We’re following up from the government announcement on Monday to clarify how the new COVID-19 Protection Framework will work within Blind Low Vision NZ from 11:59PM Thursday 2 December.

Red light settings include Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts. Specifically for us this incorporates all Blind Low Vision NZ offices in Whangarei, Auckland (including Albany, Awhina House, Henderson, Fale Kotuku, Guide Dog Services), Gisborne and Wanganui.

Orange light settings cover the remainder of the North Island and the entire South Island.  Specifically for us this incorporates Blind Low Vision NZ offices in Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Kapiti Coast, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.

As indicated by government these settings will continue to be reviewed every two weeks. Further the Auckland border will be relaxed from 15 December, allowing travel into and out of orange zones if necessary.

Here’s a quick synopsis of what life looks like at those different settings.

Red, action will need to be taken to protect both at-risk people and protect our health system from an unsustainable number of hospitalisations.

How we stay safe at Red

  • Record keeping and scanning will be required.
  • Face coverings will be mandatory on flights, public transport, in taxis, retail, public venues, and recommended whenever leaving the house.

Where we can go at Red

  • Public facilities — open with up to 100 people, based on 1 metre distancing.
  • Retail — open with capacity limits based on 1 metre distancing
  • Workplaces open — working from home encouraged.
  • ECEs, schools, and kura are open with public health measures.
  • Specified outdoor community events — allowed with capacity limits.
  • Regional boundary restrictions may apply

Places with vaccination certificate requirements. There will be restrictions if vaccination certificates are used.

These places will be able to open with up to 100 people, based on 1 metre physical distancing:

  • hospitality
  • gatherings, such as at places of worship or marae
  • weddings and civil union ceremonies
  • funerals and tangihanga
  • events (indoor/outdoor)
  • gyms.

Orange, there will be increasing community transmission that is putting pressure on our health system. The whole of health system will focus its resources, but can continue to manage primary care, public health, and hospitals. There may also be an increasing risk for at-risk people.

How we stay safe at Orange

  • Record keeping and scanning will be required.
  • Face coverings will be mandatory on flights, public transport, in taxis, retail, public venues, and encouraged elsewhere.

Where we can go at Orange

  • Public facilities will be open with capacity limits based on 1 metre distancing.
  • Retail will be open with capacity limits based on 1 metre distancing.
  • Education facilities will be open with public health measures in place.
  • Workplaces.
  • Specified outdoor community events.
  • Regional boundary restrictions will not apply.

There will be no limits if vaccination certificates are used at:

  • hospitality
  • gatherings, such as at places of worship or marae
  • weddings and civil union ceremonies
  • funerals and tangihanga
  • events (indoor/outdoor)
  • close contact businesses (for example hairdressers)
  • gyms.

As indicated in previous communications as of this Wednesday 1 December, Blind Low Vision NZ will be implementing its mandatory proof of vaccination requirement for access to any of our facilities across New Zealand.

The 3 Regional Managers and Head of Guide Dog Services who have oversight for these 19 locations are well versed on the requirements for proof of vaccination and also requirements from staff, volunteers, clients, tenants, community user groups etc.  If they happen to need clarity they will reach out to the appropriate party for that information.  We thank you in advance for your anticipated and necessary cooperation in this regard.

On arrival at one of our sites, everyone will be required to:

  • Scan in using the COVID-tracer app or by completing the manual form
  • Present only government approved proof of vaccination to the reception teams. No exceptions will apply to this requirement including those individuals who may have acquired a government approved medical exemption.   A well-established government process exists for those who have acquired this exemption.
  • Follow all applicable COVID-19 protocols including the use of face coverings

We acknowledge that the risks associated with COVID-19, and the measures that can be taken to mitigate or eliminate these risks, may change. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and get in touch with you again should the circumstances change.

As mentioned in previous communications, when necessary we will adjust our service delivery approach to accommodate particularly a unique or special circumstance.

Please be rest assured that we are doing everything we can to protect our clients and the community in these uncertain times, and we thank you for your cooperative efforts to achieve that objective.

Kind regards,

John Mulka