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New Zealand Expands Vaccine Mandate

The mandate is extending to close-contact businesses such as restaurants, gyms and hair salons. About 40 percent of all New Zealand workers will be required to be fully vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.

The government has already mandated vaccination across work forces in important sectors where workers are likely to come into contact with Covid-19, including the border, health settings and, of course, education. With the new traffic light system, businesses that we previously treated as high-risk like hospitality, hairdressers and gyms can operate at all levels if they ask customers for a vaccine certificate. And so it follows that if customers must be vaccinated, then so too must the workers. Cabinet has decided today that vaccinations will be mandated for everyone who works in any workplace where a vaccine certificate is required for entry. In the new Covid-19 protection framework, this includes hospitality, events, gyms and close-proximity businesses such as hairdressers and barbers. This requirement means staff and customers are treated equally, and it will play a big part in helping to minimize the spread of the virus and the highest risk venues by reducing the potential for Covid to enter the business in the first place, and further supports our businesses and the economic recovery.

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