Alert Level 4 community services

Alert Level 4 community services

Alert Level 4 Delta Variant

What this means for community and social services

A new COVID-19 Public Health Response Act order has been released, which details the specific requirements related to this shift to Alert Level 4. The key requirements for this Alert Level can be found on the Government’s COVID-19 website here.

You will see that Alert Level 4 businesses and services include:

Social and community-based services provided to support persons to maintain critical well-being or as crisis support for people who are unsafe or homeless.

The four categories below provide a more detailed view of the types of social and community-based services that can continue to operate under Alert Level 4. As with the most recent Alert Level 3 approach, you as an organisation are being asked to determine which category your service or activity falls into. This differs from the previous Alert Level 4 approach where organisations had to apply to be registered as essential services.

Four categories for social and community-based services at Alert Level 4:

  • Where the social service is the only way for people accessing food and other goods they need to survive (e.g., money management (but not budget advice), food banks, and other delivery of essential goods).
  • A social service that provides and supports a place for someone to live (e.g., Supported Accommodation, Housing First, Residences, Bail Hostels, Night Shelters, Family Homes, remand homes, foster carers of children in state care, resettlement services for recent migrants and refugees).
  • A social service that supports disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing (e.g., disability services for those with high needs or very high needs and excluding disability employment services).
  • Crisis support for people who are unsafe (e.g., Funded helplines, refuges and family violence services, foster care support services, sexual violence crisis services).
  • As the Prime Minister has highlighted, the Delta variant is more virulent and so there is a need to exercise more caution about what contact with others is considered essential. This is necessary to help keep the people you work with and your staff safe from COVID-19.

Today, the Prime Minister has announced that a face covering must be worn if you are an employee or customer at a business or service operating at Alert Level 4 involving customer contact.

Requirements of Alert Level 4 businesses and services

If your employees need to work on site, you should:

  • limit the number of people on site so everyone can safely stay 2 metres apart
  • offer flexible working arrangements, for example, staggered meal breaks, or staggered start and finish times to help with physical distancing
  • clean and disinfect your workplace regularly
  • provide employees with hand washing facilities
  • have personal protective equipment (PPE) available for employees to use
  • display your QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system for workers and customers to use.
  • If your business cannot meet all Alert Level 4 rules to operate safely, your workers should not go into work.

Travel requirements for Alert Level 4 businesses and services

The following information has been provided in relation to travel for your employees:

  • If your employees need to go into the premises or work on site, they can use public transport to commute.
  • Employees may be asked to show who they work for so they can prove they have a reason to travel. We recommend you provide your employees with a letter to confirm who they are, and their role.
  • Everyone legally must wear a face covering on all public transport, unless they have an exemption.

If you have questions about your organisation’s situation given the shift to Alert Level 4 please contact your funding advisor or contract manager. You can also contact us at Community_information@msd.govt.nz