House Speaker Trevor Mallard today released a guide to parliamentary precinct operations in protecting against Covid-19 (commonly referred to as the traffic light system).
“After soliciting input from a range of groups that use the compound, I have developed a system that prioritizes the safety of those who work and visit Parliament, mitigates risk where possible, and supports the effective functioning of our democracy. “
“Clearly there is a range of views from different groups, but the widely held comments from staff who have Parliament as their place of work is that allowing unvaccinated visitors would pose a risk to them. All MPs and staff, including those who have friends and whānau who are vulnerable to Covid-19, or who are vulnerable themselves, should be able to come to work in Parliament and feel as safe as possible. “
From January 1, 2022, visitors will be required to present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate in order to visit Parliament. This requirement will also include education groups (for adults and children over 12 years and 3 months). The well-being of staff, visitors and the wider community is at the center of this decision.
“I strongly believe in the accessibility of our Parliament and it is not a decision that I have taken lightly. There are a range of virtual offerings available to support accessibility of information for those who choose not to present a vaccination certificate. Offers include a virtual tour via the Parliament XR app, videos and other digital resources. “
Vaccination of personnel is the responsibility of employers who have personnel in the enclosure, but this framework indicates that the movement of personnel who choose not to present a vaccination certificate will be limited to the only trips strictly necessary so that these personnel can finish his job.
The new system (with the exception of visits and educational institutions which will take effect from 1/1/2022) will come into effect when New Zealand implements the Covid-19 protection framework (11 p.m. 59 on Thursday, December 2, 2021). Parliament will use My Vaccine Pass to confirm immunization status.
All MPs will be fully vaccinated by the time New Zealand implements the Covid-19 protection framework.
The system also covers the house, selected committees, events and venues, as well as other visitors.
This system has been reviewed based on the current environment and will be revised no later than March 31, 2022.
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