Vaccine Passes and access to public services

As a general principle, agencies should require the use of a Vaccine Pass as a condition of entry for visitors, (other than recipients of a service) including for contractors to the workplace.

Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework, there are certain settings where denying entry on the basis of vaccination status is prohibited (designated premises). These include basic needs services (such as health care, supermarkets), publicly funded and emergency housing services, education and care. The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021 provides a full list of designated premises.

Where requiring a Vaccine Pass is prohibited, a place/service/Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) cannot limit the kind of service provided to patrons based on their vaccination status (e.g. making unvaccinated customers use the self-checkout counters only).

Where a prohibition does not apply, agencies can consider requiring members of the public, who are accessing premises where public services are provided, to have a Vaccine Pass. Agencies’ consideration needs to include these factors:

  • the need to ensure accessibility of services to the public
  • the nature of the services provided
  • the agency’s health and safety risk assessment and vaccination policy
  • any considerations under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993
  • tikanga that emphasises physical presence.

Where agencies decide to require a Vaccine Pass, agencies must:

  • ensure alternative methods of access to services other than face to face for members of the public that do not have a Vaccine Pass
  • consider if workers in those premises should also be vaccinated.

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