Monday, July 15, 2024

Far North council revises vaccine rules

My Vaccine Passes will not be required to access Far North District Council services at Te Ahu in Kaitāia following a Council review of facility operations under the COVID traffic light system.

The Council has required people over the age of 12 to show a My Vaccine Pass to access its Kaitāia Customer Service Centre, Kaitāia Library, Far North i-SITE Visitor Information Centre and Museum @ Te Ahu since the Government’s new COVID-19 Protection Framework came into effect on 3 December.

“Under the framework, My Vaccine Passes are mandatory at cafés unless they provide contactless services,” Council said in a statement.

“The Council decided to require My Vaccine Passes to access its services at Te Ahu, because it would have been unsafe and impractical to require these at the café there, but not at the library, service centre, museum and i-SITE near the café.

“Since then, management has been further considering Government guidelines and talking to Te Ahu Charitable Trust which owns and operates Te Ahu, including the café. Following these discussions, the Trust has agreed to provide only contactless services at the café from Monday 13 December.”

Council has now removed the current requirement for My Vaccine Passes at the Kaitāia Customer Service Centre, Kaitāia Library, Far North i-SITE and Museum @ Te Ahu.

The Trust will still require My Vaccine Passes at the cinema at Te Ahu and at venues for hire, as is mandated, and will limit access to this area of the building to separate spaces where passes are required and not required.

Council Chief Executive, Shaun Clarke, says vaccine passes are not mandatory at libraries and similar facilities under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework and only mandatory at cafés if they don’t operate contactlessly.

“We are grateful to Te Ahu Charitable Trust for offering to operate the café contactlessly last week and want to make it clear that it was the Council’s decision to require My Vaccine Passes at our Kaitāia services,” he said.

“The Council will continue to adhere to the traffic light guidelines to keep its customers and staff at Te Ahu safe.

“That means requiring customers and front-line staff to wear masks, maintaining 1-metre distancing between people and providing QR codes and a sign-in register so our customers can keep a record of where they have been for contact tracing purposes.”

Mr Clarke says management is also reviewing the requirement for My Vaccine Passes at 10 other sites where it provides customer, library and visitor information services.

Council signalled last week that it would require My Vaccine Passes at all public-facing sites from 10 January 2022.

It has now decided not to require passes at these sites from this date and to introduce this rule later in the New Year if it decides that passes are necessary.

“We are reviewing the requirement for My Vaccine Passes at other sites to further consider the safety and resourcing issues associated with this proposal. We are also addressing ways of achieving consistency and alignment with practices at other NZ Councils. We will keep our customers and the community informed about any changes we are planning,” Mr Clarke said.

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