Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Traffic lights system – party hosts legally required to check guests’ vaccine passes

Music, drinks, snacks and.. A vaccine pass checker?

Hopeful party hosts will have another thing to add to the to-do list as the Government reveals organisers of large private functions are bound by the same rules as businesses.

The Prime Minister’s Department told the Herald that, like businesses, if the organiser of a party or gathering chooses to use My Vaccine Pass under the new traffic light system, then they also have the obligation to check each attendee’s My Vaccine Pass.

“The rules for gatherings under the Covid-19 Protection Framework also apply to private, in-home gatherings like parties, and, just like under alert level settings, anyone hosting a party will need to make sure they are aware of the rules and requirements.”

Having a vaccine requirement at events means that even under the red light there can be up to 100 people at a private home or dwelling.

And at venues under red, the same limit applies as long as physical distancing can be in place.

Under the orange and green lights, if vaccine passes are required, there is no limit.

The department said if the organiser chooses not to use My Vaccine Pass, then they will need to limit the number of people attending depending on which setting they are in.

As well as this, those caught using a forged, altered or fraudulently obtained vaccine pass can face up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $12,000.

Officials were asked what penalty would be in place for individuals hosting private events that do not check passes when required last night but did not respond.

However last week the Government announced businesses that are required to – but refuse to – enforce vaccine passes could face fines of up to $15,000.

Anyone found not to be complying with an obligation to check attendees’ My Vaccine Pass could be charged with an offence under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act. If convicted they would face up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $12,000.

Under the red light only 25 people can attend events at a time if there is no vaccine requirement.

This comes as most of the upper North Island,including Auckland,prepare to shift to the red light on Friday under the new system.

Auckland, Northland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will all move into the highest level of restrictions once the new Covid-19 protection framework comes into effect, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.

The rest of the North Island will move to orange.

No regions will go straight to green.

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