.
The CVC compliant gatherings and events that are permitted at Green, Orange, and Red are those specified in the relevant COVID-19 response schedule.
Gatherings and events that do not use CVCs will have stricter requirements imposed than those that do (for example, the event may be subject to capacity limits).
COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 6) 2021
This amendment order imposes requirements on workers in the following situations where CVCs are required for persons to enter a place or receive a service:
- Workers of a food and drink business or service
- Workers at gyms
- Workers working at permitted event, regardless of whether the work is carried out before people arrive at, or leave, the event
- Workers at a close-proximity business or service (like hairdressers)
- Workers working for a tertiary education provider at certain tertiary education premises (basically those in areas governed by a red light)
A PCBU that employs or engages an affected person who belongs to any of these new groups must keep a vaccination record in respect of the affected person containing specified information, including information about whether the person is vaccinated, any doses of a COVID-19 vaccine the person has received or the dates by which the person must have had any dose to be vaccinated, and, if the person is not vaccinated, whether the person relies on an exemption or authorisation.
There are transitional provisions. If a person is not vaccinated by 3 December 2021, they may not access such premises. If they get vaccinated on or after 3 December they:
- Must be treated as vaccinated on the day on which they have their first dose, and
- Be treated as vaccinated until 17 January 2022 (and after that date) if they have their second dose by the close of 17 January.
If a person has received their first dose by 3 December they must be treated as vaccinated until 17 January 2022 (and after that date) if they have their second dose before the close of 17 January 2022.
If you have any questions, give us a call – Tony 021 920 323, Justine 021 920 410 or Michelle 021 993 735.