Covid Update 14/04/2022
Changes to the traffic light system
A review of the traffic light settings took place on the 13th of April. Government announced a change in the traffic light system from from Red to Orange.
- There will be no limit for outdoor gatherings.
- There will be no limit for indoor gatherings.
- You do not need to wear a face mask outdoors.
- Other face mask rules remain unchanged.
- There is no requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping.
Vaccinations for staff
From Monday 4 April, some Government vaccine mandates have been removed. Employment New Zealand have updated information for employers on workplace vaccination requirements here:
Worksafe has updated information for employers on undertaking a risk assessment to determine what sort of controls are appropriate here:
MBIE is reviewing its vaccination assessment tool for employers and will be making it available on their website. From their presention on 1 April, it is clear that updated risk assessment should be undertaken and the bar is higher for employers to continue with vaccine mandates.
Vaccination Pass Prohibition
Denying access to essential services, including government-funded and housing support services, remains prohibited under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework).
Rapid Antigen Tests
Rapid Antigen Tests are now widely available to the public. People who need a test can request free COVID-19 testing kits here and collect them from their collection centre:
Request a RAT | Ministry of Health NZ (covid19.health.nz)
Providers registered with the Ministry of Health to undertake supervised testing can continue to order testing kits through the online portal.
We continue to encourage you to talk to your staff about your COVID Safety and Business Continuity Plans and any changes you are proposing to make.
Resources to Manage in Phase 3
Covid-19 is in the community and Aotearoa’s response has become more reliant on self-management.
More information on the self-management of Covid-19 can be found here: https://covid19.govt.nz/isolation-and-care/care-in-the-community/. Most notably, only household contacts of those who test positive for Covid-19 will now have to self-isolate.
CHA has developed a public health guidance note for Community Housing Providers’ and Homeless Services’ staff to manage and reduce the risks of contracting Covid-19 or being a close contact in their operations. It can be found here: Reducing the Risk of Being a Close Contact.
The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) published an updated Managing Covid-19 A guide for social and temporary housing providers to reflect Omicron and phase 3 actions and guidance on 3 March. While prepared for Auckland, It covers how to reduce the risk to residents and staff and how to prepare for a case at a property applicable generally.
The Ministry of Health released Guidance for Community Providers on Rapid Antigen Testing in February. Should you encounter difficulties through the formal system, please then contact Kirkpatrick Mariner email@example.com at the Ministry of Health for assistance.
There are also Regional Health Liaisons who can provide assistance to you locally in your region and make appropriate connections for support.
Northern: Daniel Hirst Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org
Te Manawa Taki: Clair Rowland Clair.Rowland@health.govt.nz
Central: Steve Carey Steve.Carey@health.govt.nz
Southern: Manaia Cunningham Manaia.Cunningham@health.govt.nz
Care in the Community for Housing Providers
Please see attached a presentation from Ministry of Health at our Sector Call held today 8 March 2022
The Ministry of Health released the requirements concerning the Health and Disability Worker Vaccinations Order on Saturday 23 October. The Order took effect from 11.59pm 25 October, health and disability workers will need to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022.
While the mandate has been widened to include care and support workers and those who enter homes to provide community support services, it will not include those working in housing support services (such as tenancy managers).
We know vaccination conversations are top of mind for our providers right now and we have collated some resources which may be of help.
- The Workshop have developed a document about having healthy and productive vaccine conversations with your friends, your family, and your colleagues.
- In this video, employment lawyer Barnaby Locke examines the legal framework on Covid-19 vaccinations in the workplace and protecting your staff
- This template policy drafted by Southland Law can be adopted by your organisation to ensure you are up-to-date with best practice regarding health and safety under Covid-19 and vaccinations
- Risk assessments are a key part of understanding which employees need to be vaccinated. Worksafe has developed a guide here