People visiting many of Christchurch City Council’s public facilities will need to show their My Vaccine Pass when the city moves to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on Friday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Christchurch, along with the rest of the South Island, will enter the framework, which is based on a traffic light system, at the Orange level.
“At the Orange level, only people who have been double vaccinated and have the official My Vaccine Pass will be allowed to use many of the Council’s public facilities.
“We are taking our responsibility seriously to protect our staff and our communities as we transition to living with COVID-19,’’ says Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale.
“At the same time we want to minimise the barriers to people using our facilities. If we decided not to use the My Vaccine Pass, many people would be apprehensive about coming to our facilities in the new COVID-19 environment.''
The requirement for vaccine certificates at Council facilities will not apply to those aged under 12 years of age.
“We have a very high vaccination rates in our city so most residents will be able to continue to use our facilities as usual,’’ says Mrs Baxendale.
“There are some people who are not vaccinated and therefore will be unable to access our facilities until we move to Green on the traffic light system. For these people we are looking at alternative ways of providing them with access to our services. We have shown through previous lockdowns that we can use online channels to deliver a wide range of services remotely, including gym classes and library resources, including click and collect.
“When we move to the new traffic light system on Friday, it is important that people continue to use the NZ COVID tracer app to scan into places. We have high vaccination rates in our district, but we cannot afford to let our guard down. We still need to take the threat of the virus seriously and do all that we can to protect the at-risk.’’
From Friday 3 December 2021, people visiting:
Recreation centres, including indoor pools: Will need to wear a mask and show their vaccine certificate on entry.
Libraries: Will need to wear a mask and have a vaccine certificate.
Christchurch Art Gallery and Akaroa Museum: Will need to wear a mask and have a vaccine certificate.
The Civic Offices and Customer Service Centres: Will need to wear a mask and have a vaccine certificate.
Transfer stations: Will need to wear a mask. Vaccine certificates will not be required. One metre social distancing is encouraged.
The Bus Interchange and Riccarton Bus Lounge: Vaccine certificates are not required but mask wearing and social distancing are encouraged.
Events at Council facilities will be able to proceed with no limit on gathering numbers if vaccine certificates are used. If vaccine certificates are not used, a maximum of 50 people will be allowed to attend.
Public toilets, playgrounds, parks, cemeteries, wharves and jetties will be open as normal.
At the Orange level, building inspectors, alcohol licencing, dog control and other environmental services officers will wear masks as required. Sites who require proof of vaccine from these Council workers are asked to communicate this when making their booking.
People wanting to attend Council or Community Board meetings will need to be double vaccinated. If they are not, they will need to arrange to attend the meeting by audio-visual link. Council meetings will continue to be live-streamed.
“As we transition to this new way of doing business, I want to ask residents visiting our facilities to be kind and respectful to our staff as they work to implement the requirements of the new traffic light system,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.
“Even though we are entering a new phase of managing COVID-19 in our communities, the mantra remains the same; wear a mask, use QR codes and get a test if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild.’’
See a full list of how Council facilities will operate under the traffic light system.