Vaccination requirements for workers in high-risk border settings

The Government has introduced a new requirement that all work in MIQ settings must be carried out by people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

How the new requirements work

From 1 May 2021, any MIQ worker or government official who is not vaccinated will not be allowed into high-risk border or MIQ facilities, unless a specific exception applies.

The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 requires all work in MIQ settings to be carried out by people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. It also requires all government officials to be vaccinated before carrying out work in other high-risk border settings.

The Vaccination Order is intended to prevent, or reduce, the outbreak or spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

The Government wants to ensure we have every possible measure in place to protect the people, communities, and workplaces of New Zealand from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (external link)

Workers affected by the Order

Place of work Roles
Managed quarantine facilities and managed isolation facilities
  • Workers at the facility
  • Workers who transport people to or from facilities
Affected airports
  • Airside government officials
  • Government officials who interact with international arriving or transiting passengers (other than QFT flights)
Affected ports
  • Government officials who spend more than 15 minutes in an enclosed space on board affected ships
  • Government officials who board, or who have boarded, affected ships
  • Government officials who transport people to or from affected ships
  • Government officials who work at an affected port who interact with persons required to be isolation or quarantine under a COVID-19 order
Aircraft
  • Cabin crew who travel on domestic flights within NZ that carry international arriving or transiting passengers (other than QFT persons) who have not yet completed isolation or quarantine at managed isolation or quarantine facilities

Workers who choose not to be vaccinated will not be allowed into high-risk border or MIQ facilities

While vaccination is not mandatory and individuals are free to choose whether or not they wish to receive the vaccine, only those who have been vaccinated will be able to undertake work in MIQ settings and only vaccinated government officials will be able to undertake work in other high-risk border settings.

From 1 May 2021, any MIQ worker or government official who is not vaccinated will not be allowed into high-risk border or MIQ facilities, unless a specific exception applies.

Any unvaccinated government officials or MIQ workers who have previously been assigned to work in these settings will need to discuss alternative options with their employers. They will not be able to continue to work in high-risk environments until they are vaccinated.

Exceptions to the Order

An unvaccinated person may be permitted to enter and carry out work in a place covered by this Order, if the work is unanticipated, necessary and time-critical and cannot be carried out by a person who is vaccinated; and must be carried out to prevent the place from ceasing operations.

Exceptions in these circumstances may only be granted by the responsible government chief executive.

A person who is not vaccinated may enter a place without approval if they need to enter to preserve or protect a person’s life, health or safety in an emergency; or are authorised or required to by law.

Fines for breaching the Order

A breach of these requirements by employers or affected workers is an infringement offence for the purposes of section 26(3) of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020. (Liable to an infringement fee of $300; or a fine imposed by a court, not exceeding $1000).

Book a vaccination for workers

Border and MIQ workers who have not yet received their vaccinations will be given priority when scheduling their appointments.

To organise a vaccination for yourself or eligible staff, contact your local DHB directly. 

Contact your local DHB to organise a vaccination

You can also book through the Ministry of Health using a dedicated email address. Employers can use this to submit contact lists for any staff who are not yet in the system, and workers can also do the same for themselves or their close contacts.

Book a vaccination for a worker in a high-risk border setting 

Workers will need to have 2 doses

Initially, current workers will be considered vaccinated if they have had one dose of the vaccine. However, all workers performing duties in high-risk settings must have had two doses of the vaccine before 5 June 2021.

New workers covered by the Order will need to have their first dose before starting work, and then have their second dose within 35 days from starting work.

With an approved and effective vaccine now available, it is critical that we do everything we can to protect our communities from COVID-19.

More information

Employment New Zealand

Employment New Zealand provides information to help you understand your rights and responsibilities about v­­accines in the workplace.

Learn more about v­­accines and the workplace (external link)

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