Future limits for NZ places of worship that don’t use vaccine certs for entry

Syringes for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a clinic in Collegeville, Pa., March 7, 2021. (CNS photo/Hannah Beier, Reuters)

New Zealand places of worship which elect not to require a vaccination certificate for entry will have reduced numbers at services under all levels of the new three-level “traffic light” system for managing Covid-19 in the community announced by the Government on October 22.

Places of worship are grouped together with “gatherings” such as “weddings” and “marae” for these purposes. The three tier “traffic light ” framework comes into effect in Auckland when 90 per cent of the eligible populations in its three DHBs has received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Auckland would then move out of lockdown. A 90 per cent fully vaccinated target has been set across each DHB region before the rest of the country moves into the new system. The Government is going to review progress on November 29, if DHBs haven’t reached the target by then.

According to the details of the system listed on the covid19.govt.nz website, under the red level, where action will be needed to be taken to protect both at-risk people and protect the health system from an unsustainable number of hospitalisations, gatherings, including places of worship, with vaccination certificate requirements can have a limit of 100 people with 1 metre distancing. At level red, if places of worship elect not to have a vaccination certificate requirement for entry, only 10 people can attend, with 1 metre distancing.

Under the orange level, where there is increasing community transmission that is putting pressure on the health system, gatherings, including places of worship, with vaccination certificate requirements will have no limit on attendance. At level orange, if places of worship elect not to have a vaccination certificate requirement for entry, only 50 people can attend, with 1 metre distancing.

Under the green level, when there are some COVID-19 cases in the community, and sporadic imported cases, gatherings, including places of worship, with vaccination certificate requirements will have no limit on attendance. At level green, if places of worship elect not to have a vaccination certificate requirement for entry, only 100 people can attend, with 1 metre distancing.

More comment and information to follow.

Photo: Syringes for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine (CNS Photo)

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Michael Otto

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Maria says

    This is a real test for the Church in New Zealand. I hope we never reach a level where the government can establish a segregated society in law.

    People are really hurting out there. They are being forced to take this vaccine, against their conscience and their concerns about safety, in order to continue to provide for themselves and their families.

    For those who are vaccinated now, they will need to receive future mandated boosters in order to maintain their free status. This may not end any time soon. It will create real hardship.

    It is no longer about the vaccine it is about universal mandates. For many Catholics this is a genuine conscience issue.

    If the Bishops could generously apply the religious exemption for those Catholics (and others of good conscience) that would be a remarkable support to many at this time. This is the one thing necessary at this time so that jobs can be retained.

  2. Micki Barry says

    The government is now enlisting Churches to act as a watchdog for their draconian mandates.
    Interesting in the latest announcement ie. hospitality , restaurants, gyms, barbers, and hairdressers have to have mandatory injections but no mention of government employees.

  3. David Ross says

    I don’t believe that anyone in New Zealand ‘being forced’ to take the vaccine. Mandates or vaccine and health and safety requirements, and positive discrimination measures, have been used in New Zealand employment and life for years and are common in areas like overseas travel, hospitals and early childcare for example. Pope Francis has said there is no religious reason to reject the vaccine. (NZ Catholic Bishops statement Jan 15) and that he believes (Pope) morally we should take the vaccine to protect others. Freedom of choice has always been influenced by freedom of conscience.

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