- Vaccine passes and QR code scanning are no longer required.
- Systems for vaccine passes and QR codes will be kept running for those businesses and people who want to use them, and for future outbreaks.
- Only health, aged care, corrections and border workers will be required to be vaccinated.
- There is no limit for indoor or outdoor gatherings.
- You do not need to wear a face mask at a gathering, but it is encouraged.
- Workers and volunteers at gatherings must wear face masks — unless they are exempt.
We are in Phase 3 of the Government's three-phase plan to combat the Omicron variant.
The definition of close contacts is limited to household and household-like contacts only.
Managing COVID-19 cases at work
All businesses can operate in accordance with the appropriate health guidance.
- Managing the impact of COVID-19 cases on your business
- Managing cases at work
- Testing and returning to work during Omicron
Critical Service exemptions
An exemption scheme is underway to keep critical supply chains running.
During the Omicron response there are two initiatives that can enable you to have workers who are required to isolate as a contact to be on site:
- the Close Contact Exemption scheme, for critical services
- the Bubble of One.
The requirements relating to the close contact exemption scheme and working in a bubble-of-one are set out in the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Requirements for Close Contacts) Order 2022
The relevant clause that defines the start time of a close contact can be found in the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Isolation and Quarantine) Order 2020 See clause 10 (2) (c) and clause 10 (3).
Rapid Antigen Tests
Critical businesses can access Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) via designated collection sites on the Healthpoint website.
- RATs are considered enough to diagnose symptomatic people.
- RATs are becoming available at doctors, pharmacies and community testing centres.
- Critical workers can use these tests daily to be able to go to work even if they are a close contact, so long as their employer is signed up to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Close Contract Exemption Scheme (CCES) scheme.
Rapid antigen testing is about 80 per cent accurate. This may mean having someone onsite who has COVID-19 that could infect other workers, which could further compromise business operations.
The Ministry of Health has introduced a process for the bulk ordering of RATs, where critical services/businesses have worksites with more than 15 critical workers who are also close contacts at a worksite.
Directly below the ‘order your RATs under the scheme’ button on the Ministry of Health site is the email address for each DHB where kits can be ordered from. This is instead of individual workers needing to individually collect RATs from a collection site.
- Businesses, apart from health, aged care, corrections and border control, can decide whether they require employees to be vaccinated.
Support for businesses
Types of support
- Short-Term Absence Payment
- Leave Support Scheme
- Covid Support Payment
- Small business cash flow loan scheme
There is financial support available for businesses, including the self-employed, to help pay their employees who have been advised to self-isolate because of COVID-19 and can’t work at home during that period through Work and Income’s Leave Support Scheme and the Short-Term Absence Payment.
If your business and/or employees are impacted by self-isolation or waiting for a test result, there is funding available from Work and Income.
COVID Support Payment is for businesses who've had the 40% drop in revenue. See ird.govt.nz/csp.
The Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme provides loans to small businesses COVID-19 to support their cash flow needs.
- Business.govt.nz: COVID-19: Financial support for businesses
Business Helpline for business-related advice in South Island: 0800 50 50 96 via the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
or the North Island on 0800 500362 via EMA
- MBIE: Covid-19 support
- Inland Revenue
- Guidance for the primary sector on the Ministry for Primary Industries website
- Resources for businesses to help them operate safely at each of the traffic light settings on Unite Against Covid-19 website
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
- WorkSafe NZ
- WorkSafe offers guidance to help employers make a risk assessment under the Health and Safety at Work Act to decide whether they can require vaccination for different types of work.
- Business continuity amid COVID-19: EMA website
- Travel information
- Tackling misinformation and scams about vaccination
- Book My Vaccine list of vaccination sites – including GPs, hauora, pharmacies and urgent care centres.
International air freight transportation of essential goods
For the export and import of animal medicines and agrichemicals, classified as essential goods.
Exporters – Air Freight
- Exporters or freight forwarders interested in using this capacity should contact email@example.com, setting out the type of goods, quantity, New Zealand shipping port, overseas destination port and frequency.
- A case should also be made on why these goods should be freighted and what will happen if they are not.
Importers – Air Freight
- Importers requiring urgent supplies with high-priority goods such as human and animal medical supplies, which they are unable to organise shipment of, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, setting out the same information as required for exporters (as above).
- NZTE will deal with airlines directly on this – approaches from airlines are not required under this initiative.
Contact us if you need any help or have any questions.
Animal welfare issues or questions can be emailed to MPI at email@example.com
COVID-19 Business Helpline
For business-related advice:
South Island: 0800 50 50 96 via the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
North Island: 0800 500362 via EMA
Environmental Protection Authority
Christopher Hill Christopher.Hill@epa.govt.nz
Paula Knaap Paula.Knaap@epa.govt.nz
Ministry for Primary Industries
For specific COVID-19 queries: 0800 00 83 83 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (answered within 24 hours).
ACVM enquiries: Karen Booth Karen.Booth@mpi.govt.nz
Air-freight imports/exports: email@example.com
Ministry of Health
Contact tracing: 0800 800 606 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Situation in Australia
CropLife Australia has added a dedicated COVID-19 page with the latest Australian information and links regarding escalated border closures and other government advice.