26 August 2021
COVID-19 regional borders
The Government has indicated that they will be looking at whether some parts of the country can move to lower alert levels and will be making an announcement on that tomorrow. We are working on guidance for dealing with alert level borders if that happens. However, we have to wait for the Government’s announcement because we don’t know whether there will be borders and, if there are, what the rules will be. We’ll issue advice on this as soon as possible after the announcement tomorrow.
In the meantime, we suggest that those who may be affected by a regional lockdown start doing what you can to prepare for this now, if you aren’t already. Our best guess is that border control is likely to be stricter than last time given we are now dealing with a much more contagious variant.
We recommend that practices who believe they may be affected by the borders (for example because they have staff or clients that may end up on the other side of a border) start making arrangements to ensure that they will have adequate resources, such as medicines and staff, available. This could include talking to nearby practices to:
- Consider referral arrangements with those likely to be on the other side of the border
- Ensure there are good arrangements for record sharing
- Make arrangements for emergency cover.
Alert level 3
Some parts of the country may move to alert level 3 later this week and those in lower risk areas may wish to start thinking about what this will look like for your work. We suggest approaching this with some caution because we don’t yet know what the rules will be and the Government’s approach may be different from previous outbreaks. Our advice from 2020 may be useful as a guide but, again, bear in mind the requirements may change once we have more information from the Government.
NZ is still at alert level 4
A reminder: The whole country is currently at alert level 4 and has been in lockdown for less than 2 weeks. As such, we are still asking veterinarians to only see cases that can’t be postponed. Members of the public should not be leaving their homes except when absolutely necessary.
We’ll be back in touch as as soon as we can after the announcement tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help, please get in touch.