*Updated 17 August
New Zealand is moving to COVID-19 Alert from 12pm on 12 August. The Auckland region will move to Alert Level 3. It will remain at Alert Level 3 for at least 3 days. The Auckland region is everything in the Auckland Council boundary — from Wellsford in the north to Pukekohe in the south.
The rest of New Zealand is moving to Alert Level 2 on the same timeframes.
What does this mean for the construction industry?
Construction can continue to operate under Alert Level 3 and 2 protocols, which can be found on the CHASNZ website at www.chasnz.org/covid19.
Construction businesses should refresh their knowledge about what working at their current alert level involves.
These protocols will be updated to reflect current understanding of government requirements for businesses, however the Ministry of Health website should be referred to for any changes in requirements and must be followed.
People and businesses should refresh their knowledge about what working at the current alert level involves. Consistent with government recommendations, masks should be worn on public transport for Alert Level 3.
The government may mandate more general mandating of masks in public and or in the worksite – the Protocols will be updated to reflect any changes as they occur. Construction organisations and activity must always follow government and Ministry of Health requirements.
Wearing of masks on construction sites
The current requirement of the level 3 and 2 protocols are for face coverings (masks) as an appropriate control for close contact work (1-2 metres for Alert Level 3 and allowance for below 1m for Alert Level 2).
As per the level 3 and 2 Protocols, all construction sites must keep track of people entering and leaving the site for contact tracing purposes. This can be achieved through site registers.
Businesses and construction sites must keep a register of people entering and leaving. Use of the government COVID-19 app and QR code system is encouraged so that individuals can keep trace of their movements.
All businesses will be required to display contact tracing QR codes as of 19 August, as set out in the Government's COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Levels 3 and 2) Order 2020.
The Order includes a requirement during Alert Levels 2 and 3 for all businesses and services:
- To display the official government QR code for the NZ COVID Tracer App, and
- To have systems and processes in place to otherwise support contact tracing for people who do not scan in with the NZ COVID Tracer app (such as a pen-and-paper register or a digital sign-in system).
If you have not already generated an official QR code poster for each of your premises, you will need to get your posters before this time through the webform at https://qrform.tracing.covid19.govt.nz.
To use the webform, you will need:
- a valid New Zealand driver licence so your identity can be verified
- the address details for each of your premises
- your email address
- an email address and contact phone number for each of your locations.
If your business has a large number of premises or the person filling in the form does not have a driver licence, they can also get your official QR codes by sending a completed template (click here to download) to the NZ COVID Tracer support team at email@example.com.
Please note you need to create a separate poster for each of your premises or unique locations, but can print as many copies of each poster as you need for each premises. Guidance for displaying posters is available here.
You can find further information about the QR codes on the Ministry of Health website. Further information about the requirements and restrictions for businesses during Alert Levels 2 and 3 can be found on the COVID-19 website.
Construction activity is able to be maintained under Alert Levels 2 and 3, when applying the relevant health and safety protocols.
However, the government has stated in its Health Order issued 14 August that people should not be travelling into, out of, or through Auckland for construction work or business purposes. CCNZ is currently seeking to clarify this further, as many projects in Auckland and its neighbouring regions are staffed by people who travel for work inter-regionally.
Some exemptions are listed on the COVID-19 website. Any businesses who fall into these categories should obtain a letter from their clients to prove their workers are permitted to enter the region.
Other businesses looking for workers to travel to and from Auckland under Level 3 Alert will need to apply for an exemption, as detailed at https://covid19.govt.nz/travel-and-the-border/travel-within-new-zealand/regional-travel/.
As stated on the website, businesses that need workers to travel across the regional border should contact the Ministry of Health at: Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org. We suggest all members with staff who need to travel inter-regionally for construction work apply to this email address as soon as possible.
Make sure you include:
- your contact details
- if the exemption is for a personal or business reason
- who you want the exemption to cover, including the number of people or organisations
- the reasons why you think the exemption is necessary
- how the exemption promotes the purpose of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 and the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Levels 3 and 2) Order 2020
- what steps you will take to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19
- what the consequences are if an exemption is not granted.
Further supporting information that may help your application could include:
- Company name
- Company contact person
- Company location
- Location people will be working on
- Whether workers will have temporary accommodation
- Names and addresses of people travelling
- Info on whether workers are travelling in and out or out and in of Auckland City daily
- Type of work they are doing
- Duration of work (start to finish date, or ongoing)