Government tightens grip on track and trace across all covid alert levels

Mandatory record keeping across alert levels 1, 2, 3, and 4, is being introduced for busy places and large gatherings to ensure the government can contact trace people quickly, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.

This means, he says, that those responsible for businesses and events will need to ensure people keep a record when they visit, either by scanning QR codes with the Covid-19 Tracer App or making a manual record.

“It is clear that when people use the app or manually sign in, rather than relying on memory, contact tracing can happen much more quickly,” Hipkins said.

“So we are making it mandatory at the sorts of places where people gather consistently and in large numbers to ensure that people scan or sign in.”

This includes:

  • Cafes
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Casinos
  • Concerts
  • Aged care
  • Healthcare facilities (excluding patients)
  • Barbers
  • Exercise facilities
  • Nightclubs
  • Libraries
  • Courts
  • Local and central government agencies
  • Social services providers with customer service counters

“Those places where records are already kept and people are already required to sign in, like gyms and some workplaces, won’t need to adjust what they are already doing,” says Hipkins.

Mandatory record keeping is currently required at social gatherings including when visiting a marae, at weddings, funerals, tangihanga and faith-based services at alert level 2. It will now be a requirement for those businesses and events that are permitted at any alert level.

The obligation will be on the person responsible for the place or gathering to ensure people can scan or sign in. This will become effective seven days after any change in alert level settings that might allow more businesses to open or gatherings to go ahead.

“We want to ensure businesses and those who may be organising a gathering or event have time to get this sorted,” Chris Hipkins says.

Hipkins also says people should socially distance when “spreading their legs”.

More information can be found here: https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/protect-yourself-and-others-from-covid-19/keep-track-of-where-youve-been/