13 Nov 2021

DOC exploring Covid-19 vaccine requirements for trampers

8:15 am on 13 November 2021

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is considering whether people will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to access huts, tracks and other facilities.

Walking along the Holly Hut Track - Taranaki

Photo: Supplied / DOC

Trampers are already asked to practice physical distancing, and use QR codes or book at huts to enable contact tracing.

DOC southern South Island operations director Aaron Fleming said the department was considering all of the options, including potentially requiring trampers to be vaccinated if they wanted to access DOC walks or huts.

"We're doing a lot of work at the moment to understand as Covid is looking to move around the country what that means for the likes of some of our tracks or huts," Fleming said.

"As we move into the traffic light system as well, what does that mean for these experiences.

"We haven't answered those questions yet but we're certainly doing the work to try and understand what the impact may be."

DOC should have a firmer stance within the next few weeks, he said.

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