COVID-19 Business Support and Advice
Update Tuesday 15 August 2023
The Government is removing the remaining COVID-19 restrictions, three-and-a-half years after the first was put in place.
The changes will come into effect at 12.01am tomorrow, 15 August 2023.
Since September last year, the only remaining restrictions have been for people with COVID-19 to isolate for seven days, as well as the requirement for visitors to wear face masks in certain healthcare facilities.
Public health officials have advised risk from COVID-19 is now considered low compared to other stages of the pandemic and it’s safe to remove the final requirements.
While fluctuations from week to week are expected, overall COVID-19 case rates, wastewater levels and hospitalisations have been trending downwards since the beginning of June and over the past month reported COVID-19 cases have hit their lowest levels since February 2022.
COVID-19 accounted for 2.2% of hospital admissions this morning and New Zealand has now likely passed the winter influenza peak.
While not mandated, the Ministry of Health guidance is to stay at home for five days if you have tested positive for COVID-19.
Update 13 September 2022
Covid-19 Omicron resources
Important changes to the COVID-19 Protection Framework
From 11.59pm 12 September, almost all of New Zealand’s COVID-19 restrictions will end.
With cases reducing, a highly-vaccinated population, and comprehensive access to anti-viral medicines, New Zealand can safely move forward.
We now move on to a simple two requirement system:
- to isolate for 7 days if they test positive for COVID-19 and
- to wear a mask when visiting healthcare facilities (hospitals, GPs, pharmacies and aged care homes).
🚦The COVID-19 Protection Framework (the traffic lights) will be removed at 11:59pm tonight, 12 September 2022.
😷 All mask mandates will be dropped, except for in healthcare facilities like hospitals, GPs, and aged care residential facilities. Some places like workplaces or marae may ask people to wear a mask.
🏡 Household contacts will no longer need to isolate. Household Contacts are recommended to take a RAT every day for five days. So long as you test negative, you will be able to go about daily life as normal.
✈️ You will no longer need to be vaccinated to enter New Zealand. People arriving in New Zealand from overseas will continue to receive free RATs at the airport and will be encouraged to test on day 0/1 and 5/6.
💉 All remaining government vaccine mandates will end. The last workforce with a Government vaccine mandate is health and disability workers. This will end on 11:59pm, 26 September 2022. Some employers may still require workers to be vaccinated due to their responsibilities under health and safety legislation.
💊 Anti-viral medicines will be available for free to any New Zealander 65+ who tests positive for COVID-19. For Māori and Pacific peoples, these medicines will be available for free to anyone aged 50+ who tests positive. In addition, anyone with three high-risk conditions is eligible for free anti-viral medicines.
Chamber Events update
From 11.59pm 12 September.
Masks will no longer be required in The Orchard Business & Event Hub
- Hygiene practices – cleaning regime around the office and use of regular hand sanitiser or hand washing
- Stay home if you are sick
NorthChamber will still be required to abide by any health and safety regulations in place at events offsite hosted by our members and stakeholder businesses.
Posters and resources
- Examples of the resources we have available are below, these can be downloaded through our online platform, Toolkit (COVID-19 Resource Toolkit (covid19.govt.nz). These have also been translated into 27 languages, which can be found here.
- Testing Positive for COVID-19
Can’t find what you’re looking for?
- If you cannot find the resource you are searching for, you may wish to create your own posters. Please find the design toolkit and guidelines here.
- Request a RAT | Ministry of Health NZ
- How to report your RAT results
- How to get a COVID-19 test
- Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World
- RATs Guide
- If you have COVID-19 | Unite against COVID-19
- Life at Red
- Self-Isolation, managed isolation and quarantine guidance
- Omicron variant – Ministry of Health website.
- Face coverings – information on the use of masks and face coverings including how they can help you.
- Advice for people with COVID-19 | Ministry of Health NZ
- Guidance for workplaces that have a case of COVID-19 | Ministry of Health NZ
- COVID-19 vaccine and children: Information for parents and caregivers | Ministry of Health NZ
Information in other languages and alternate formats
- You can find a wide variety of COVID-19 information in 27 languages and 4 alternate formats on the Unite Against COVID-19 website. Key information includes:
- COVID-19 Our Isolation Plan
- Getting your booster dose
- Support for if you get COVID-19
- Support for individuals and families
- We will continue to update our translated information as the situation develops.
Covid-19 – Omicron and the Workplace
On Friday 4 February 2022, Northland DHB Public Health Specialist Dr Ankush Mittal hosted a Zoom session for Northland businesses to get a better understanding of how to prepare for COVID-19 entering their workplace. Click here for more
Covid-19 Omicron Help Guide – quick view one pager for support in Northland help and resources in the four key areas of support: health, wellbeing, economy, and Iwi and communities.
Traffic Light Framework
New Zealand is currently in Red of the Traffic Light Framework
Click here for this handy one page Traffic Light System summary
Businesses and workplaces at red, what you need to know.
Businesses and workplaces at orange, what you need to know.
Understand Worksafe’s guide to what work requires a vaccinated employee
Managing Covid-19 ( Omicron variant) in your business, including contingency planning and modifying employment agreements – Managing the impact of COVID-19 cases at your business — business.govt.nz
Latest updates and guidelines here – Current Alert Level | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)
Chamber events while in Red will be hosted using the Covid-19 Traffic Light Framework. Please check with the specific event on our calendar to find out more detail. Where possible we will have an online contingency plan for events so that we can still host speakers and connect with our wider business community. A reminder too that The Orchard Business and Events Hub requires evidence of a vaccine passport to enter.
Access guidelines here – Events and public facilities at Red | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)
Business continuity – help to stay afloat
Click here for links to key government support measures, including information on
- COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment
- COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment
- COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme
- Wage subsidy schemes – more info click here
- Business cash flow and tax measures
- Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
- Insolvency relief for businesses
- Apprenticeship boost initiative
- Information in other languages
Who to access for support, information and further resources?
National Support and Information
Ministry of Social Development
- Key information
- Financial support
- To speak to the local team
MSD Te Taitokerau Business Support Lines will be manned by our local Regional Labour Market Adviser Ann Dysart and Work Broker Christine Murray between the hours of 0800-1630 Monday to Friday. If you want to connect with us outside these hours please email Chrissy.email@example.com or Ann.Dysart003@msd.govt.nz . They will endeavour to reply to your email within 48 hours of receipt.MSD Te Taitokerau Business Support Lines: 09 983 9103 – Ann Dysart 09 983 0553 – Chrissy Murray
These lines will be available should you have any questions concerning the wage subsidy, require employment support, ongoing employment support post lockdown or require redeployment or redundancy support.
Inland Revenue: important message for business, click here
WorkSafe – operating safely, click here
Ministry of Health updates and latest guidelines, click here
Business support and information, click here
For Covid 19 medical advice call Healthline – 0800 358 5453.
Regional Economic Development Agency, Northland Inc.
Northland Business Covid-19 Response Helpline on 0800 525 001
Local Councils and related services
Whangarei District Council
Far North District Council
Kaipara District Council
Northland DHB COVID-19 Resources for Employers click here
COVID-19 enquiries, phone Northland DHB 0800 600 720
Times are uncertain and stressful. Your wellbeing is important to us. Please reach out for support if you need to. Call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Updated mental health and wellbeing guidelines from Ministry of Health, click here
Have you completed a COVID RESPONSE and PROCEDURE PLAN yet for your workplace?
Find the template – Click here
Northpower – COVID 19 Control Framework, click here
Creative Northland – COVID 19 Control Framework click here
Crisis readiness resources available at www.resorgs.org.nz.