26 Nov 2021

Covid-19: Businesses get more detail on operating under traffic light system

12:04 pm on 26 November 2021

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has this morning released guidance for businesses on how operate under the traffic light system.

A sign of Covid safety procedures outside a business

A sign of Covid safety procedures outside a business Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The Covid-19 Protection Framework will come into effect on 3 December.

The advice - on business.govt.nz - tells businesses they will need to check customers' passes if operating under the My Vaccine Pass system.

"Businesses operating under My Vaccine Pass rules must check customers' passes. We recommend at or near the point of entry, or as soon as possible after entry (for example, if there is only one staff member, this might be at the counter)," it said.

"Businesses who choose to require the My Vaccine Pass must sight Passes, and can also use a verifier app to scan the QR code that is embedded into a customer's My Vaccine Pass. It lets you know if the pass is valid or not."

Some businesses are prohibited asking for My Vaccine Passes including:

  • supermarkets
  • pharmacies
  • all health and disability services
  • social services
  • food banks
  • petrol stations
  • public transport (excluding air travel)

"It is up to customers to present only their own My Vaccine Pass. Businesses are not required to check ID, but they may request it."

No caption

Photo: Ministry of Health

The advice also stated businesses could switch between operating with or without vaccine passports provided their premises were cleaned between groups.

"For example, a conference venue can host a conference for a small group of people under the unvaccinated rules, clean, and they can then do a larger gathering for vaccinated. You must clearly communicate what settings you are operating under, and display any required signage.

"The capacity limits apply to the premises or a defined space. Limits include all attendees, but not workers."

When limits on the number of people within a premises were in place it would be the lesser of 100 people or the maximum number of people who could occupy the space if they were standing one metre apart - crucially they did not actually have to stand apart.

Mixed activity businesses - such as a mall - would have to enforce different rules in different areas.

"The requirements apply by activity. If your business carries out a number of different activities, you may need to apply different rules. For example, a mall may have a food court (food and beverage rules apply), general retail (retail rules), and a supermarket (which people must be able to access without presenting a My Vaccine Pass)," the advice said.

Businesses must also display posters advertising if they required people entering to have a My Vaccine Pass.

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