Traffic lights, vaccine certificates and Church services


Vaccination certificates and ‘traffic lights’ are coming soon to your church.

Under the new COVID-management system, places of worship may legally choose to implement a vaccination entry requirement for congregants. Whether they do or do not has different consequences.

Vaccine certificates will also apply to clergy.

The government’s three-tier “traffic light ” framework will come into effect when 90 per cent of the eligible population has received both doses of the vaccine.

Churches using vaccine certificates

Places of worship will be open at green level for vaccinated people. There will be no limits if vaccination certificates are used.

During the orange level, there will be no limits on attendance if vaccination certificates are used.

Limited numbers of vaccinated people will be allowed to attend places of worship during the red level. They may open for up to 100 people, based on one-metre social distancing.

Churches without vaccine certificates

If a place of worship does not wish to request proof of vaccine, they have to operate with strict limits on capacity and space requirements. They may need to close in Orange and/or Red levels, Ardern says.

If a place of worship does not request proof of vaccine, restrictions will apply. At green level gatherings will be restricted to up to 100 people, based on one metre physical distancing.

At orange level, places of worship must keep to a 50-person limit, based on one-metre physical distancing.

At the red level, places of worship that do not request proof of vaccine will be restricted up to 10 people, with one-metre physical distancing.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the framework is more flexible than the current Alert Level system.

“We know that businesses that only open to vaccinated customers pose a lower risk. We can move up levels when needed to control an outbreak,” she says.

Ardern says the vaccine used in New Zealand is safe and effective.

“If you are vaccinated it means that you are less likely to catch the virus, and much less likely to end up in hospital if you do.

The more people who are vaccinated, the harder it is for COVID to spread through communities quickly, and find our most vulnerable, Ardern says.


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News category: New Zealand, Palmerston, Top Story.

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