Written by on November 30, 2021

The new Protection Framework comes into effect this Friday. It brings with it many changes and we will try to summarise these here.

Initially the Waikato including Hauraki/Coromandel will be on colour orange and this is summarised in the table below. Orange is used when there’s increasing community transmission of COVID-19 and face coverings are mandatory on flights, public transport, in taxis, retail, public facilities, and encouraged elsewhere.

The key change is different rules apply depending on vaccination status. Those who are double vaccinated have freedom to attend Hospitality venues, Gatherings such as weddings, funerals and church services, public events (indoor or outdoor), gyms and other close contact businesses such as Spa and massage etc.

However, for unvaccinated access is far more restrictive. For example, an unvaccinated person would not be able to attend on site at any hospitality venue and would instead only have contactless service available.

These rules apply in the same way to attending any gatherings in a private home and the key to this is the responsibility is on the host, to make sure the event complies. Failure to do so exposes those to fines of up to $15,000. Health Minister Andrew Little has said on TV this morning “If there is an outbreak and it’s traced back to your party and the question is asked about you then you could be liable for an infringement if you haven’t enforced that rule”.

At Orange you can have a gathering with unlimited vaccinated people and a maximum of 50 unvaccinated. However, the 1m separation rule would also apply so the maximum could come down below 50.

Businesses in the Hospitality area or organisers of events or gatherings or places where close contact occurs must know if people on the premises are vaccinated or unvaccinated. This will mean greeting people on entering the premises and checking the status of their vaccinations. The Government has released an app to scan vaccination passes and this can be accessed via the app store or Google Play and requires IOS 11 or later and Android 6.0 or later.

Many people have had trouble downloading their certificates and several chemists are assisting with printing these. Check with the pharmacies in your area or check with your local club or church who may be able to assist.

Police will be responsible for compliance of the new standards. The website states “There will be a graduated compliance model in place to support businesses as they implement these new requirements, with an emphasis on education first. As with any workplace requirement it is a high trust model. However, based on experience with the alert level framework, businesses can expect strong feedback from their customers and competitors if they do not follow the rules.”

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