This time around, the Government response to this lockdown has been far more settled, well at least so far. We are not seeing rules being introduced or changing by the hour as we did in late March and early April 2020.
One recent change we have seen is the upcoming introduction of mandatory signing in.
Mandatory sign-in rules will take effect for certain businesses 7 days after the next alert level change. Use of the Covid tracing app is strongly encouraged, but affected businesses will also need to provide a manual option for those who do not use the app.
The mandatory sign-in requirement will apply to:
- Visitors to aged care and healthcare facilities
- Cinemas, theatres, casinos and concerts
- Customers at massage parlours, beauticians, barbers, hairdressers and exercise facilities
- Customers at cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs
- Indoor public facilities, such as libraries, museums, swimming pools
- Social gatherings including those at marae, weddings, funerals, tangihanga and faith-based services
- Government departments.
Strangely, it does not apply to retail stores and many other businesses. Although, the use of the tracing app or manual tracing is strongly encouraged.
The onus will be on the business for the customers to comply (as far as is reasonably practicable). It is anticipated that there will be fines for businesses that do not comply, but the details of these are yet to be decided.
Most, if not all businesses, will already be displaying a QR code and have some form of manual sign-in process. So practically, most businesses will need to come up with policies and procedures for ensuring compliance by their customers. Sadly, this will also need to consider policies around health and safety for staff as we have already seen instances of assaults where essential services have tried to enforce the new mandatory mask requirements.
Reminder of alert levels
As we look towards an eventual reduction of Alert Levels, you may want to refresh yourselves with what businesses can and can’t do at various levels and start planning for the alert level reductions.
This page from business.govt.nz is a good summary of the rules for various workplaces at the different alert levels.
More specific information is available for certain industries from various sources, including:
- Construction: https://www.building.govt.nz/covid-19/
- Viticulture: https://www.nzwine.com/en/covid19/practical-advice/
- Agriculture/primary industries: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/covid-19-information-and-advice/
- Retail: https://retail.kiwi/advice/covid-19/
- Hospitality: https://www.restaurantnz.co.nz/covid-19-hospitality-hub/
- Real-estate: https://www.blog.reinz.co.nz/blog/alert-level-3-guidelines