Here is a quick update about what’s happening at Blind Low Vision NZ as the country moves to different Alert Levels this week.

For those of you in Auckland, there isn’t much change at the moment while we remain at Level 4. We will be in touch again after the Government review the Alert Level on Monday 13 September.

The rest of the country will be moving down to Alert Level 2 from 11:59PM Tuesday 7 September. At Alert Level 2 our offices are open, and will be fully operational within the noted guidelines as mandated by the Ministry of Health.

The Alert Level 2 guidelines including the new requirements from government are as follows:

  • Service Delivery to a client can occur in the community and if going into a home, employees will be required to keep records of the visit for contact tracing purposes.
  • All Blind Low Vision NZ employees are to work using health and wellbeing protocols including PPE.
  • As per Ministry of Health standards, employees are required to wear a face covering if they are working in a public-facing area of the business.
  • All staff are required to wear a face covering when interacting with any outside visitors within the office environment.
  • Mask wearing is now mandatory in most public venues. People with disabilities or health conditions may be exempt from the requirement of a face covering.
  • All offices outside of Auckland are open with employees working using social distancing and health and wellbeing protocols. (This will vary depending by location and size and layout of the buildings).
  • All offices re-open to members, volunteer groups or the public with limited indoor gatherings of no more than 50 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people.
  • Mandatory Record Keeping is now a requirement. QR codes issued by the NZ Government are to be displayed in a prominent place or near the main entrance to enable use of the NZ COVID Tracer app for contact tracing. Or alternatively we must provide a contact tracing system that includes gathering names and contact information. Check out our web page with instructions for setting up your COVID scanner App.

Keeping in touch

While things are moving in the right direction, there is still a lot of uncertainty so it is still important for us to stay connected during this time.

You can get in touch by phoning 0800 24 33 33 or emailing info@blindlowvision.org.nz for support. You can also find information on our website, or our Telephone Information Service (TIS) menu 3481.

I also encourage you to access services that could help at this time:

  • Library – we have more than 36,000 items in our accessible library to help keep you entertained in a time where restrictions are placed on lives and movements.
  • Telefriend is a peer support service run by volunteers over the phone for people living with sight loss. If you are in need of friendly chat, please give them a call on 0800 100 051, Monday to Friday, 1pm to 4pm.
  • Emotional Support – if you are needing emotional support at this time you can call us on 0800 24 33 33 to find out more about this service.

Kia Kaha Auckland as we embark on another week in Level Four. To the rest of New Zealand: be safe, scan in, wear a mask, and look out for each other.