The Government is introducing a requirement for workers who need to cross alert level boundaries in order to work at a permitted business, to get tested, whether they have symptoms or not.
From 11.59pm on 9 September 2021, employers of essential workers who need to cross regional boundaries for work must have a process in place to enable these employees to be tested for COVID-19.
This includes enabling their workers to undergo testing, medical examination, or both during their working hours.
The obligation on workers crossing the boundary to carry this evidence takes effect on 11.59pm, 16 September 2021.
Permitted workers must provide the following documents if stopped at an alert level boundary:
If stopped, permitted workers who don’t have the above documents will be turned around at the boundary. Police compliance checking will involve them spot checking (every tenth vehicle) and turning people around who do not have evidence of a test.
There is no cost for essential workers who get a test for this purpose.
The Ministry of Health is working with different sectors to understand how they can minimise the impact of this additional testing for workers, employers and supply chains, while providing assurance that travel across the boundary is being done safely.
Testing surveillance operational details have been released by the Ministry of Health. The documentation includes the following.
Operational FAQs have been incorporated into the employer information sheet and visual flow-charts of the employer and worker journeys. These are important details and this is a more user-friendly way to present this information. The high level FAQs around the intent and requirements of the boundary surveillance testing are being prepared by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC).
Digital versions with hyperlinks embedded and a print version are provided for all these documents.
Saliva testing is now available as a testing option through Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG). More information about Saliva Testing can be found on the Ministry of Health website, or visit the APHG COVID-19 Saliva Testing website to sign up.
The APHG site contains useful information including a list of frequently asked questions relevant to both employers and permitted workers, a worker information pack and a link to their saliva testing app.
A saliva testing pamphlet is being prepared to support workers who wish to use this option. It will include information on how to sign-up for saliva testing, downloading the app, finding the nearest collection points and how to do a test. MOH expect this to be available in the next few days.
A list of existing locations where saliva testing kits can be collected and dropped off can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website. New collection points near the border will also be added to this list as they become available.