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Orange Traffic Light
Photo by NZ Government

New Zealand COVID-19 Protection Framework

Andrew Metcalfe —

All you need to know about how the New Zealand COVID-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Lights) applies to Anglican activities in the Diocese of Dunedin. We are currently in Orange.

Have a look at the Government Guidance on the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Lights).

This replaced the Alert Levels 1-4 that have previously operated during the current pandemic. This framework (commonly referred to as the Traffic Lights) came into force on 3 December 2021 and was amended in April 2022. 

Traffic Lights — Image by: pixabay.com

Highlights for All Levels

Level Red

  • All churches and faith communities advised to have contingency plans
  • Limit of 200 people at any indoor gathering based on capacity of 1 m spacing
  • Face masks must be worn at all gatherings
  • Meetings in private homes do not require face masks (but we recommend groups reach agreement on this)
  • Medical grade masks must be worn by all leading and serving in worship services
  • Strongly advising communion in one kind (bread) only and that people return to their seats to consume the bread.
  • There is no requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping, but we are recommending this is kept in place for our settings.

Level Orange

  • There is no limit for outdoor gatherings.
  • There is no limit for indoor gatherings.
  • You do not need to wear a face mask outdoors.
  • Other face mask rules remain unchanged (see Government advice for places of worship below)
  • There is no requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping.

Level Green

  • There are no restrictions.
  • We encourage you to keep up good health behaviours.
  • There is no requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping.

Good Health Behaviours

See https://covid19.govt.nz/prepare-and-stay-safe/keep-up-healthy-habits/

These include:

Useful Links

Government Advice for Places of Worship 

  • Some religious rituals or practices need people to be close to each other — for example, a christening. Try to keep the time spent in close contact to a minimum.
  • Encourage contactless donations instead of a cash collection box.
  • You can have refreshments after a service, but people should not share drinks, cups, plates, cutlery or other items. Face masks can be removed while eating and drinking. You do not have to follow the advice for (commercial) hospitality at any traffic light setting (but we expect you to follow standard infection control precautions as per our Hospitality Checklist).
  • Children under the age of 12 are not required to follow face masks rules at gatherings. 
  • Medical-grade masks are to be worn by public facing workers/volunteers in indoor gatherings and events in Orange and Red. Presiders can remove these provided they are 2 metres physically distanced from others. 
  • Attendees at worship are not required to wear face masks, but are strongly encouraged to do so. Facemasks help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and are particularly useful in poorly ventilated indoor areas and when you are around peple you do not know. 
  • Places of worship should display posters or signage indicating they will be asking people to show their My Vaccine Pass to enter if this is a local requirement. 
  • Consider offering online services so people who cannot attend in person can participate. This could be suitable for faith-based gatherings.
  • Singing, for example, church choirs and other types of performance, can go ahead. Performers do not need to wear a face covering. Clean and sanitise musical instruments thoroughly before and after use.

Guidelines for places of worship [PDF, 698 KB] Please note: these Government  guidelines offer minimum settings that need to be applied. Our Diocese of Dunedin Traffic Light Guidance indicates our local guidance, this was last reviewed on 3 May 2022 and is attached below. 

Key points for all of us

  • Ensure you follow directives for places you visit or work in. 
  • Be kind. Make a difference by checking-in on others, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
  • Look after anyone that needs help. Drop supplies to those at home sick and ensure you have no physical contact.
  • Keep up your physical distancing habits, scanning and use of face coverings
  • Use alternative ways of staying in touch with more vulnerable people i.e. the phone, a letter, a video messaging system or something similar.

Got symptoms or have health questions?

Call your GP before you visit. Or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. If you feel unwell, remain at home.

Not sure who to talk to?

If you’re not sure what assistance may be available, or you don’t know who to contact for help, phone the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am – 10pm, 7 days a week).

The Ministry of Health recommends that you should follow the usual precautions including:

Staying safe and well at any level

At every level (Green, Orange, Red) people should take measures to stay safe and well.

  • Regularly disinfect surfaces
  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly and regularly
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you have cold or flu like symptoms – call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
  • Continue to seek primary medical care.

Anyone who has returned to New Zealand from overseas must abide by NZ government requirements. 

Want to know more? See the Government's dedicated COVID-19 webpage

How to get in touch with us

The Diocesan Office (Peter Mann House) is open Monday to Friday 9 to 3 pm, please let us know if you want to visit (03 488 0820) and bring your face covering with you. All staff based at Peter Mann House (Diocesan Office) have been doubly vaccinated.

The Diocesan office is very happy to answer any queries you may have. Please contact Andrew Metcalfe.