Catch-up on new regulations as alert level changes

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However, Auckland remains at Alert Level Four

Wellington, September 7, 2021

Key things to note:

From 11.59 pm tonight, all of New Zealand outside the Auckland alert level boundaries will move to Alert Level 2.  Auckland will remain at Alert Level 4.

Face coverings are now mandatory at Alert Level 2 for most people visiting and working in customer-facing businesses and services.

New mandatory record keeping requirements for more businesses and locations will strengthen our ability to trace and quickly stamp out Covid-19.  These will be required for all Alert Levels to ensure contact tracing can happen quickly if needed.

Travel Restrictions

Travel is restricted across Alert Level boundaries and is for permitted travel only. All Alert Level 4 workers permitted to cross the Auckland boundaries will be required to have evidence of a test taken within the seven days before crossing. For more information visit unite against covid-19.

Per new Alert Level 2 guidelines, the number of people allowed on buses, trains and ferries is being limited and as such no standing on public transport will be allowed.  Passengers should wear a face covering and scan in.

All business remain eligible to apply for the wage subsidy as long as any part of the country is in Alert Level 3 or Alert Level 4.  For more information visit Work and Income.

Manufacturing of critical building supplies will be allowed to take place in Auckland to support residential construction across the country.  MBIE will manage the eligibility process for companies to undertake this work.

Alert Level 2 Guidelines

Hospitality Settings

In restaurants, bars and cafes, face coverings are encouraged when you’re not eating or drinking, as you will be seated and separated from others in a hospitality venue.

Staff at hospitality settings are required to wear a face covering.

Public-facing staff at cafes, restaurants and other businesses will also be required to wear face coverings.

Exercise, recreation, gyms: Exercise and sports are difficult to do with a face covering. The face covering requirement does not apply to clients in gyms. However, people do need to maintain 2-metres distance from others, meaning indoor gym spaces may have to limit the number of people who can attend. Employees in gyms – trainers and coaches – are encouraged to wear a face-covering, as they are public-facing in a business, with more opportunity to be in contact with a greater range of people.

The face-covering requirement does not apply to indoor sports – like indoor netball – but the rules on indoor gatherings do apply, and there can be no more than 50 people.

Masks are not mandatory for outdoor sports and exercise, as ventilation is not an issue. Outdoor social sports are treated as a gathering, so must be no more than 100 people.

Workplaces regulations

Workplaces that are not open to the public (such as offices and factory floors) are a controlled environment. 1-metre distancing is required between employees, but face coverings are not required – as long as the business does not have any customers visiting the premises.

The 2-metre rule applies where people other than employees access the workplace, for example at reception.

Face-coverings are encouraged in workplaces if people want to wear them.

Cases and monitoring

There are no unexpected new detections of Covid-19 in wastewater to report. Wastewater testing is being further adapted with increased catchment size and regularity of sampling.  These extra measures will start from 11:59 pm Thursday 9 September.

There are 21 new cases of Covid-19, all in Auckland for a total of 824 cases (147 recovered) in Auckland and 17 cases (8 recovered) in Wellington.  There are no new cases at the border.

There is an additional case today that is yet to be classified as either a community or border case. The total number of community cases in this outbreak is now 841. Twenty of today’s cases are epidemiologically linked. 

Yesterday, 12,131 Covid tests were processed across New Zealand with 5852 of those tests taken in Auckland.  Our 7-day rolling average is 12,131.

Covid-19 Testing: Strengthened testing

Testing has been strengthened to improve confidence there is no undetected community transmission and to protect the rest of the country from possible COVID-19 spread from Auckland.

There are three ways this is being supported.

Health services will maintain a network of testing sites across Auckland to ensure timely access for treatment, including for our Maori and Pacific communities.  

More regular surveillance testing for healthcare workers who’ve cared for or worked in units with Covid-19 patients. This includes a move to twice weekly testing for all workers in Auckland quarantine facilities.

Workers crossing the Auckland boundaries will be expected to have a weekly test and to show proof of this. There will be spot checks at the boundaries.

Saliva Testing

A saliva testing option will be rolled out, with details being worked through.

Saliva testing will complement the current swab testing at community testing sites, pop up testing centres and GP clinics. More than 830 border workers have signed up for saliva testing, and this will become an option for more groups over time, including healthcare workers, and returnees in MIQ facilities.

Vaccine Rollout

More than 3,950,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to date (to 11.59 pm on September 6, 2021). Of these, 2,611,510 people have had their first dose and over 1,340,000 people have had their second dose. 358,527 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to Maori. Of these, 239,661 Maori have received their first vaccination and 118,866 have also had their second vaccinations.

235,468 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to Pacific peoples.

More than 154,196 Pacific peoples have received their first vaccination and 81,272 have also had their second vaccinations.

Yesterday (September 6, 2021), we administered 66,310 doses nationally. Of these 44,641 were first doses, and 21,669 were second doses. 2,611,510 people have had at least one dose (62% of people aged 12 and over). Of those, 1,347,097 are fully vaccinated with two doses (32% of people aged 12 and over). 88% of people aged 65+ have been vaccinated with one dose, 72% have had their second.

For more information visit unite against covid-19.
Source: Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Wellington

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